Some truck drivers hesitate to take their vehicles for repair when they suspect that the vehicle has steering problems. That hesitation may be due to the fear that the repairs will be costly. However, not all steering problems are costly to repair. This article discusses how you can identify and rectify some of the common truck steering problems.
The most common cause of a stiff steering system is a shortage of hydraulic fluid in the system. There may be a major leak if the problem develops suddenly. You can confirm that this is the case by checking underneath the truck for spilled fluid. If none is present, check the hydraulic fluid level using a dipstick. Top it up if you find that the fluid level is lower than it should be.
Another common cause of a stiff steering system is a problem with the serpentine belt and hydraulic pump that are responsible for pressurising the hydraulic fluid within the steering system. This is a bigger problem that calls for a professional so don't attempt to fix it unless you have the requisite tools and skills.
Intermittent Stiffening of Steering System
In case you notice that the steering system of your truck intermittently becomes stiff, check the condition of the hydraulic fluid. Sniff the fluid to find out if it smells awful. See whether its colour has changed from what it usually is. Hydraulic fluid should never be so dark that it almost looks black. In case you notice any anomaly, flush the fluid out and replace it with new fluid. This will buy you some time before you take the truck to a technician for detailed inspection and repair of the cause of the hydraulic problem.
Off Center Steering Wheel
Your truck may have an alignment problem if you notice that the steering wheel remains off center even if the truck is moving straight along the road. The problem may also be caused by damaged suspension components. This usually happens after the truck has hit a kerb. The best way to rectify centering problems is to have the truck realigned or repaired in case it has damaged suspension parts.
As you can see, many of the steering problems that your truck may have can be fixed without spending a lot of money or time. You should therefore take prompt action in case you suspect that your truck is developing steering problems. This will prevent the problem from getting worse.
For more information, contact Bob Wade Fleet Maintenance or a similar company.