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What Can Cause Heavy Steering?

In your driving theory test, you might get this question:

What can cause heavy steering?

These are the sort of answers you might have to choose from:

  1. Driving on ice.
  2. Badly worn brakes.
  3. Overinflated tyres.
  4. Underinflated tyres.

So what answer are they looking for?

What can cause heavy steering?

It’s d: Under-inflated tyres.

If your tyres are underinflated, your tyre pressure will be too low. This will increase your car’s drag on the road service, which will increase your fuel consumption and make it harder to steer. You’ll also have difficulty with braking, cornering and handling – which is why it’s essential to always inflate your tyres to the correct pressure!

You can read our complete guide to tyre pressure. Our guide contains tips on finding the right pressure for your tyres, and for ensuring that your tyres are never over- or underinflated.

Other Causes of Heavy Steering

But underinflated tyres aren’t the only thing that might cause heavy steering. These won’t necessarily come up in your theory test, but they’re still worth knowing:

Mechanical Problems

If your car’s an older car, many of its parts might be getting old and worn. If the steering rack, for example, starts to suffer, then you’re going to find it harder to steer.

This is the sort of problem that’s most obvious as soon as you start the engine. As your car warms up, the steering rack’s lubricant can become more effective, which will make steering easier. But if you don’t see to this problem as soon as you can, it’s only going to get worse in time. So if it’s noticeably harder to steer in the first few minutes after you’ve started the engine, see a mechanic as soon as possible.

Power Steering Issues

Many things can go wrong with your power steering system. The whole system relies on power steering fluid, which essentially transmits power from your steering wheel to your car’s wheels. Thanks to power steering fluid, you can turn your steering wheel with ease, and your car’s wheels will respond to every movement, no matter how small.

If you’re low on power steering fluid, you’re going to find it harder to turn. There’s a great guide to topping up power steering fluid on the Halfords website. You can even enter your car’s registration number to instantly find out which fluid is right for your car. Head here to get started.

But just like any other part of your car, your power steering system is subject to wear and tear. If you’re finding it harder to turn, you might be dealing with a power steering fluid leak, or a pump malfunction. And if you don’t regularly change your power steering fluid, dirt and debris can build up in your system. This too will make it harder to turn, especially at low speeds.

So if you’re finding it hard to steer your car, it’s a good idea to arrange a check-up as soon as possible. That way, you can fix any issues long before they become serious problems.

Learning to Drive?

If you want to pass your test first time, you should aim to get as much practice in as you can. Structured driving lessons with a trained instructor are essential. But if you really want to build up your confidence behind the wheel, you should also get some practice in outside of lessons.

Head here to read our complete guide to driving outside of lessons. We’ll tell you everything you need to know, including who can legally supervise you, and what other sort of legal requirements you’ll need.

One major requirement is car insurance. It’s illegal for any driver to drive uninsured, even learners. But at Go Girl, we offer car insurance for learners that will give you the cover you need at an affordable price. Head here for more information.