Why Is My Steering Wheel Hard To Turn? (11 Reasons Why)

Have you noticed that your steering wheel is getting harder and harder to turn? Is it giving you headaches or making it difficult to drive?

Is your steering wheel behaving strangely, as if it’s too hard to turn in a particular direction? Moving it should be easy, but you must apply some force instead. We are going to expose why steering wheels can be difficult to maneuver!

Why Is My Steering Wheel Hard To Turn?

1. Below Minimum Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid lubricates the steering system to keep the entire system operating smoothly without any resistance.

Usually, below minimum power steering fluid occurs if the fluid is dripping from the pressured hose location. However, the hose sometimes cracks or fractures, allowing the liquid to leak.

As a result, the steering wheel will become more difficult to turn when you have less steering fluid in the system since there will be nothing to lubricate the steering system.

2. Faulty Steering Rack

A steering rack is held in place by several shafts and U-joints. Thus, it will deteriorate and become worn out by just driving your car over the years.

Over time, if your steering wheel becomes tense or stiff after you’ve started your car, you’ll know something has happened.

Eventually, the steering rack will become hotter as the engine runs and heats up, allowing the oil to circulate more easily.

Due to this, a faulty steering rack can cause your steering wheel to be difficult to angle up, especially if it’s broken down from wear and tear.

Read More:  Why Is My Garage Floor Wet? (11 Reasons Why)

3. Busted Serpentine Belt

A serpentine belt is a power-driven rotating part that connects the steering gear to the engine.

Furthermore, it’s made up of several metal plates stacked on top of each other, with pulleys and a belt running through it.

However, if you’ve noticed that your car has been making strange noises while driving, this might be the root of the problem. This will cause it to become loose and the steering wheel to tighten.

4. Deteriorated Power Steering Pump

This component allows pressure from the engine to be transferred into the steering system and helps provide assistance during turns.

If this component fails, you will notice that your steering wheel does not give any resistance when you make turns.

In addition, the steering wheel will be much more challenging to turn if this pump stops functioning, especially at slow speeds.

Consequently, it feels like there is no resistance when trying to turn corners as the steering pump begins to malfunction.

5. Massive Steering Fluid

One immediate result of overfilling power steering fluid is spillage, which leaves the engine compartment disorganized.

Occasionally, you might experience foaming, which might cause components to wear out too quickly.

On the other hand, like other fluids in your car, the power steering fluid can become thicker over time. So if you don’t replace your power steering fluid, it will eventually become too thick to lubricate the system.

As a result, turning at slow speeds may be more difficult. It is best to flush and replace your fluid as soon as you reveal it is thick and black.

Read More:  Why Does My Truck Say Reduced Engine Power? (9 Reasons Why)

6. Abrupt Caster Angle

Abrupt Caster Angle

The car manufacturer can adjust the caster angle to balance steering effort, high-speed stability, and front-end cornering effectiveness.

In most cases, the more camber you have, the more the wheel will try to pull itself back to center and drive straight ahead.

Although it will take much more effort on your part, you will still be able to turn it. However, note that the wheels will be more difficult to turn for heavier vehicles.

7. Steering Fluid Leaks

If it is difficult to turn the steering wheel, you might have a steering fluid leak. When the fluid doesn’t smell strange, there’s likely a leak in the system.

Bearing that in mind, if you find a leak, check for cracks or other damage to the area where your tire meets the wheel!

8. Friction

Friction is the force that keeps the tires’ rubber from smoothly over the road’s surface. The surface of a tire is made up of fibers designed to grip the road and prevent slipping,

Normally, tires’ rubber can also become worn or damaged over time. This will result in increased friction between the tire and the road, making it difficult to maneuver your vehicle accurately.

9. Tire Inflation

When you have low-quality tires, they wear down quickly and won’t provide as much traction as they should.

Because of this, your steering wheel will become harder and harder to turn until you replace them with better ones or replace them altogether.

At this point, when the tires are not inflated properly, the car loses traction and can be challenging to steer.

Read More:  Why Are Roads Black? (5 Reasons Why)

10. Broken Suspension Spring

Suspension springs connect the car’s body to its wheels. They are primarily responsible for compensating for uneven road surfaces to ensure a comfortable ride.

Therefore, when the spring inside each wheel has been twisted by something heavy, hitting it too hard creates a lot of stress on the bolts.

Therefore, your suspension system may have gone haywire and can cause you to feel like your steering wheel is difficult to use.

11. Deformed Body Frame

A car’s body frame consists of the steering column and gearbox, which are connected by a shaft. Hence, the overall formations support everything from the floor to the roof.

Under some circumstances, a car may crash or collide with another, causing it to flip over multiple times.

As a direct effect, if the body frame is bent or deformed in any way, it can cause your steering wheel to be hard to turn and maneuver.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why your steering wheel is shakingwhy your steering wheel shakes at high speeds, and why your key won’t come out of the ignition.


Most cars will inevitably experience steering system issues at some point.

As you are aware, numerous causes exist, including a damaged serpentine belt, a defective steering rack, and a low-power steering fluid.

Therefore, it’s critical to understand where to start the diagnosis since it is pretty apparent when steering systems malfunction.

Leave a Comment