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Steering Feels Loose at High Speeds

Steering wheel feels loose at high speeds

If the steering wheel feels loose and sloppy especially at higher speed, it is an indication of a problem caused by one or more faulty front end components. However, this problem has also been known to be caused by overprinted front tires.

Now, using a tire pressure gauge, check the air pressure of each front tire and compare it to what it's supposed to be (refer to the vehicle's owner's manual if you are unsure of the correct pressure).

How to Check Tire Air Pressure
The tire tread life will be reduced if the tire air pressure of your car is below the car manufacturer tire air pressure specified on your car owner’s manual.
Learn more: How to Check Tire Air Pressure

If the tire pressure reading is significantly higher than normal, the problem is over-inflated tires that causing loose sloppy steering.

Tires that are over-inflated don't "hug" the road well. As a result, they have a tendency to sort of "bounce around" as the vehicle is being driven. Further, the faster the vehicle moves, the more the tires "bounce". This bouncing effect is transmitted to the steering linkage and, hence, results in loose and sloppy steering.

What to do? how to fix loose steering wheel?


Let some air out of each front tire. Refer to the vehicle's owner's manual for the correct air pressure. Doing this should improve the steering problem. However, if it doesn't, the cause probably lies with one or more loose/worn front end components.

If the tire is not higher than normal, then the problem is not over an inflated tire and it could be one or more loose or worn front end components.

Since "overinflated front tires" was ruled out, the only other possibility is something involving the vehicle's "front end". Now... you may be asking, "What exactly is the front end?" Well, very loosely, it's all those bars, rods, levers, and other gizmos underneath the front part of a vehicle. Specifically,

We are referring to such front end components as the tie rod ends, ball joints, and control arms. These parts all contribute to a vehicle's handling performance and are critical towards achieving "tight" steering. If any are loose or worn, the steering will be loose/sloppy.

Front end suspension components

What to do?

Have a mechanic inspect the front end of this vehicle and make any necessary repairs. Please take care of this problem very soon. Why? Because the loose/sloppy steering means the handling is poor and this spells "hazard". Try to find a garage that is approved by the AAA. Such garages tend to be reputable and, best of all, if you do have a dispute after the work is done, the AAA has a policy to investigate the situation and resolve it.



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