As important as accelerating and braking is the ability to control your vehicle’s direction. The steering system is designed to help you travel in the path that you’re turning the steering wheel. It’s made up of several parts and works closely with the suspension system. But a vehicle’s steering system parts can be damaged or wear, causing potential handling and safety issues.
At Xavier’s Auto Center, we help Philadelphia drivers keep their steering and suspension systems properly maintained and in good repair. With expert ASE-certified technicians and high-quality parts, choose Xavier’s as your auto service facility for reliable steering repairs.
What’s included in the steering system?
While there are different designs in use among carmakers, three general areas of the steering system need to be maintained and corrected.
Power steering system
Two types of power steering systems are used in modern cars. The most common is hydraulic-based and uses fluid power to reduce the effort required to steer. The power steering pump circulates power steering fluid to the steering rack – also known as a rack and pinion – where a valve directs fluid to one side or the other to reduce steering effort. A high pressure hose and return hose carry fluid back and forth. A newer design uses an electric motor to assist steering, typically integrated into the steering column assembly.
Several mechanical components are also included in the steering system. They include tie rods and tie rod ends that connect the steering rack to the wheel knuckles and ball joints that allow suspension travel along three axes to turn the front wheels. For some trucks and SUVs, a steering box, idler arm, and pitman arm perform the same functions.
Proper adjustment of the system’s parts is required for easy steering, and that process is known as wheel alignment. Essentially, a car’s designers find the optimal angles for camber, caster, and toe to maximize steering assist while reducing strains that cause steering problems.
Common steering repairs
If it’s harder to turn your car than normal, it feels like it’s wandering on the road, you hear a whining noise when turning, or you’re hearing clunks or rattles, you could have a problem with the steering system. Common steering repairs include:
- Loose or damaged tie rods or tie rod ends.
- Worn ball joints
- A leaking power steering rack or hoses.
- Improper wheel alignment.
Come to Xavier’s Auto Center for steering repairs
Steering repairs should never be ignored. Instead, bring your car to Xavier’s Auto Center if you’re in the Philadelphia area. Our technicians will identify the issue and advise you how best to correct it. For your peace of mind, we back all repairs with a worry-free 24-month/24k-mile warranty.