When you are operating your vehicle, you might notice a check engine light turn on that has a steering wheel with an exclamation point. This is a light that indicates that there is something wrong with the steering wheel fluid. There might also be a fault in your system. This is something you should have corrected as soon as possible because you will have a harder time steering your vehicle otherwise.
Why Your Steering Wheel Must Turn Easily
If your steering wheel is harder to turn, your vehicle will be much more dangerous to operate. As a result, you won't be able to easily maneuver your vehicle in an emergency and you might suddenly find yourself in an accident.
Your Steering Wheel Might Be Leaking Fluids
Low steering wheel fluid is the most common reason for the engine light and for your steering wheel being stiff. The fluid will usually leak because you have a crack in the steering wheel that allows the fluid to seep out. When you're turning the steering wheel, you might notice a squealing noise.
If your steering wheel fluid is leaking out, this will lead to the fluid pressure being lower and will also dry out the pump. If your pump becomes damaged, this can make steering more difficult and less efficient.
The Fluid Might Be Contaminated
Even if the steering wheel fluid isn't leaking, it might become contaminated and may become very thick. This can lead to the steering wheel becoming difficult to turn. A manufacturer will recommend that you replace the steering wheel fluid at certain intervals. The steering wheel might be consistently difficult to turn or it might only be difficult to turn when it is cold out or when making sharp turns.
Have Your Engine Light Checked
If you're not sure why your power steering light indicator is on, it's important to have an engine light check performed. The technician will be able to check the computer and inspect the vehicle to determine if there is a problem that needs to be corrected.
There are various other factors that can affect your ability to turn the steering wheel. This includes making sure that your tires have enough air pressure, checking the rack and pump for the power steering, making sure that the drive-belt works, and checking front-end suspension components. Operating a vehicle with a steering wheel that's difficult to steer is dangerous and it's important to have the problem resolved as quickly as possible.
For more information, contact an auto service such as All German Auto.