Steering issues and problems are a nightmare for all drivers. The good news though is the fact that it cannot just happen out of nowhere. The problem is in most cases, preceded by signs discussed below. It is also important to note that while a stiff steering may not seem like a major issue, it can compromise your own safety as well as that of your passenger. That explains why fixing the problem as soon as you notice it is always a smart idea.
The first obvious sign is a steering wheel that suddenly requires you to use some force to turn it. The problem may or may not be accompanied by a screeching noise especially when you turn. Be particularly keen where the noise gets louder as you drive. The solution could be as simple as ensuring your car has enough oil. The problem on the other hand could have worsened by the time you decide to fix it. In other words, some parts of the steering column could have been affected. This only goes on to explain why it is important take action immediately you notice something wrong with the steering as already mentioned above.
- Car wandering at low & high speeds
- Power steering fluid leaks
- Wheel shaking while at high speeds
- Noises in the steering system
It is worth noting that a stiff steering wheel may be as a result of different causes that are not limited to underlying issues in the steering system. For instance, lack of regular servicing at the appropriate mileage, low wheel pressure, and little or no steering fluid can also lead to stiff steering wheel. You probably do not have to worry if you have a new Volvo model mostly because modern Volvo models come with electric steering systems that are more efficient and reliable than the hydraulic fluid systems in older models. Keep in mind though that basic care and maintenance such as lubrication play huge role to ensure you always have a steering wheel in optimum condition.
For hydraulic steering wheel systems, once you notice that the steering is hard to turn, you should undertake a visual analysis of the system. This will help you in identifying whether there are fluid leaks, fluid levels & condition, wheel pressure and wheel alignment & balancing. Additionally, assess the running of the engine to ascertain whether the pulley belt system is turning consistently and smoothly. If by chance, you notice that the fluid is leaking, or its level is low or if it has turned dark-brown, fixing these faults will most likely resolve the stiffness in the steering wheel.
Electric Power Steering
Defects and faults in electric power steering systems in new Volvo models are complex to fix especially for people without the skills and knowhow. This is because stiffness in these steering wheels may be a result of defects in electric components such as steering wheel sensors. In such instances, you should take the car to your mechanic for a professional diagnosis to determine the possible cause of the problem.