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5 Causes of a Loose Steering Wheel

5 Causes of a Loose Steering Wheel

Warning Signs That Your Steering is Loose

Loose steering isn’t something that bothers drivers on a regular basis, but when it does occur it needs to be take seriously. You need to be able to rely on your steering in order to keep your passengers, other road users and yourself safe. So, in this article the Country Vehicles team have come up with danger signs to watch out for, aligned to 5 causes of a loose steering wheel.


5 Causes of a Loose Steering Wheel

Table of Contents

1. Worn Power Steering Belt
2. Worn Steering Gear
3. Worn Steering Rack Mounts
4. Low Levels of Steering Fluid
5. Worn Ball Joint

1. Worn Power Steering Belt

Are you hearing strange grinding or screeching noises that occur only when you turn the steering wheel? This is a classic symptom of a worn power steering belt. The function of this belt is to connect the power steering pump to the engine. Action should be taken immediately if you are experiencing this, as ignoring it could lead to power steering failure.

2. Worn Steering Gear

If you’re experiencing the pull of the steering to one side, you may have a worn steering gear. This is normally caused when the power steering fluid has stopped providing lubrication. You should check whether your steering fluid is foaming or discoloured, in which case air or water has seeped in. Otherwise, there may be a leak. In either case you should get your car to a mechanic as quickly as possible.

3. Worn Steering Rack Mounts

If you find that your steering wheel suddenly jerks to one side or the other when you’re turning the wheel, you may have worn steering rack mounts. Other symptoms are clunking sounds from the steering column or vibrations through the wheel.

The function of steering rack mounts is to maintain stability and absorb impacts. We have them to thank for a smooth ride. The mounts are constantly in motion, moving from side to side and for this reason, they are liable to wear out. If you experience symptoms, ask your mechanic to check them out for you. 

4. Low Levels of Steering Fluid

Power steering reduces the effort required to turn the steering wheel. If you are having difficulty with this, therefore, it’s a clear indication that there’s a problem. The most likely cause is low steering fluid levels. If your reservoir is empty, you should fill it up immediately and have the vehicle checked out for leaks in the hoses, steering rack or pump.

5. Worn Ball Joint

Your vehicle has a ball and joint socket which connects the wheel hubs to the suspension system. Some vehicles have one of these, others have two. When the joint is worn, the driver of the vehicle will find that the steering wheel feels loose. Other symptoms include tyres wearing out unevenly or banging noises which occur when driving over speed bumps. If you experience these symptoms, you should get your car checked out at your local garage.


Book a Steering Check at Country Vehicles Shefford

Country Vehicles located on the A6 travelling out of Bedford. We’re a local garage for Shefford, serving towns and villages across South Bedfordshire for the past 3 decades. You can book your car in for regular servicing, or we can carry out specialist checks on your steering, brakes, tyres, or A/C unit. If you’re particularly worried about an issue with the steering, just drop in and we’ll take a look.


Are you experiencing steering problems? Book in for a steering check at Country Vehicles in Shefford. Call us on 01234 381555, drop in to see us, or contact us online.