What is an inspection for a steering wheel that does not turn car inspection?
When a mechanic performs a steering wheel does not turn car inspection, they will troubleshoot problems with the power steering mechanism or a fluid leak.
Your car’s steering system is made of several parts. Each component works together to help you turn the steering wheel with minimal effort. Just one damaged or malfunctioning part can result in a steering wheel that doesn’t turn.
How to repair a steering wheel that does not turn car
A mechanic will check out some of the most common culprits of steering issues:
- Steering wheel lock is engaged: Modern vehicles all come equipped with a steering wheel lock. When the engine is off, the steering lock engages and the wheel is impossible to turn. If your steering wheel doesn’t turn only when the engine isn’t running, it’s likely due to the steering wheel lock.
- Damaged steering shaft: A damaged steering shaft is not able to transmit the steering wheel’s turning motion to the gearbox which is bolted to the engine. If this happens, you’ll be unable to turn the steering wheel—although this is very rare.
- Damaged intermediate shaft: The intermediate shaft has U-joints at its ends that connect it to the gearbox or rack and pinion. Broken or damaged U-joints make it difficult or even impossible to turn your steering wheel and will render your car useless if they aren’t replaced.
- Low power steering fluid: If you cannot turn your steering wheel, this could mean the power steering fluid is low. A squealing sound when you try to turn your wheel can also be a sign of low power steering fluid. Often, low power steering fluid levels are caused by a leak. Check underneath the car’s engine for leaks of red or pink fluid.
- Faulty power steering pump or pulley: When you cannot turn your steering wheel, a damaged power steering pump or pulley could be to blame. Seals and other components of the power steering pump wear down over time, making it difficult to maintain a consistent level of fluid pressure. A damaged pump or pulley will eventually stop working completely, and you won’t be able to turn the steering wheel.
- Worn out serpentine or drive belt: Your stiff steering wheel may be the result of a stretched or overly worn serpentine belt. As the serpentine belt stretches and becomes badly worn, it slips on the power steering pump pulley and cannot give the steering system the power it needs. A damaged serpentine belt must be replaced.
How important is an inspection for a steering wheel that does not turn car?
A car in this condition is very unsafe to drive because it is impossible to control. When a steering wheel does not turn the car it signifies a more serious problem. In order to get your car back on the road, you’ll need to have it inspected and repaired.
Cars purchased at a dealership typically come with a warranty period. It’s important to know how long your car is under warranty. As long as the warranty period has not expired, the dealership’s mechanics will make the necessary repairs at no cost to you.
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