A loose steering wheel can make it difficult for you to steer your car, resulting in an accident when you are having difficulty steering. Consequently, you should take the time to find out the causes of a loose steering wheel and how to fix it as soon as possible.
A Mercedes suffers loose steering on the road
It is likely that once you have struck a bump, you will hear the sound of a knocking noise which is indicative of the looseness in the steering wheel. A driver who is experiencing this problem will have difficulty determining how the front wheels are positioned as a result of it.
There are many factors that can contribute to a loose steering wheel. A hydraulic fluid problem can range from a faulty tie rod end all the way to an issue with the hydraulic fluid. You may have more than one cause of your issue, or it could be a combination of many causes. There are a number of factors that can lead to a loose steering wheel, some of which are listed below:
3 Common Causes of a Loose Steering Wheel
1. When tie rods wear
In order for the steering unit and tires to work together, tie rods are used. A rack and pinion system is usually composed of these types of devices. There is no matter what kind of vehicle you have, whether it be an SUV, a car, or a truck, each of them has a tie rod end attached to the wheelhouse. Taking care of this will ensure that the vehicle is able to have a pleasant and efficient drive every single day.
If the tie rod wears out and promotes excessive play, then the steering wheel will end up being loose because the tie rod has become worn out.
2. Broken pitman arm
A broken steering pitman arm
Broken pitman arms are the cause of a loose steering wheel, which can be traced to a broken pitman arm. It is not uncommon for your car to struggle to react well at the wheel when it has a bad pitman arm. You are probably experiencing a lot of play in your steering during the ride in this case, so it is extremely important that you contact our experts as soon as possible.
There is a good chance that once the pitman arm starts to fail, you may lose control of the steering wheel when driving the car. It would be helpful if you replaced it as soon as the issue began to reach this level before the problem escalated. As soon as you become unable to steer, you should stop driving, slow down, and ask for assistance when you lose the ability to steer.
3. Worn ball joint
There are a few ways to tell if there is a problem with one or more of the ball joints in your vehicle. The steering arms can either be connected to another steering knuckle or they can be detached. Apart from the steering wheel being loose, it is also possible that a failing ball joint is causing you to hear strange noises, to experience extreme vibrations, and to experience wear on the steering wheel.
It is very common for most car owners to put off replacing their steering system since the cost of doing so is so high, so they tend to postpone the process. But you shouldn’t be concerned because if you get a decent used component from a reputable dealer, you’ll be able to save quite a bit of money.
Symptoms of a loose steering wheel
1. Weird noises
The strange noises you’ll hear as you start turning the steering wheel will become more apparent as you begin to turn it. It is possible to hear clunking or clicking every time you turn the wheel. This is mainly due to the fact that the steering column itself contains some negative parts that are the reason behind them.
As the time passes, one of the things that happens in most situations is that the noises become progressively smaller, louder, and more frequently as the time goes by.
2. Steering tilt malfunction
There is a tilt function in every steering vehicle that can be used to give the driver the option to change the steering wheel angle to suit their needs.
When the steering tilt malfunctions, then it means there is a problem with a component of the steering column that is also failing. Consequently, you will have a loose-tilting wheel that will not be able to remain firmly in place on your vehicle.
How to troubleshoot loose steering wheel
The empty and loose steering wheel of a car
If you have an issue with your car, you should first speak to a mechanic about it. Whenever you feel that there is excessive play in the steering wheel, talk to your mechanic to have your vehicle inspected to find out if it suffers from this issue or not. Driving the car on a flat surface is safe and should not be risky.
I have just put together a list of the most effective ways to troubleshoot this issue. In order to know what the right way to tighten the steering wheel is, let us take a look at the different methods.
Your mechanic must perform a special visual inspection for all beginners before they begin to perform repairs. Is there a reason for this? It is necessary for him to raise the car in order to get the tires off of it. By doing so, he will be able to access the other parts of the steering wheel that he is unable to access otherwise. It is after examining these components that he decides if they need to be replaced or if they are broken and they need to be examined again.
He will ensure that in the event that the tie rods, joints, and pitman arms get damaged, they will all be replaced. There is a high recommendation to have the worn parts replaced as soon as possible. By doing this, it ensures that there is no issue with the steering wheel’s function.
Go for a test drive to check your steering wheel
There is a need for the mechanic to ensure that there is no problem before he replaces any parts. A test drive will be required of the vehicle before it can be purchased. During the process, he can check if the steering wheel works properly and, if not, he can check if it needs to be repaired. He replaces the pitman arm of the car before bringing it out again for another test in order to deal with the worn pitman arm.
There is a need to perform maintenance on this arm. Before you begin to test the vehicle for a long drive, make sure that it stays in the right place and to have it replaced as soon as possible.
The tie rods of the car should be replaced as soon as they become damaged. The mechanic first needs to make sure that there is no external wear on the vehicle before proceeding with that. In the next step, he will replace the tie rods, but he will make sure that lubrication is applied to the car.
The car will only work smoothly if you maintain all parts of it regularly if you want it to run smoothly. As well as keeping it in good condition, you should also keep a regular check-up with the mechanic. As a matter of fact, he should be able to give you some advice on what needs to be done.
The mechanic also needs to make sure the ball joints are in good working order. First of all, in order to get access to the joints, he removes the A-arms. There is no doubt in my mind that he will replace it with another one before testing it.
During this time, be sure to ensure that the newly installed components are lubricated as well. This is owing to the fact that without lubrication, the ball joints as well as the new part will not work correctly in the near future. A further test drive will also be conducted as soon as every part has been successfully set up by the mechanic. As a result of doing so, he will be in a better position to check if the steering wheel is tight or not.
It is also important to note that you should not try to take your car for a fun drive with a loose steering wheel since doing so can result in your life being put at risk.