Unless you’re a mechanic or have spent years learning the ins and outs of your Land Rover, there’s a good chance you might not know what to do when car parts begin to fail on your vehicle. You may not even know how to identify which Land Rover parts are the culprits. While you don’t need to know everything, having a bit of knowledge can help you take care of small issues before they become big, expensive ones. Consider, for instance, your steering column.
Steering components aren’t that easy to maintain, mostly because of their position in the car. It pays to pay attention to these car parts, however. Most drivers may not even think about them- until they stop working correctly. The moment you feel something “off” about, it however, you need to take care of it.
The following are some common problems you may experience with your steering components and a few reasons behind them.
Situation One: The wheel begins to vibrate every time you accelerate or when you’re travelling in a straight line at a constant speed.
There are several reasons that could cause a slight vibration in your steering wheel when you’re travelling down the road. If the road is bumping, a bit of vibration is completely normal. However, if you’re travelling on a smooth, flat road with no potholes in sight and you have to fight to keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, there may be other reasons behind that vibration, including:
- Wheels that are not in balance- To fix this, simply take the car to a garage and have them realign and re-balance the wheels.
- Loose Bolts- Loose bolts and wheel lugs can be dangerous, as you wheels could come off mid-drive. To repair this problem, pull off the motorway in a safe manner and check the lugs to see if they need tightening.
- Damaged Brake Discs- If the brake discs or even brake pads are broken, vibration may be present in the steering column, and you may have trouble braking quickly. Replace these car parts, as well as the rotors in your Land Rover if necessary.
- Worn Tread- Your tyres play a big role in how your car drives. If the tread is worn and uneven, the tyres will need to be replaced before the vibration stops. Keep in mind that the tyres may need to be re-balanced and realigned after they have been replaced so they all work well together.
Situation Two: Every time you drive over a bump in the road, you hear clunking.
If the clunking is coming from your steering column, you’ll need to make sure your steering mechanism isn’t causing you trouble. Some possible causes for this issue include:
- Strut Bearings- When your strut bearings wear down over time, they can cause this knocking sound. Check them to see if they are damaged. Keep in mind they should both be replaced at the same time.
- Ball Joints- Check your ball joints to see if there are any signs of wear. These Land Rover parts should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to your car and keep you safe on the road.
- Strut Assembly- Your suspension is what keeps your car on the road. If you hear the knocking noise and also experience bottoming out, bouncing or swaying every time you go over a bump, the strut assembly components may be broken.
Situation Three: Your car screeches when you drive slowly or park it.
Even if you have no mechanical experience, chances are you know this isn’t a good sign. It often means you have problems with your:
- Power Steering Belt- Take a look under the bonnet at your power steering belt. Does it look frayed, worn out or damaged? You may need to replace this car part and adjust it as your car needs to prevent the screeching noises.
- Power Steering Belt- If the belt isn’t worn out or damaged, it might simply be too loose. This means you won’t have to actually replace the Land Rover part. You just need to adjust it so it is as tight as it needs to be.
- Power Steering Fluid- Are those screeching noises accompanied by trouble moving the steering wheel in either direction? If so, the issue could be that you don’t have enough power steering fluid in the car. To fix this, add some more and then check for leaks. Continue to check weekly to see if the levels are lower than they should be. If they are, locate the leak and fix it as quickly as possible.
Situation Four: Sloppy steering.
Unless you’re trying to drive after one too many pints, sloppy steering may not be your fault. It could be, like stated above, low levels of power steering fluid. It could also be the fault of other car parts, like:
- Steering Rack Mounts- Damaged steering rack mounts can cause problems with steering. These will need to be either repaired or replaced to solve the problem.
- Damaged Components- Components like wheel bearings, tie rod ends, steering racks and other small Land Rover parts play a big role in how easily you are able to control your vehicle. Look for signs of damage to any of these parts and replace them as needed.
- Strut Bearings- Again, these car parts can cause steering issues and can lead to sloppy driving. Check them for damage and replace them as quickly as possible for your safety and the safety of others driving around you.
Not all steering column problems were mentioned in this list. There are other car parts that could be to blame for your steering complications, but these are the most basic and most common. Many times, these symptoms won’t occur on their own. They’ll happen in groups, and you might feel like your car is basically shouting at you to help it. Don’t ignore it when this happens. Maintaining control over you vehicle while you’re driving is essential to your safety and can’t be done with a broken or damaged steering column. Inspect these components regularly for the best results.