How to Diagnose Steering Problems With Your Car

Posted on: 24 August 2016

Never ignore any problems you're having with your car's steering, as it's not likely that the problem will simply correct itself over time. It's more likely that it will get worse and, depending on the problem, may mean that your steering fails while on the road. Since the ability to steer your car depends on much more than just the steering column, note a few common problems you might have and what they may mean by way of repairs, and how some may not even be the steering column at all.


If you hear a banging noise only when you turn your car and find that it's difficult to control around corners, this can be broken gears in a differential. The differential is a set of gears that allows tires to move different distances but at the same speed; when you turn a corner, the inside tire is traveling a shorter distance than the outside corner, and the differential keeps them traveling at the same speed despite this difference. However, you may not notice a broken differential until you turn and the tires then need to have their speeds adjusted. There may also be a lack of lubrication between the gears that is causing the teeth of the differential to fall out of alignment.

A rumble when you turn is usually bad bearings along the wheels. These allow the wheels to actually turn rather than moving straight forward and straight backwards. As with the differential, you may not notice bad bearings until they need to work and allow the car to turn.


If your car pulls drastically to either side, you don't want to put off getting this checked; in some cases it can simply be that the tires need an alignment or one tire is severely worn and needs replacing. If the car pulls when you brake, this often means a brake pad is slipping and not gripping the rotors properly.

If the car pulls or skids when you turn, this too can mean the differential needs checking. If the gears are worn, the differential is not working to keep the tires moving at the same speed and, in turn, one tire may be trying to spin faster than the others. This can cause the car to pull in that direction. Not only is this dangerous but this can also put added wear and tear on the tie rods, which connect the tires to the steering column, and on the tire itself.