Why Does My Steering Wheel Feel Unstable?


Most vehicles today are outfitted with a power steering system that allows you to steer your car effortlessly. Without the power steering, the steering wheel would be tricky to turn, and your biceps are probably going to look like The Rock's after years of driving. Thankfully, we have the ease of power steering, which serves to ease the force we use to steer into enough power to move our wheels in the direction we want to go.

 

But what if your steering wheel starts to feel loose and unstable? You may notice that you need to significantly adjust the steering wheel to one side to get your wheels to move in the slightest bit. This problem can be severe since you need complete control to get around safely. It may have you questioning what causes a loose steering wheel and what to do in such situations.

 

While you may think that the problem is with your power steering system, a loose steering wheel often concerns the suspension system. The steering and suspension systems are closely related, and a connecting component could cause the problem you are encountering. Here is a list of some of the possible causes of a disconnected steering wheel: 

  • Worn Tie Rods - Tie rods are the link between the steering system and the tires. Tie rods exist in both ball steering setups and rack and pinion setups and can become worn with use. If the tie rods are impaired, the steering wheel can feel loose and also squeak when turned. 
  • Damaged Pitman Arm - The pitman arm is a part of the steering system that employs the recirculating-ball setup. If the pitman arm is damaged, it can cause issues with steering because the pitman arm connects to a gear associated with the steering wheel.
  • Defective Ball Joint - The ball joints join the wheels to the suspension system, and worn ball joints can make the connection weak. You may hear banging sounds when hitting bumps on the road too.

If you are undergoing issues with your steering operations, please don't hesitate to bring your vehicle to the experts here at Jeff's Automotive, Inc. Please don't hesitate to stop by or give us a call today!