About the Free Car Steering Check

Don't let steering problems drive you around the bend, hard or loose steering can make it hard to handle your vehicle, reducing your ability to drive safely. If your car is understeering, oversteering or something feels wrong, why not book a FREE Steering Check at your local garage today.

steering and suspension


Identifying Steering Issues

Faulty steering can be down to a number of issues and the consequences can be extremely dangerous. Problems with steering can cause or be caused by a number of different issues:

Heavy steering is a stiff sensation in the steering wheel, making turning the steering wheel more effort and the car seem heavier when turning. There are a number of reasons why this may have occurred.

Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that transmits the power throughout the steering system. This fluid is a fundamental part of this system, without it, your car would not be able to steer as effortlessly as normal. It is very important that this fluid is regularly topped up and replaced to ensure that power steering is working effectively and to avoid heavy steering.

Another cause of heavy steering is the steering belt has become damaged or loose. The steering belt is essential to the whole steering system, without it there would be no power in the steering and can even cause a fault with the air conditioning compressor and alternator. The belt may become damaged through general use over time as the belt material begins to wear down.

The power steering pump can be another reason why your steering may be heavy. The steering pump is responsible for pumping the power steering fluid from the reservoir to the steering gear. If this pump is faulty or broken, power steering will be disabled. Despite the power steering pump usually being reliable, a premature failure can be spotted as it usually makes a lot of noise when this occurs.

The steering rack is a key component of the steering system, working with the power steering system. A key indication of a damaged steering rack is a stiff steering wheel when initially turning on the engine for it to only improve over time. As the car warms up lubrication increases, making the issue less noticeable. However, it is important that the steering rack be inspected by a professional and repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

If you find that it is hard to steer at low speeds this can be an indication of low tyre pressure. The tyres of your vehicle need to be at the recommended tyre pressure as advised by the vehicle manufacturer. Tyre pressures are often listed in your vehicle handbook or on a label inside the fuel filler cap or passenger doors. We keep up to date technical information in all branches and would be happy to help if you cannot locate this information yourself. If the tyre pressure in the tyres is too low, this will lead to stiff and sluggish steering.


Interim or Full Service

During any of our servicing options here at National Tyres and Autocare, whether that be an Interim service or a Full service, your steering and suspension will be checked. The steering, suspension linkages and ball joints will be checked for wear or damage.

Related: Servicing Packages

Price Promise

Don't forget about our Price Promise to you – if you can find the same product at a lower price, in stock locally within 7 days of purchase – we promise to match that competitor's written quotation.

Related: Price Promise


What is power steering?

Power steering is a feature that is seen in most cars seen on the roads today. Essentially, power steering is a system that helps the driver turn the steering wheel with ease. This may seem like a basic requirement for the vehicle, however, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to help drivers steer so effortlessly.

Parts of the power steering include:

Hydraulic fluid that transmits power to the steering system.

Where the power steering fluid is stored in your vehicle.

Pumps and applies pressure to the power steering fluid to enable power steering.

A device that senses the force on the steering wheel to avoid unnecessary assist from power steering.

Steering fluid from the rotary valve gets redirected into the hydraulic chamber enabling power steering.

Why does my steering wheel vibrate?

A vibrating steering wheel is often overlooked by a number of different drivers. However, it can also indicate that something severe going on with your vehicle. There are a number of reasons why your steering wheel may be rattling:

If your wheels are not balanced correctly, this can cause rattling of the steering wheel. When a new tyre is installed onto the vehicle the technician will ‘balance the wheel’ which is when they fix small weights onto the wheel to ensure a proper balance. If wheels are not balanced correctly it can lead to problems with steering and suspension. If you feel that your wheels are not balanced seek the assistance of a professional immediately as special equipment is needed for this.

A wheel hub bearing is an instrumental part of the vehicle’s wheel assembly. The wheel hub bearing enables the wheel to turn freely, without restriction. This has a major effect on handling and makes the ride smooth. If there is a problem with these bearings, there will be noticeable vibrations on the wheel specifically when turning. It is essential that these bearings are working correctly to drive safely.

Suspension as a whole is a complicated system with a lot of intricate parts. If you notice a shaking steering wheel when going at high speeds this can be a sign that there is a fault somewhere in this system. This is due to the connection between the suspension system and the wheels. If there is a problem with the suspension then this can affect the driveshaft, causing an imbalance and shaking.

A worn or defective driveshaft can cause vibrations also. The driveshaft itself is generally a solid rod but each end will have a CV joint (Constant Velocity Joint) that should be covered with a rubber boot to protect the joint and keep the special lubricating grease contained within. These joints can become worn over time (Particularly common where a rubber boot has become damaged and allowed dirt or grit into the joint). 



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