Your car’s steering is probably one of the aspects that drew you to it in the first place – maybe you liked the sporty handling, the comfortable feel of the steering wheel grip, or the car’s accuracy as it cleanly took a turn when you test drove it. All of those elements are strongly determined by the quality and consistency of the steering shaft, as a part of the general steering system in your vehicle. If the steering shaft encounters performance issues or premature wear, it is certain that you’ll notice differences in your driving experience. In this article, we’ll discuss in more detail what it looks like when the steering shaft begins to fail or malfunction and what can be done about it.
Your steering system is made up of a series of interconnected parts that function together to create a seamless steering performance. Your steering system is made up of the steering shaft or column, wheel, and rack, all of which work together to allow your car to turn and move smoothly around corners, turns, and maneuver successfully with precision.
If the steering shaft cannot properly connect to the steering gear, turning will become a serious issue. Furthermore, the steering shaft also helps to stabilize and secure the steering column lock and wiring – critical components that perfect the steering action in your car. Not all steering systems are alike, so it’s important to hire an automotive shop that specializes in your particular type of vehicle.
Picking up on the nuanced symptoms that accompany steering shaft or column failure is essential for diagnosing and treating the issue with accuracy and immediacy. There are certainly specific symptoms you may notice in your car’s performance that indicate there’s an issue with the steering shaft, but it’s important to find a specialist who can find the isolated source of the problem and not confuse the symptoms with another specific steering system component. Here’s what to look for when you suspect the steering shaft is failing:
Turning precision and smoothness
Once again, that clean, smooth turning capacity you once noticed in your car when you first bought it will most definitely be affected by a failing or damaged steering shaft. If you find that your car is no longer turning with a smooth precision, have the steering shaft looked at right away.
Premature shaft bearing wear
Since your steering system sees a lot of action, it encounters plenty of wear and tear. Therefore, it’s to be expected that you’ll need to attend to certain steering components as time goes on. Shaft bearings take on a lot of the stress of the steering system and are usually the first to go.
Feel of the steering wheel
Most luxury high-end performance vehicles are designed to have tight, precise steering efficiency that is evident in the feel of the steering wheel. If you begin to notice that the steering wheel grip isn’t feeling as firm as it once did, the shaft may be gaining unwanted elasticity.
Concerning sounds while steering
Noises while steering aren’t unusual, but they’re certainly a cause for concern. If you notice any grinding or clicking sounds while turning, this is beyond what’s considered to be normal and you should have the steering shaft inspected.
Steering wheel misalignment
The steering wheel should always automatically go back to its natural position – with the brand emblem at dead center. If while driving straight on a flat road you begin noticing your steering wheel isn’t returning to the center position, the steering shaft could be damaged.
Your first priority when dealing with steering shaft malfunction or failure is to bring it to a trusted automotive specialist with specific experience diagnosing and servicing your particular type of vehicle. Here at Euro Plus Automotive, we specialize in a range of luxury German and Japanese imports, such as: Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen, Infiniti, Acura, and Lexus. For over 3 decades the residents of Canoga Park, Calabasas, Chatsworth, West Hills, Woodland Hills, CA, have entrusted us with their ongoing auto care, and we have successfully diagnosed and treated countless cases of steering shaft failure – we are confident that we can help you through your automotive issues as well. Please call us to learn more about our expertise or to schedule a diagnostic procedure.