How to Troubleshoot a Car with Steering Problems

Updated March 23, 2017

Steering problems on your car are potentially serious. You should not drive your car with steering problems because you could end up in a fatal car accident if you suddenly lose all control over your vehicle. Steering systems on most cars should be serviced by a professional mechanic. However, there are a few common problems that you can troubleshoot before taking it to a mechanic so that you know what needs to be fixed, saving yourself from having to pay a mechanic to diagnose the problem.

Open the bonnet and check the power steering fluid level. Many cars have power steering. The cap on the power steering reservoir will say "power steering" right on it. These reservoir tanks are normally mounted on the firewall. The fluid level should be between the upper and lower fill marks on the outside of the tank. If the fluid level is low, pour in more power steering fluid until the proper level is reached.

Turn the steering wheel left and right. If there is any play or slack in the steering wheel before the wheels turn, then you will need to have your tie rod ends checked and replaced.

Turn the steering wheel from lock to lock (all the way from one side to the other). If there is any clunking noise while you are turning the steering wheel, have your steering rack and pinion checked and replaced by a mechanic.

Turn the engine on and turn the wheel from lock to lock. If you hear any noise, like a whining sound, while turning the steering wheel you will need to have your power steering pump and pulley checked and replaced by a mechanic.

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About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.