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Steering Wheel is Stiff

Sometimes my steering wheel is hard to turn. It has 60000 miles on it. What do you think it can be?

It could be a failing power steering pump or even a failing rack.

Have you checked your power steering fluid reservoir? Are there any red drips from under the rack?

Are there any other symptoms? if the engine is idling too slowly the steering can be hard while idling.

Have you checked your tire pressure? A low tire is another common cause of hard-to-turn steering.

If all of these things are good, you may want to bring the car to a good chassis shop. You might have a bad ball joint or tie rod end.

Does the problem usually occur when the streets are wet?

Excellent point, Rod. The belt that drives the power steering pump could be slipping. Another item to check.

When was the last time the tire pressure was checked, if ever?

I have check the power steering, thats fine. I figure since the car had 60000 miles on it, I should change the belts. I am changing the belts and hoping that will work. If it doesn’t, my other option will to look at the pump. I check the tire pressure all the time. I am hoping its not the rack because those are a plain to replace. I don’t think it is because Toyota’s don’t have a history of failing racks.

Does the hard steering only occur in the morning?

Tester

No, it occurs all the time, but sometimes it runs smooth and there is no stiffness.