Steering malfunctions can be scary, but thankfully, total failure of the vehicle steering system is rare.
With the front wheels physically connected to the steering wheel via a number of other components (except for in a handful of cars from 2014 on), there is almost no chance of a computer or wiring problem causing the steering wheel to become useless. There are, though, several ways in which steering can become difficult or downright impossible because of components malfunctioning or breaking.
How this system works:
The steering system revolves around the front wheels. The front wheels also do the majority of the braking, and in the case of front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, put the engine’s power to the ground. Key components include:
Steering Wheel: Big or small, soft or hard, high-tech or bare metal, these are in every functioning vehicle and give the driver control of the vehicle.
Steering Column: This is what brings the rotation of the steering wheel down into the dashboard and under the hood. Some are one-piece while others are multiple pieces connected with joints that allow them to function as if they were one single column.
Pinion Gear: This is the gear that moves the steering rack that makes the wheels turn. On some older rear-wheel drive vehicles, the column first goes into a recirculating ball gearbox that dictates how much the rotation of the steering wheel affects the front wheels.
Steering Rack: This is the component that moves from left to right and provides the force to turn the wheels. Some use hydraulic power to assist steering, while others use electric power.
Steering Linkage: This is found on older vehicles and has a couple of different components. The steering linkage consists of inner and outer tie rod ends. If this is an older vehicle then there is another rod that is called a center link. This connects the tie rod ends to the steering gear.
Common reasons for this to happen:
- Loose tie rod ends
- Power steering rack or pump is defective
- Steering gear box is malfunctioning
- Broken steering column parts
What to expect:
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the source and cause of the steering issue, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
How it's done:
The mechanic will inspect the wheels and tires outside of the car before troubleshooting the problem more specifically either within the interior or under the hood.
How important is this service?
Proper steering is essential to the operation of any car. Book a mechanic to perform a thorough inspection as soon as possible.