It is hard to consider something that most people do everyday, like driving a car, as dangerous, but the reality is that a vehicle that is not one hundred percent working properly can make driving extremely dangerous. However, because modern day vehicles are such intricately built machines, it can be difficult to identify when some issues start to arise.
Recognizing early indications of mechanical issues with parts like your brakes, engine, and power steering is one of the best ways to stay safe and also avoid paying massive repair costs if the issues get worse. Here are some warning signs that your power steering is not functioning properly so you can get your vehicle to your local mechanic and back safely on the road.
Noise When Turning
If you start to hear a screeching or grinding noise when you turn the wheel of your vehicle, this is likely a symptom of a few things. It can indicate a worn or loose power steering belt which, while it is an easily replaced part, can cause major issues in your driving if it breaks or comes off completely causing your vehicle to become immediately difficult to steer. Screeching can also indicate low power steering fluid, while grinding is typically a symptom of issues with the gears themselves.
Steering Wheel Vibrations
Subtle changes in how your steering wheel feels should get your attention. When you start to feel vibrations in the steering wheel of your vehicle, it is likely an indication of a problem developing. If this is due to a bad tie rod, this vibrating will worsen and might cause your entire vehicle to shake as well. It is important to have this checked out early on because it can lead to the loss of steering ability entirely.
Pulling To One Side
If you feel your entire vehicle start to pull to the left or the right consistently, this might be an issue with the alignment, but this could also be a symptom of the steering gear being worn or low on lubricant. You can start by using your vehicle’s manual to check your power steering fluid and check for potential leaks.
Low Power Steering Fluid
There are a few signs that indicate low power steering fluid, and the most obvious one is if the fluid level is below the minimum line on the fluid reservoir. Oftentimes when the fluid is getting low, you might hear a screeching sound (which should always get your attention as something that needs to be checked out).
Slipping When Turning
The term “slipping” refers to when you are turning your wheel and the vehicle for a moment stops going the direction you are directing it to. This is clearly a problem and could have serious consequences. This can be caused by a wide range of issues but all point to faulty power steering. Whether this is the result of a fluid leak, bad steering belt, worn out gears, a bad pump, or something else, you will want to get your vehicle to a mechanic to get this checked as soon as you realize it is a problem!
If you’ve noticed any of the issues above, or something else indicating your vehicle is not steering accurately, you should have your vehicle checked as soon as possible. For your steering repair needs in Central Texas, contact Reliable Automotive, a local auto repair shop with locations in San Marcos, Buda, and Kyle.