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Steering System & Safety: Signs You Won’t Want To Miss

Photo by Austin Ramsey on Unsplash


Not many people outside of the auto repair industry know how the steering system operates. We found this great video that shows the steering system, and we hope it helps provide you with a few “ah-ha!” moments as you learn more about how your car makes turns.


All too often, people take the steering system for granted. It’s not hard to imagine why, either. You get into the car, start, put your foot on the pedals, and turn the steering wheel. It’s that simple!


But there are several signs you won’t want to miss regarding your steering system and vehicle safety. Here are a few things to pay attention to if you notice them taking place while driving:

Is your steering wheel lined up straight, and does your car continue to drive straight when you (briefly) take your hands off of the steering wheel? If the answer is no, you may need a wheel alignment to ensure your tires are lined up correctly.

Do you feel it’s harder to turn your steering wheel? If you don’t have power steering, you may be accustomed to working those arm muscles to maneuver your vehicle. But if you have power steering and your steering wheel feels super tight, you could have contaminated steering fluid, a loss of hydraulic pressure, or a gearbox that’s running with too much heat. 

Do you notice a red or pink fluid leak underneath your car after it’s been parked? If you do, your vehicle could be leaking steering fluid. A leak could create bigger problems and steering failure, so be sure to get an inspection from a reputable auto mechanic.

Do you hear any grinding noises when you turn the steering wheel? If that is the case, take your vehicle in for repairs immediately. You may be hearing metal-on-metal grinding, which is likely due to missing lubricant and will further lead to an overheated gearbox. Reduce your risk of steering failure and bring your car in for a steering system inspection to uncover what’s going on.

Does your car smell like burning oil? If the answer is yes, that could be due to leaking and burning steering fluid. Of course, it could be caused by other reasons. But if you notice any of the signs listed above and smell burning oil, chances are high a skilled auto mechanic will find issues within the steering system.

At Ponder Auto Repair, we fix everything but a broken heart. You can be confident that we will find the root cause of your steering system issues and do everything within reason to ensure your safety is not compromised due to your car’s steering system. 

If your check engine light has appeared on your dashboard or your steering system feels less responsive than usual, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Ponder Auto Repair. We'll get to the root of the problem to ensure that your steering system and tires are all working together safely. Schedule an appointment with the technicians at Ponder Auto Repair in Johnson City, TN, for an inspection.


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