Steering Shaft Malfunction in Land RoversPosted on: September 5, 2018
All cars are equipped with a steering shaft that is part of the steering system. Occasionally problems with the steering shaft come up, which compromise the vehicle’s function – primarily when it comes to steering functions. In this article we’ll go over why the steering shaft is so important for your Land Rover, how to spot the signs of malfunction, and what you can do to prevent this from occurring in your own Land Rover.
What is the steering shaft and what does it do?
The intermediate steering shaft is connected to the steering wheel and steering rack and functions as sort of a joint mechanism. This part is elemental to performing simple tasks like turning the wheels to move in a specific direction. Therefore, you can see why such a part would be integral to the entire vehicle’s functioning. Intermediate steering shaft malfunctioning is easy to mistake for the symptoms of another failing steering column piece, so it’s important to bring your Land Rover to a specialist for accurate diagnosis. Otherwise, you may wind up paying a lot of money for unnecessary repairs and part replacements.
Signs that your steering shaft is failing
Land Rover steering functions are normally smooth and highly efficient; however, the symptoms of a failing intermediate steering shaft significantly compromise the integrity of the steering system all together, diminishing the quality of the driving experience. It’s especially important to regularly pay attention to how your Land Rover is performing so that you can detect hints of malfunction early-on to avoid extensive damages to other parts in the steering system. Here are some of the symptoms of steering shaft failure that you should be vigilant of:
Grinding noises should never be present while turning your steering wheel. Sometimes noises like squeaking, clicking, or grinding are overlooked by drivers as a “normal” function of their car; however, odd noises while turning the steering wheel are concerning and should be checked out right away.
Visibly worn shaft bearings
It’s normal for parts to degrade and wear out over time – especially shaft bearings, as they take on a lot of strain and pressure while holding the steering shaft parts together. If bearings wear out, they could cause the steering shaft to fail, or a failing steering shaft could cause the bearings to corrode prematurely.
Steering wheel tilts easily
The steering in a Land Rover should be tight and sport quality. If the steering wheel itself feels loose or tilts easily without being adjusted, this could be indicative of steering shaft malfunction.
Steering wheel doesn’t return to the center position automatically
After turning your wheel, normally we let go of the steering wheel to allow it to return to the center position on its own; however, if the steering shaft is compromised then this function may not work properly. This can be dangerous, so it’s important to have it checked out right away.
Performance issues while turning
Going through turns in a Land Rover should be seamless and smooth; if you notice that turning isn’t quite as smooth as it once was or you’re finding yourself putting more effort into turning the vehicle, it could be related to a failing steering shaft.
How to prevent steering shaft failure
Staying on top of routine maintenance is the best way to prevent steering shaft failure. Although these are helpful preventive measures to take, it’s always possible for a steering shaft to fail after a collision or as your Land Rover ages and accumulates mileage. Here’s what you can do to help prevent failure:
- Consult a shop specializing in Land Rover vehicles
- Perform frequent inspections of the steering system
- Have any concerning symptoms diagnosed right away
- Use only high quality replacement parts for repairs
What we can do to help you
Here at European Auto Service Center, Inc., we specialize in Land Rover vehicles and other European imports. With three locations convenient locations, our services extend to Aventura/Miami, Boca Raton East, and Boca Raton West. If you’ve noticed changes in your Land Rover’s functioning, please contact us right away to inspect your steering system – your safety is always our first priority.
* Land Rover Discovery 4 image credit goes to: teddyleung.