Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Steering Damper Last?

How Long Does a Steering Damper Last?

Steering Damper

Most of us are used to being able to enjoy smooth, precise movement when we turn the steering wheel in our vehicle. That is made possible by a combination of different components, including the splines that mate the steering column to the intermediate shaft, the universal joint for the steering wheel, and the steering damper.

A steering damper is really nothing more than a stabilizer designed to reduce or eliminate unwanted movement (called wobble in some circles). Wobble in the steering wheel makes handling much less precise and can cause dangerous situations. However, you generally only find these in larger trucks and SUVs, particularly those with larger tires.

Larger tires create a wobble or shimmy in the vehicle. It affects not only your handling, but pretty much every component from the shocks and struts to the wheel bearings and even the exhaust. Too much vibration will eventually damage anything.

The steering damper also provides a defense against arm and hand fatigue. If left unchecked, the vibration from tire/road contact would travel up the steering column to your arms, and the force required to hold the wheel steady would be significantly greater. The steering damper works to reduce those vibrations and eliminate arm fatigue.

While you will still be able to drive if your steering damper begins to fail, you’ll find the experience less than ideal. Watch for the following symptoms to indicate that you may have a problem with the damper:

  • Much more road vibration felt than usual (this may also indicate a broken belt in a tire)
  • Steering wheel doesn’t turn all the way
  • Clunking noise when turning the wheel
  • Steering wheel feels like it binds intermittently

If you’re experiencing any symptoms related to a failing steering damper, it may be time to get checked it checked. A certified mechanic can come inspect the system and have your steering damper replaced if necessary.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P0477 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Low
P0477 code means that the PCM has detected an abnormally low voltage reading often due to the exhaust back pressure control valve circuit.

Related questions

Q: Clunking noises driving at low speeds or over bumps

A clunking noise when hitting bumps can be caused by worn out struts, worn strut mounts, sway bar bushings, steering linkage being worn, or loose components. It would be best to have a certified mechanic actually diagnose the noise. These...

Q: Slight steering wheel shimmy at 70 mph?

The tires could have irregular wear and/or internal belt damage as well as radial force variation. None of that can be balanced "away", excepting that there are road force variation machines that can be used to diagnose radial force variation...

Q: Lost power steering on the road, what happened?

If this was my car I would not drive it till it was fixed and would not recommend you do either. I checked into this problem and there are other owners with same or very similar complaints as you. There...