Steering Wheel Feels Loose | All About Auto

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Steering Wheel Feels Loose

Steering wheel feels loose

The steering wheel is loose while you drive the car at a higher speed. Several reasons can cause the steering wheel to feel sloppy or feel like loose. If the steering wheel feels loose and sloppy especially at higher speed, it is an indication of a problem caused by one or more faulty front-end components. However, this problem has also been known to be caused by overinflated front tires.

The reason why the steering wheel feels loose

(1)Faulty front end components.

Car troubleshooting

This happens when front tires were overinflated and have a tendency to bounce around while the car is being driven especially when driven at higher speed, the bouncing effect is transmitted to the steering wheel linkage that resulted to become loose or sloppy steering wheel feeling which can be felt by the driver.

Using a tire pressure gauge, check the air pressure of each front tire and compare it to what it's supposed to be (refer to the vehicle's owner's manual if you are unsure of the correct pressure). The standard tire pressure value or the recommended tire pressure limit by the car manufacturer can be found on the car owner’s manual, you can also find the standard tire pressure on the label located on the driver side door of the car. If the tire pressure reading is significantly higher than normal, the problem is over-inflated tires that causing loose sloppy steering.

How to Check Tire Air Pressure
The tire tread life will be reduced if the tire air pressure of your car is below the car manufacturer's tire air pressure specified on your car owner’s manual.
Learn more: How to Check Tire Air Pressure

Steering wheel feels loose

Tires that are overinflated don't "hug" the road well. As a result, they have a tendency to sort of "bounce around" as the vehicle is being driven. Further, the faster the vehicle moves, the more the tires "bounce". This bouncing effect is transmitted to the steering linkage and, hence, results in loose and sloppy steering.

What to do?
Let some air out of each front tire. Refer to this vehicle's owner's manual for the correct air pressure. Doing this should improve the steering problem. However, if it doesn't, the cause probably lies with one or more loose/worn front end components.

Steering wheel feels loose

If the tire is not higher than normal, then the problem is not an over-inflated tire and it could be one or more loose or worn front end components.

Since "overinflated front tires" was ruled out, the only other possibility is something involving the vehicle's "front end". Now... you may be asking, "What exactly is the front end?" Well, very loosely, it's all those bars, rods, levers, and other gizmos underneath the front part of a vehicle. Specifically, we are referring to such front end components as the tie rod ends, ball joints, and control arms. These parts all contribute to a vehicle's handling performance and are critical towards achieving "tight" steering. If any are loose or worn, the steering will be loose/sloppy.

After checking if you found out that the tire pressure is within the standard value there are other causes of the problem, and this might be a problem that involves the car's front-end components. Usually, a problem on the front end is loose or worn out components like the tire rods, ball joints, or the control arm. If one of those parts is loose or worn out it can cause the steering wheel to become sloppy or feels loose.

Steering wheel feels loose

What to do?
Have a mechanic inspect the front end of this vehicle and make any necessary repairs. Please take care of this problem very soon. Why? Because the loose/sloppy steering means the handling is poor and this spells "hazard". Try to find a garage that is approved by the AAA. Such garages tend to be reputable and, best of all, if you do have a dispute after the work is done, the AAA has the policy to investigate the situation and resolve it.

Power Steering Intermittently Stiff
In the case of heavy steering, the following phenomena should be considered. These are the cases that the steering is heavy throughout the operation, this means the power steering does not function at all, the steering becomes suddenly heavy when fully turned this means the belt slip.

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