The steering shaft is an integral component in your car, as it helps ensure you have complete control over your vehicle while driving. That is because the steering shaft is responsible for translating the motion of turning the steering wheel into the physical movements of the vehicle’s wheels.

Because of its tremendous importance in control, you should make sure the steering shaft is inspected as soon as you think there might be a malfunction. Steering shaft failure is life-threatening to both you and other drivers on the road. Let’s take a closer look below.

Symptoms of Steering Shaft Failure

If you think the steering shaft of your vehicle might be compromised, look for the following signs the next time you’re operating your car:

  • Difficulty turning the wheel: If you encounter fundamental problems when turning your steering wheel, it is potentially a result of a malfunctioning steering shaft. When you experience difficulty steering your wheel, you will also require more force to turn at the appropriate angle when driving. This increased force means that you are more likely to veer off-road if operating under this condition, as you might misinterpret a proper turning angle.
  • Irregular base wheel position: A car’s steering wheel is expected to return to a straight position when the driver lets go of the wheel. However, this can fail if the steering shaft is not performing correctly. If your vehicle’s steering wheel does not bounce back once released, this is a sign of steering shaft failure. If the wheel does return to straight, but to an improper angle (meaning the wheel is grossly tilted to the left or right), this is also a potential indication of steering shaft failure. This can lead to accidents and other driving mistakes if not corrected.
  • Strange noises: If you hear a strange sound coming from your vehicle, it could be due to a steering shaft malfunction. A faulty steering shaft will create a popping or clunking noise that will start faint but will grow increasingly louder if unfixed.

Common causes of steering shaft failure

By far the most common problem that results in steering shaft failure is needle bearing corrosion. The steering shaft has 4 sealed needle bearings that are waterproof and are largely resistant to external damage. However, a broken seal of a needle bearing can lead to the grease of the needle to dry out, which leads to rusting, corrosion, and gliding.

Because the grease is more likely to dry up when the seal is broken, a broken seal can eventually lead to moisture penetration of your vehicle’s steering shaft as well, which can cause rusting and corrosion of the steering shaft itself. If this issue becomes too severe, it can lead to serious damage to the steering shaft.

If you are able to determine this problem early on, you can resolve the issue by greasing the bearings of your vehicle manually. While this is not a long-term solution (as the grease will eventually dry up again because of exposure), it will buy you enough time to schedule an inspection with a mechanic at your convenience. You will need an experienced mechanic to assist you in creating a long-term solution to the problem.


Dell’s Service Center Will Help

If you believe your vehicle’s steering shaft is damaged or believe the seal of the needle bearings is broken, Dell’s Service Center can help fix the problem. We have served the Green Bay area for over 20 years to provide drivers with fast and reliable service to their vehicles. Because we’re located in Green Bay, WI, Dell’s Service Center also supports drivers in the Manitowoc and Sturgeon Bay areas. Dell’s is your leading European auto repair facility, servicing vehicles such as Mercedes, Porsche, Land Rover, and many more.

You can expect us to use the most up-to-date servicing methods and equipment to ensure your vehicle receives the quality care it needs to keep you and other drivers safe. Schedule an inspection with one of our ASE certified master technicians now to help resolve your steering shaft issues and get your vehicle back on the road where it belongs. Call us today.

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