Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...


Related questions

Q: Clunking sound

This is a common sign of a failing CV joint. A CV (Constant Velocity) joint is a shaft that connects the transmission to the wheels, essentially transferring the power from the drive train directly to the wheels. The CV joint...

Q: steering

Hello. This is common on this vehicle. It is usually the rack and pinion failing. This is a common issue. The internal bushings fail on the gear causing it to kick back and cause this. The rack would need to...

Q: At 10 mph, ABS system has clunk noise. 2013 Buick Verano

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2013 Buick Verano. The first question is whether or not the ABS light is coming on. If so, then you may want to look into replacing or testing what is called a...