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What was your Vehicle TELLING YOU about SAFETY KNOWLEDGE before the traffic accident

It is not always about the MUD and GRIME on your vehicle and parts!

Suspension problems can also cause drivers to lose control of their steering and collide with other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians. Regardless of the cause, auto manufacturers are legally responsible to ensure all steering system parts work properly and are free of defects. Worn struts and shocks should be replaced in pairs (left and right) and should be done as soon as problems are noted. You may be able to live with a little bouncing under normal driving but that same little bounce may cost you 30 or 40 feet in braking distance during an emergency stop. Those 2 Vehicle lengths may be the difference between avoiding an accident and being the cause of one.

Steering and suspension systems are fairly robust and generally not too much goes wrong with them. With the advent of rack and pinion steering and the use of strut suspensions, a lot of moving parts have been eliminated. But, things can still go wrong and cause a Vehicle to become hard to control. When something is wrong the very least that will happen is your tires will wear out very quickly; at most, it can lead to an accident. Your Vehicle’s steering system is designed to keep you safe and to help you safely get around road hazards, avoiding dangerous accidents. Sometimes steering systems fail and the result can be a devastating accident. Some of the causes of the failure can be faulty hydraulics to the power steering, a jammed steering lock, damage to the steering linkage, or a faulty power steering pump. Complete failure of the steering system may make the steering wheel virtually impossible to turn.

As with any Vehicle problem, the causes can range from a mere inconvenience to major repair. Here are some things to look for when you have a Vehicle that doesn’t handle or respond properly, bearing in mind that these are only a sampling of the more likely causes:

Vehicle seems to bounce too much: When you are driving down the road and hit a bump, your Vehicle keeps bouncing for a while. This will gradually get worse as time goes by.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– The shock absorbers are worn or leaking.
– The shock mounts for the shock absorbers are broken or bent.

 

Steering wheel is hard to turn: You find that it’s getting more difficult to turn the steering wheel. It feels like something is binding or dragging. This may or may not happen suddenly or get worse over time.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– Low tire pressure.
– The wheels are out of alignment.
– The power steering box or rack or power steering pump is bad.
– The fluid level in the power steering reservoir is low.
– The power steering drive belt is damaged or broken.
– The steering gear needs to be lubricated or repaired.

 

Hard steering: You notice it takes much more strength to turn the steering wheel. This is especially noticed when you are trying to park. The problem seems to be getting worse.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– Low tire pressure.
– The steering gear needs to be lubricated.
– The wheels are out of alignment.
– A part of the steering linkage is damaged and doesn’t move freely.
– Your steering box needs to be adjusted.
– You have a problem with the power steering pump.

Loose steering: You notice that the steering wheel is very easy to move and feels sloppy. It creates an uneasy feeling on the highway because it seems you have no control of your Vehicle. The problem seems to be getting worse.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– Steering linkage is worn and parts need to be replaced.
– Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened.
– Your steering box needs to be adjusted.

 

Power steering doesn’t seem to be working: It takes a lot of effort to turn the steering wheel. In fact, at low speeds you can hardly turn it. The problem is less obvious at high speeds simply because you need to move the steering wheel less at those speeds. The problem may have occurred suddenly.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– No fluid in the power steering reservoir.
– You have a bad power steering pump.
– The power steering drive belt is broken.
– The fluid in the system is contaminated and needs to be flushed and refilled with fresh fluid.
– You have a steering linkage problem.
– There is a leak in the power steering lines.
– Low tire pressure.

 

Vehicle pulls to one side while moving: As you drive, the Vehicle tends to pull to one side or the other. You need to constantly hold the wheel firmly to keep the Vehicle going straight. This will have happened over time and is usually only noticed once the pulling has become severe.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– Tire pressures are not equal.
– The wheels are out of alignment.
– One brake is dragging or isn’t releasing.
– Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened.
– Your Vehicle’s tires are not worn evenly.

 

The Vehicle seems to wander down the road: As you are driving, you notice that you must constantly correct the direction of the Vehicle by turning the steering wheel. The problem seems to increase at higher speeds. This problem may occur gradually and get worse over time or it may appear suddenly.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– The Vehicle is overloaded or the weight is unevenly distributed.
– The wheels are out of alignment.
– The Vehicle’s springs are weak.
– Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened.
– The front wheel bearings are out of adjustment or are severely worn.

 

Steering wheel jerks: When you are driving slowly or idling, the steering wheel jumps or jerks. You don’t see any other problems as far as steering and handling go. It seems to be getting worse over time.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– The power steering drive belt is damaged or loose.
– The fluid level in the power steering reservoir is low.
– The engine is idling too low.
– You have a problem with the power steering pump.
– The steering linkage is rubbing against something.

 

Steering wheel vibrates: At 45 to 60 miles per hour the steering wheel begins to vibrate. You also notice that the Vehicle is vibrating or twitching. This can be very dangerous. If you notice the problem only occurs when you step on the brakes, it will make diagnosis simpler.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– Warped or damaged brake rotors and/or drums.
– Loose wheel lug nuts.
– Out-of-balance wheel and tire assemblies.
– Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened.
– Bent or damaged wheels.
– Severely worn or damaged tires.

 

Steering wheel shimmies: You notice a side-to-side wobble in the steering wheel when traveling at steady speeds. The vibration gets worse when you are on an uneven road surface or after going over a pot hole.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– Tire pressures are not equal.
– Out-of-balance wheel and tire assemblies.
– Worn or damaged tires.
– Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened.
– You have worn suspension parts.

 

Noises while turning a corner: You notice a knocking, clunking and/or squeaking noise when you turn a corner. Everything else seems to be fine except for the noise. The problem seems to be getting worse over time.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– The steering gear needs to be lubricated or repaired.
– Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened.
– Your tires are hitting or rubbing against something.
– You have worn suspension parts.
– Something is rubbing against or hitting the steering column.

 

Noises from the power steering unit: You notice a whining or moaning from the steering when you turn the steering wheel all the way in one direction. Everything else seems to be fine except for the noise. The problem seems to be getting worse over time.

POSSIBLE CAUSES:

– The power steering drive belt is damaged or loose.
– The fluid in the power steering system has air in it that needs to be bled out.
– The fluid level in the power steering reservoir is low.
– The mount for the power steering pump is loose or damaged.

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