Why You Shouldn’t Drive with a Loose Steering Wheel
November 1st, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
If your car’s steering wheel feels loose, you should address the problem immediately. A loose steering wheel can make it difficult to keep your vehicle in a straight line – and worst of all, it can increase your risk of an accident.
Why Is My Steering Wheel Loose?
Your car’s steering wheel can loosen for several reasons, including:
1. The Tie Rods Are Worn Down
Tie rods connect the steering wheel to the tires. The more you drive your car, the more likely it becomes that these rods will wear down. As tie rods deteriorate, they can loosen, which can hamper your ability to steer your car safely.
2. There’s a Bad Ball Joint
A ball joint links your car’s suspension system to the tires and wheels. Your car may include upper and lower ball joints or solely lower ball joints. If even a single ball joint stops working correctly, it can cause your tires to wear down faster and can loosen your steering wheel.
3. A Control Arm Is Damaged
Your car’s control arm connects the front wheels to your vehicle. If any of your car’s control arms are damaged, the steering wheel may vibrate and become loose.
What Happens If a Control Arm Breaks While Driving?
If your car’s control arm breaks while you’re behind the wheel, the arm can rattle uncontrollably. When this happens, you may hear a loud, clunking noise from your car’s front wheels.
When it comes to a potential control arm break or other issues that can cause your car’s steering wheel to loosen, be cautious. At the first sign of trouble, take your vehicle to a certified auto mechanic to diagnose the root cause of your loose steering wheel and correct the issue right away.
What Should You Do If You Can No Longer Use Your Steering Wheel?
Along with a loose steering wheel, there are several reasons why your steering wheel may stop working while you’re on the road, such as:
- Power Steering Pump Stops Working: If your car’s power steering pump malfunctions, it can be exceedingly tough to turn your steering wheel.
- Low Tire Pressure: If your car’s tire pressure falls too far below the recommended level, it can hinder your ability to steer your vehicle.
- Steering Rack Issue: If your car’s steer rack is damaged or worn down, it can make your steering wheel stiff and difficult to control.
The moment you notice an issue with your car steering wheel, take your vehicle to a certified auto mechanic. They can perform the proper testing to assess your car’s steering wheel and other possible issues, fix your vehicle, and ensure you can safely drive your car going forward.
What Happens If I Don’t Address a Loose Steering Wheel?
A loose steering wheel won’t go away on its own. If you let the problem linger, your steering wheel can loosen to the point where you can no longer safely drive your car. The result: you could lose control of your vehicle and cause an accident.
If you believe your steering wheel is loose, take your car to a certified auto mechanic. You should also get your car inspected regularly to ensure you can address a loose steering wheel and other potential car issues before they escalate.
If you’re involved in a collision, Fix Auto has certified auto body shop professionals on hand who can help to repair your vehicle’s exterior. To schedule a service appointment, please contact us online or call us today at 800.INFO.FIX.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Santa Ana, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, and Fullerton.
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