So pulling into my works parking lot, I took it a little too fast and hit the bottom of my front end on the ground. I noticed that instantly my steering was a little harder, so after pulling in to a spot, I checked under the front and noticed this metal thing hanging down. I’ve been trying to find out what it is online, with no luck. Here are some pics from my crappy phone, and a sweet hand made drawing of its shape/general location:
it is metal and looks like its hollow maybe, comes down from the car by the right wheel, goes toward the left wheel but then it turns around and goes back up where it came from.
So first question is of course, what is that metal thing, and is it related to steering? I can just push it back up and get it behind a plastic protector thing, so it seems like it just popped out of place when my car hit the ground.
Second question is, what else could have broken that would have messed up my steering? It is stiff, but not to the point where it seems like I don’t have power steering. With the engine off, it’s really hard to turn the wheel, but just turning the engine on and still parked, turning is easy. Something else I’ve noticed is that there is a new noise that is present when I am not actively turning the wheel. If the wheel is actively turning, all I hear is the motor, but when the wheel is still, it is almost like a rubbing noise, but it’s hard to really describe. Also when driving, the wheel doesn’t seem to recenter if you let go of the steering wheel during a turn.
I drove it just down the street to lunch, there’s not much else that I experienced in terms of bumps or shaking, and power steering fluid seems to still be almost full, no fluids underneath the car either.