Why Is My Steering Wheel So Stiff?

Whenever you push back necessary maintenance and service appointments, your vehicle is more susceptible to wear and tear damages - that includes your steering wheel. With much usage over time, the wheel can become stiff and show signs of wear. As a responsible driver, you should never ignore a rigid steering wheel. It would be best to get a professional mechanic to address and diagnose the problem as soon as possible.


Here are some of the most common reasons why your steering wheel is more rigid than usual:


Cracked Serpentine Belt

If you notice that there is some strain in the steering wheel when you are turning left or right, this can indicate a crack in the serpentine belt. This part of your car gets worn out rather quickly. If it is dull, then it might have to get replaced entirely. 


Malfunctioning Steering Rack

Have you noticed that your steering wheel feels heavy? If so, then there may be a problem with the steering rack. High exposure to hot temperatures or excessive road debris can be attributed to this problem.  


Low on Power Steering Fluid

If you don't remember when the last time you topped off your power steering fluid, then this might be the issue. The solution to this is to refill the fluid to loosen up the wheel. However, if you are unexpectedly low on juice, you should have your technician check for a leak. 


Contaminated and Old Steering Fluid

If you tend to neglect your vehicle maintenance and your fluid hasn't been replaced, that could be a huge issue. For example, old steering fluid can become thick and unable to lubricate the steering system adequately. As a result, your steering wheel will be harder to operate.


Damaged Power Steering Pump

The power steering pump plays an essential part in creating enough pressure to turn the steering wheel. If this part of the system is broken, then it will result in a tight wheel. 


If you notice stiffness in your steering wheel, do not hesitate to bring your vehicle to Cornerstone Automotive for an inspection. We are proud to serve the Crum Lynne, PA, area.