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When Should You Replace the Steering Column in Your Car?

Posted on March 11, 2019 by smikyautomowp

Your steering column serves an important purpose, and no matter the vehicle it is important that you understand when it is time to replace your power steering column. It is equally important to understand what purpose it serves and why you should be aware of signs indicating it’s time for a replacement.

When you drive, your first step is to put your key into the ignition and turn it. To control your wheels and movements, you keep your hands braced on the steering wheel. Each of these components is attached to the same central power steering column. These components work in tandem with all of the other parts in the power steering column to provide you with complete control over your vehicle and to make it easier for you to maneuver.

Because this part is so central to how you interact with your vehicle, it should be pretty obvious when it begins to fail. Things will become stiff, clunking, create weird noises, and you will feel that something is wrong as you steer your car. It is important to have this part replaced as soon as signs of failure begin to show up.

What the Steering Column Does

Your steering wheel is a component linked to the shaft located on your steering gear. It is linked with an intermediate shaft and the steering column. The steering column is the top portion of this system, and the bolts for the steering wheel actually bolt onto the top. The lower part of this column attaches to that intermediate shaft we mentioned above so that everything fits together.

The upper part of your steering column is what holds the tilt steering mechanism and your ignition housing. When you put your key into the ignition, that component is held inside of the steering column. When everything is working properly it all happens so smoothly that you’ll rarely be aware of all the components working together, but when parts start to fail it may become more obvious.

Symptoms of Failure

Your steering column should be replaced at the earliest sign of failure. Understand that the steering column is an integral component to your ability to control your vehicle. If you notice that something is wrong and you let it worsen, it could cause serious problems for you down the line and even lead to vehicle malfunctions and accidents.

So what symptoms are indicative of failure? The first symptom is that your steering wheel binds when you try to make a turn. Another symptom is that your steering wheel will not return back to the center once it completes a turn. If you notice that when you turn your steering wheel it feels loose or clunking, this could also be a sign. You may also notice that when you turn your steering wheel, you hear a squeaking or creaking noise. If your column tilt fails to lock in place, this is also a problem.

Remember that this particular issue is something you want to get fixed as soon as possible. Once you noticed one or more of these symptoms, it is time to get a replacement and have your vehicle reviewed by one of our professionals. Steering failure can cause dangerous driving situations, and if you wait too long you won’t be able to properly control your vehicle.

Trust the Pros at St. Matthews

If you notice any of the symptoms of  a failing steering column, it might be time to get a replacement. However, it is important to understand that your airbag mounts to the top part of your steering column, so a professional should be the only person to work on this particular component. Mechanics will also have the proper equipment necessary to perform a wheel alignment, which should be performed any time you have work done to the steering column, as this guarantees that the steering wheel is centered.

If you are having problems with your power steering column and you believe it is time for a replacement, come to one of our locations and have our team of professionals help you fix the problem. At St. Matthews Import, we are happy to help. We offer convenient locations throughout Louisville, KY and multiple locations like our Hubbards Lane location for automotive service and repair.

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