Steering Warning Signs

  • The car is hard to steer. The steering linkage may need lubrication or repairs or there might be a problem with the power steering unit.
  • The steering feels loose. In this case the steering linkage parts may be worn and need replacement.
  • The vehicle is pulling to the side. Culprits could be worn steering linkage parts, under or over inflated tires, wheels being out of alignment or brakes that are ‘dragging’.
  • The steering wheel jerks. This could be from a loose steering belt, low power steering fluid or a problem with the steering pump.
  • The steering wheel vibrates. The tires could need rebalancing or steering parts may be worn and need replacing.

Steering System

Your steering system consists of a series of components (links and gears) that connect the driver from the steering wheel to the wheels. There are two types of steering systems your vehicle may use - parallelogram and rack-and-pinion.

Today most vehicles also have some power assistance such as variable effort steering to help with parking at low speeds and electronic power steering.

The parallelogram steering system consists a steering gearbox, pitman arm, relay arm and inner and outer tie rod-ends. This type of system is used on most rear wheel drive cars.

The rack-and-pinion system eliminates the pitman arm, relay rod and idler arm and is therefore lighter. This system is ideally suited to front wheel drive vehicles. This gives the driver a better feeling of the road, but it can also mean greater noise and vibration may be felt.

If your vehicle is hard to steer, if there is excessive steering wheel free-play or if you feel a vibration or jerking sensation in the steering wheel, a Minute Muffler and Brake steering specialist will help diagnose the problem.