What to Do If the Steering Wheel Malfunctions While Driving?

One of the most unexpected malfunctions while driving is a complete lock of the car’s steering wheel. This is a highly dangerous malfunction due to the driver’s inability to control and steer the car smoothly, which may lead to unfortunate accidents and pose serious injuries to the driver and those around.

Steering Wheel Lock While Driving

If you’ve experienced this situation or fear it might happen in the future, continue reading this article to find a solution to the steering wheel lock problem.

Causes of Steering Wheel Malfunction

Firstly, you should be familiar with your car’s steering system, which can be found in the owner’s manual. Some types of steering systems require more regular maintenance than others. Here are the available steering system types:

Hydraulic Steering System

This system uses a hydraulic pump to assist in steering. It may face certain malfunctions due to low hydraulic oil or power steering fluid. The issue could be a malfunction in the pump or damage to the serpentine belt responsible for transferring power from the engine to the pump. When this system, responsible for operating the steering wheel, malfunctions, you will need extra effort to move it, making the movement extremely difficult.

Electric Power Steering (EPS) System

This system utilizes an electric motor to assist the driver in steering the wheels. It is connected to sensors that transmit commands to the car’s computer, determining the necessary force the driver needs when steering at a specific angle. This system may malfunction due to overheating after driving long distances, making sharp turns frequently during the trip. There could be a fault in one of the components of the system. Similar to the hydraulic steering system, you’ll need to steer the wheel with great difficulty if this system malfunctions.

Integrated Electric Hydraulic Power Steering System

This system consists of a hydraulic pump operated by an electric motor, working independently of the car’s engine. Major malfunctions may occur due to a lack of hydraulic oil (steering fluid) or a malfunction in the electric motor that operates the pump. The pump or one of the electrical components of the steering may completely fail.

What to Do If the Car’s Steering Wheel Locks While Driving?

You can immediately solve the problem of a locked steering wheel and regain control, regardless of the speed you are driving or the type of road you are on. However, you should remain calm, especially if you are driving at a speed exceeding 60 km/h. When you notice the steering wheel is malfunctioning, follow these steps:

  • Gradually reduce speed.
  • Activate the hazard lights.
  • Use the car horn to alert those around you and encourage them to move away from your path.
  • Direct the car with all your effort and stop on the side of the road. Seek assistance from the nearest maintenance center.

Regardless of the type of steering system your car uses, you should check the integrity of the system components to avoid various malfunctions that could lead to unfortunate accidents. Since steering becomes challenging in such situations, you must be vigilant about the distance between you and other vehicles until you can safely park the car on the side of the road.

As usual, we remind you to visit maintenance centers for periodic car inspections and ensure its safety from time to time.

Finally, you can read the latest car news. You can browse the car reviews section on Motorcoaster to learn about the latest developments in the exciting automotive world, and you can view the best car tips & advice for maintaining your car to make it last longer.

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