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Stiff steering at low speeds, no leak

06 Sonata LX
About two weeks ago i slid into a guardrail on an icy road. The damage wasnt bad at all just a small dent in between the driver side doors and a bent tie rod in the left front. I was only going about 10mph into the guardrail and the side of my car took most of the impact. After i got the tie rod fixed and the car back in the road i noticed it was very hard to steer especially when pulling out of a driveway or parking spot, once i was above 10mph steering was fine. I checked the fluid it was right above minimum but i drained it anyways and put in repair steering fluid up to the max. Ive been driving the car throughout the week and havnt noticed any leaks, steering fluid has been at the same level. Anyone know what could be causing the stiff steering? I dont hear any strange noises when making turns or pulling out of my driveway so not sure what could be wrong. By the way im not driving the car on the highway i know the car isnt safe to drive until i get the power steering fixed, just been driving it around my neighborhood to give the repair fluid a chance to do its job and so far it hasnt done anything.

This is your second post about this damaged vehicle having steering problems plus a wheel bent or something. Either have it repaired by a professional or send it to the salvage yard. It is a hazard to you and anyone around you.

I brought the car to firestone, they did a visual inspection and told me i need a new tire rod and needed my wheels re aligned. All of which i did. The car is not a hazard on a straight 10mph road which is the only road i have been driving it on to get a feel of what is going on with the car. I didnt make a post so people can tell me the car is a hazard when even without power steering my car is not a hazard unless making sharp turns or going at fast speeds. Im simply here to get an idea of what the problem is before i have to pay to get a thorough inspection, if its a simple problem i could fix myself.

You need to take it to an actual body shop…I wouldn’t trust most Firestone shops for anything more than tires

I wonder if there is internal damage to the rack, just guessing.


Agree with @Purebred I think you have a bent steering rack. At low speeds the power steering can’t generate enough pressure to overcome the rack’s new-found friction. Agree with @pyrolord314, Firestone is not the right place to take it seeing as how they missed this fundamental problem. Rather than a body shop, I’d suggest an independent auto shop that specializes in chassis work and alignment.

I’d test it by raising the front axle off the ground and steering it manually, engine off, key in the ON, unlocked position. Steer the wheel lock to lock and check for “stiff” spots where the effort increases. Steer it from each tire with the steering wheel lock off as well. Have someone watch the steering wheel movement while you turn the tire. If the rack is good, it should be consistent and smooth no matter where you are turning it. If it isn’t, pop off the tire rod end to free the rack and turn the knuckles by hand. They should also move freely lock to lock. You, or anyone else, will likely find the problem if you do this.