If you’re a truck driver, you know that steering is one of the most critical aspects of driving. A faulty steering system can make it difficult to control your truck and even be dangerous. Read on to understand the five most common steering issues and how to fix them.
1. Faulty Steering Box
The steering box in a truck is responsible for translating the driver’s input from the steering wheel into the movement of the wheels. A faulty steering box can cause several issues, including losing steering control, wandering, and difficulty turning.
The most common cause of a faulty steering box is wear and tear. Over time, the components in the steering box can break down and cause the steering to become loose. It can be caused by several factors, including driving on rough roads, hitting potholes, or even regular wear and tear.
2. Leaking Power Steering Fluid
Trucks rely on a power steering pump to make steering easier. As the pump operates, it pressurizes fluid and sends it to the truck’s steering gear. If there’s a leak in the system, you’ll likely see fluid on the ground where your truck is parked.
To check for leaks, look for dampness or fluid on the power steering pump, hoses, and fittings. If you see leaks, tighten the fittings or replace the hoses. You may need to add fluid to the system if it’s low.
3. Rack and Pinion Issues
One of the most common steering issues is a problem with the rack and pinion. The rack and pinion are significant components in the steering system, so they can cause all sorts of problems when it goes wrong.
Truck drivers who notice that their steering is suddenly very stiff or that their steering wheel is vibrating excessively should take their truck to a mechanic as soon as possible. These are signs that the rack and pinion are failing and must be repaired or replaced.
4. Bad Ball Joints
Truck ball joints play a vital role in the suspension system, providing a smooth ride as the pivot point between the control arms and steering knuckles. Over time, they can wear out, causing vibration and looseness in the steering. You may even hear a clunking noise when going over bumps.
It may lead to breakage and cause the tire to come off the vehicle while driving if left unchecked.
Read more: Truck Breakdown Problems and Causes.
5. Worn Suspension Bushings
Every truck has suspension bushings connecting the vehicle’s frame to the suspension components. Over time, these bushings can become worn and cause several steering issues.
If you suspect your suspension bushings are worn, have a professional inspect them as soon as possible. Worn suspension bushings can cause problems like poor wheel alignment and uneven tire wear.