It’s always hard to drive through a snow storm or navigate icy roads. The last thing you need are steering problems, but Shakopee, MN winters can make the wheel seem stiff and unresponsive.
If you feel like you’re fighting for control as you steer down the highway, don’t take any chances. Drive slowly and carefully, and plan on professional vehicle maintenance as soon as possible. These are the most common reasons your car becomes hard to handle on wintertime roads.
A Cold Start
When outside temperatures dip below freezing, the fluid that makes it easy to steer becomes thick. Avoid this problem by letting the car warm up for 10 minutes before heading out on a very cold day.
Low Fluid Levels
If you’re not sure about how to check the fluid level, take a look at your car owner’s manual. It should also recommend a specific brand for topping off the system. Make fluid level checks a part of your DIY vehicle maintenance routine.
Old, Contaminated Fluid
As fluid circulates through the hydraulic system and pump, it picks up tiny bits of debris. Metal and rubber particles interfere with performance and shorten fluid life. You can change out old power steering fluid by removing it with a turkey baster and replacing it with a recommended fluid.
Bad Drive Belts
If topping off or replacing the fluid doesn’t seem to help, the problem may be the system’s drive belts. They might be loose, frayed, or cracked. Your mechanic can tell you whether the belts need to be tightened or replaced.
The system that keeps things under control as you steer the car has several components that can develop leaks. Hoses between the reservoir and pump wear out, and seals and O-rings eventually degrade. If you suspect a fluid leak, take the car to your auto service center.
When the power steering pump begins to fail, it usually makes noises. If you hear squealing under the hood when you start the car or whining sounds while turning corners, it’s time to have the pump inspected by an auto repair pro.
Keeping You Safe on the Road
When the wheel in your hands doesn’t feel right, bring the car to our Shakopee, MN shop. Our master mechanics can identify and repair any type of problem. With seven locations across the state, you can count on Kennedy Transmission to keep you safe on the road year-round.