Reasons For Your Heavy-Duty Truck Steering Issues

Mechanic repairing heavy-duty steering issues at Fran Rock.

Steering issues in your heavy-duty truck are pretty common. When you come across a steering issue, it’s best to have your truck booked in for service at a diesel repair shop so that a technician can determine the exact reason for the issue and proceed with the necessary repairs. We will share some of the most prominent reasons for heavy-duty truck steering issues to make your life easy. 

Unfortunately, there aren't many indications of steering problems before they get out of hand. One of the things to listen out for while spinning the wheels is any odd sounds, mainly if the heavy-duty truck is fully loaded. That may be a precursor to corrosion in the steering system, worn-out pressure release valves, or even a problem with the hydraulics, which in specific models may operate the steering pressure.

Often, it's too late to detect heavy-duty truck steering issues before they render your vehicle inoperable. It’s advised to keep any heavy-duty truck with steering problems off the road until the issue is resolved. 

Common reasons behind heavy-duty truck steering issues 

Heavy-duty truck steering problems may be brought on by everything from the tires to electronics, just as with an automobile. These are often the most frequent causes of heavy-duty truck steering problems that we have identified.

Issues with pressure valves 

Some heavy-duty trucks (particularly older models) include a separate steering pump that controls steering independently. However, most heavy-duty trucks nowadays have steering pressure controlled by the hydraulic system, which employs a secondary valve. If these valves are worn out, loose, or in the wrong position, they may often be the source of steering problems. These valves often need to be replaced with the assistance of a trained heavy-duty truck mechanic or maintenance crew.

Rubber gears 

The problem may be worn gears if turning the steering wheel doesn't seem to have much of an effect, and you have to spin the wheel nearly completely to obtain even a little amount of movement from the tires. Worn gears may quickly destroy your heavy-duty truck steering, especially in older trucks or ones that have worked for thousands of hours. This can be especially common if you use a previously owned heavy-duty truck.

Steering fluid problems 

Sometimes the obvious solution is the correct one. Your heavy-duty truck's lack of steering fluid might result in excessive friction and heat, which wears out the steering mechanism's components. Make sure you check and top up all fluid levels in your heavy-duty truck regularly.

A hydraulic system employs the force of an object pushing against a liquid to move an object, which is how power steering works. These devices may effectively manage your heavy-duty truck since they can generate enormous forces with minimal energy input. However, the hydraulic fluid must be free of contaminants for this harmonic system to function correctly. 

Contaminated fluid can damage several parts, including your pump, by wearing down fittings, clogging the steering system, increasing friction, and more. For this reason, you should replace the power steering fluid in your heavy-duty truck at the manufacturer's suggested interval, which may be found in the owner's handbook.

Insufficient fluid levels

Your power steering system requires a particular quantity of fluid to flow through it effectively. If the pressure builds up too high, your valves and seals may lose their integrity. If not enough, the fluid won't be able to spin your heavy-duty truck with the necessary power. While timely fluid replacement may help avoid this problem, any leaks might result in fluid loss and eventually cause power steering failure.

Damaged belts

A pump that is driven by the engine enables power steering. Because your engine and power steering pump are coupled, any stretching, fraying, corrosion, or fracture might result in an instantaneous system failure. Every time you have maintenance performed, we advise checking the condition of your power steering belt and replacing it if there are any indications of wear, aging, or damage.

Steering pump damage

The critical element of your system is the power steering pump. Pumps are fairly resilient, but they may lose their effectiveness. A pump's early failure might result from excessive strain (i.e., strain from being pushed to operational limits like turning your steering wheel to the right or left). Your pump could be failing if you start to hear a lot of noise as you spin the wheel.

Excessive force

Potholes, sudden bumps, and harsh jolts on your wheels are just a few of the less-than-ideal driving conditions that power steering can tolerate. It's crucial to keep in mind that your system isn't impervious to attack. Pumps, belts, and other steering system parts can break under sudden, excessive tension. 

Maintenance issues 

Contrary to popular belief, keeping your power steering system in good working order is simple. You may reduce the abrupt stress on your system and keep it functioning for many years by driving carefully and reliably. Like other parts of your heavy-duty truck, routine maintenance pays off in the long run.

Misaligned tires 

The tires on your heavy-duty truck may fall out of alignment depending on the brand and model, the job you're performing, road conditions and other factors. This is often brought on by a broken steering cylinder, which may need repacking or replacement ultimately. Occasionally, a single wheel may drift over time, leading to misalignment due to worn linkage and a leaky diverter valve within the steering system.

Final words 

Your best option for resolving any problems with your heavy-duty truck steering, unless you have an in-house truck specialist servicing your fleet, is to hire a diesel repair professional to identify and resolve your concerns. Then you can get the issue fixed and have your truck running back on the road. 

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