Top Reasons that Cause Stiff Steering Wheel?

Lack of maintenance delayed servicing, and wear and tear of the vehicle with time are some real reasons for stiff/heavy steering. When the steering wheel gets heavy, it will begin to show some early signs. A driver can watch closely these signs to fix the issue for a smoother drive. A stiff steering wheel shouldn’t be ignored, but it should be fixed as soon as it is noticed.

Top Reasons that Cause Stiff Steering Wheel

Here are some reasons that cause a stiff steering wheel. Don’t forget to learn some maintenance tips, which can help you get rid of such vehicle problems before it gets amplified.

1. Low Power Steering Fluid

When your vehicle lacks enough steering fluid, it is likely to cause the stiffness in the wheel. It could also be fluid leakage from the pressurized hose zone. When that happens, it is the perfect time to get it refilled, besides fixing the leakage, if any. The heavy steering wheel can, thus, be caused by low power steering fluid.

Steering wheel feels tight
The heavy steering wheel can be caused by low power steering fluid. Source: The-Drive


2. Cracked Serpentine Belt

Another possible reason for that tension in the car while turning could be the crack in the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt might have been broken, and that causes the stiffness in the steering wheel. The crack in this belt occurs because of the continuous usage of the vehicle. Since the serpentine belt gets worn out quickly, you have to replace it frequently.

3. Damaged Power Steering Pump

So, as we know that the steering pump creates the apt pressure needed to turn the steering wheel. Now, let’s presume there is an issue in a steering pump, so automatically your vehicle won’t run properly. Get the pump checked by the professional when the steering wheel feels tight.

4. Faulty Steering Rack

Why does my car steering feel heavy? Well, there might be a fault in the steering rack. The extreme exposure to road dirt and high temperatures can damage the steering rack of the vehicle. The faulty inner bushings can lead to a leak in the spring. The leak then gathers dust and dirt, which eventually damages the steering rack and gear of your vehicle. Hence, this could be one of the reasons why your steering wheel is heavy.

5. Old Thick Steering Fluid

 With time, the steering fluid can get thicker, just like any other fluid in the car. The best is to replace this fluid on time to ensure that the steering wheel doesn’t become stiff or heavy. Ask your vehicle’s manufacturer about the apt time to change the fluid. The stiff steering wheel is the result of extremely thick steering fluid, which is unable to lubricate the system properly. Hence, replacing it on time is the solution to make steering work smoothly.

Heavy steering wheel
With time, the steering fluid can get thicker. Source: The-Drive

The Takeaway Message

 So, the ‘steering wheel stiff when turning’ issue can occur when you don’t fix the problems stated above. Stiff steering wheel doesn’t happen in a day. It will show up some signs in advance, following which you can work on them, and make your vehicle run normally again.