If you feel like your best workout in the morning is moving your steering wheel, then you absolutely need to bring your car into a dealership and/or auto repair shop as soon as possible. A steering wheel that moves sluggishly—especially at lower speeds—is usually the first sign of a faulty steering system, which is a driving hazard that increases chances of a serious, conceivably deadly accident.
These are other symptoms or a failing steering and suspension system:
- Loose steering wheel that turns more than regular
- Vibrating steering wheel, particularly at higher speed
- Porpoising (continuing to bounce after going over a bump)
- Vehicle pulling to one side while with no input from driver
- Wheels wiggling back and forth (Wheel shimmy)
- Parking accompanied and screaming and/or screeching
- Steering feels it still moving, even as you hold it still
- Knocking over bumps
Even if you only notice one of these indicators you need to locate an auto mechanic right away. Never delay a possible issue with your steering; if you are not sure, bring to someone who can repair it.
The gear box(transmission) is part of your steering system; a gear box transfers power from one device to another allowing the second device to move. A faulty gear box can have deadly consequences, without which your vehicle becomes a 3000 pound missile. If your gear box fails while driving at highspeed—any speed really—your wheels could lock up and you will have no control of your vehicle.
Do not ignore these indications of a faulty gearbox:
- If you hear your engine sound whining or suddenly change in pitch while you a driving at a constant speed, it could mean your gear has changed.
- If you notice any leaks from vehicle components, that is normally the first sign of an issue.
- A rough shift indicates a difficulty in changing gears, usually accompanied by a loud knock of thud when attempting to change gears.
- If a standard transmission if your vehicle does not change gear immediately when you change gears or in automatic if there is a longer than usual pause when you shift from “P” to “D” you have a problem.
Now, these are signs and indicators of a problem and for the most part, by the time people notice them, there is a good chance that these conditions have existed for quite some time. Be proactive; regularly check for issues with your vehicle at least once a week. Try these out for starters:
- Turn off your radio and listen for strange and unusual sounds.
- Check for tire wear that is uneven.
- Check underneath your vehicle for leaks (reddish fluid is trouble for certain).
- Take note of anything that does not seem right and inform your mechanic if you need to bring your vehicle in.
Bottom line, you have to pay attention to your vehicle. Do not take for granted that if your vehicle starts and moves you are ok. Please do not neglect your vehicle’s safety; you take care of it and by extension you and your loved ones.