Do you ever feel yourself “fighting” your steering wheel, as if it wants to go in a different direction? Does it shake when you’re steering or going downhill? Do you hear clunking sounds while making a turn? All of these can be signs of steering column problems that require service.
Let’s take a look at issues you might be having:
• Your wheels might be out of balance or alignment, causing the entire suspension/steering system to vibrate.
• Your pads or rotors might be damaged; this is especially likely if the shaking only occurs when you brake.
• Your tires might be bare or wearing unevenly. You can check this yourself; if the tread is less than 1/8” thick, it’s time for new tires. If you see odd wear patterns, such as one tire wearing more quickly than the other, then you may need a wheel alignment.
• A clunking noise when turning often indicates worn CV joints. Other possible causes include worn strut bearings, ball joints, or shock absorbers. The latter problem is especially likely if you feel the vehicle “bottom out” after going through a dip in the road.
• You may hear a sharp screech when turning the wheel. Often this is a sign of a worn power steering pump belt, or trouble with the pump itself. If you know how to check its fluid level, then do so. Low fluid indicates leaks or other issues that need addressing.
All mechanical parts are subject to wear, including those in your steering system. They can also sustain damage. If you notice any of these steering column problems, then get to a Brake Works location right away. We’ll isolate the issue using our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. Then our trained and certified technicians can fix the underlying cause, getting you back on the road as soon as possible. Come see us if we can help.