Volvo steering failure is just as common as alien abduction. It just doesn’t happen. Even in cases where the problem occurs, the cause is always traced back to issues like poor maintenance. Fortunately, the problem is always preceded by signs that are hard to miss. The most common sign is as you may have already guessed, noise coming off the steering wheel as you drive.
Noise coming from the steering wheel is mostly attributed to faults in the suspension components, poor lubrication or mechanical problems in the steering system. The steering column can also be faulty and result in noise as you drive and take corners. Whatever the case, noise or any other problem coming from the steering wheel deserves your attention. Have the problem fixed by a technician before it worsens. Then while at it, always remember that the noise you hear could be as a result of any of the following issues.
Dry Ball Joints
Ball joints facilitate smooth motion of the steering knuckles and suspension control arms. They aren’t supposed to dry so when they do you’ll most likely have a problem with the steering wheel. You’ll hear cranking noises especially when turning the steering wheel. The problem is easy to fix. Simply make that the joints are well-greased during the servicing intervals.
Faulty Steering Racks- Power steering systems ensure that the steering rack is supplied with hydraulic fluid for lubrication. If there are leaks in the rack, there will be little or no fluid supplied to the rack. This in turn causes whining noises in the steering system especially when turning around corners at low speeds.
Worn-Out Suspension Bushings And Tie Rod Ends - Tie rod ends help in moving the wheels when turning the steering wheel. If these parts are worn out, you will experience knocking noises in the steering wheel. Additionally, suspension bushings wear out with time and when they do, it is possible to hear cracking noises every time you turn the steering wheel even at high speeds.
Fluid Leaks – The usual suspect here is in most cases, the power steering pressure hose. Once air gets in as the power steering is fixed, expect leaks and even some more air getting in later. Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix. Immediately after replacing pressure hose or a power steering pump, flush and bleed the power steering system to remove air. You can easily do this by turning the steering wheel lock to lock a number of times.
Point To Note Like any other system in your Volvo, the steering system requires regular inspection and servicing. Avoid waiting until the problem has worsened. Remember that a faulty steering wheel also means your safety and even that of your passengers is on the line. Remember too that sometimes, the solution is something as simple as inspecting the steering wheel column and the entire system for worn out parts and replacing them. To avoid the unpleasant surprise that a noisy steering wheel is, take your car for servicing at least once every two months. Be sure to also check the car’s oil level at least 3 times a week.