If your steering wheel keeps turning all the way but your car doesn’t move, there could be many reasons behind it. The most common reasons are uneven tire pressure, broken steering shaft, unequal wheel alignment, weak steering connections, low power steering fluid, broken ball joints, and faulty wheel bearings.
Keep reading this article to find out more about these problems and how you can tackle each of these problems.
Table of Contents
- Steering Wheel Keeps Turning [7 Easy Solutions]
- 1. Uneven Tire Pressure
- 2. Broken Steering Shaft
- 3. Unequal Wheel Alignment
- 4. Weak Steering Connections
- 5. Low Power Steering Fluid
- 6. Broken Ball Joints Or Tie Rods
- 7. Faulty Wheel Bearings
- Why does the steering wheel keeps locking up when turning?
- Is my steering wheel supposed to turn all the way around?
- What causes steering wheel to not turn?
- How do you check steering fluid?
Steering Wheel Keeps Turning [7 Easy Solutions]
We’ll look at why the steering wheel turns but wheels don’t when you drive your car. Let’s dive in!
1. Uneven Tire Pressure
The correct tire pressure is necessary for your steering wheels to function properly. If your steering wheel keeps turning left or right, that could mean that the pressure on your tire is too much or too little.
A good rule of thumb is that the tires that look distressed on the outer edges don’t have sufficient pressure and the ones that look distressed on the center have too much pressure.
Getting your car’s tires to the right pressure will solve the problem here. Check for holes in your tire and make sure there are no leaks in your tire. Adjust the pressure and your steering wheel will work fine if this was the problem.
Note: You can also read how to change a tire on a single axle travel trailer like a professional.
2. Broken Steering Shaft
The steering shaft is connected to the gearbox. If your steering wheel feels loose and keeps on turning, chances are that your steering shaft is stripped. You’ll usually hear a snapping sound if that happens.
This is a complicated issue and you’ll have to take it to a mechanic. The steering shaft may also break the clock spring when it gets stripped. You’re looking at spending around $400-$500 to fix this issue.
3. Unequal Wheel Alignment
A common symptom of an unequal wheel alignment is that your car will keep steering in one direction automatically. Your car has this issue if the steering wheel keeps turning right or left along with your car on its own.
This problem can also be caused by unequal brakes. You’ll notice this if you see that your steering wheel automatically steers in one direction when you apply the brakes.
Have your mechanic fix the wheel alignment for you. Check that the steering wheel is centered and locked to ensure that your mechanic has done a good job. If your brakes are causing the problem, stuck calipers are the most likely culprit. Your mechanic can solve that issue for you too.
4. Weak Steering Connections
Several components connect the steering wheel to the front tires of your car. These components are the steering column, steering shaft, rack, pinion, tie rod and tie rod joints.
When the steering wheel is rotated, these parts work to make sure the front wheels steer in the right direction. The steering system becomes loose and sloppy as these parts become weak.
Try to visually identify which of these parts could be causing the problem. Get that replaced if you see visible wear and tear. However, you must take it to the mechanic for an inspection if you have no clue which of the parts have become faulty.
Any of these parts could cause the problem. There’s no telling which of these parts is causing the trouble unless you show it to a mechanic. Your mechanic should perform a dry park test to identify the problem.
Your mechanic will hoist the car up so that he can get a better look at the problem. He’ll monitor the steering linkage sockets and should be able to tell you what’s causing the problem.
5. Low Power Steering Fluid
Steering wheels require steering fluid to move as the car as the driver wants. But, the steering wheels won’t operate properly if it’s running low on steering fluid. Your car will make noise when you move your steering wheel if it’s low on steering fluid.
Refill your steering fluid if this is the issue. Keep checking the fluid level from time to time. Driving with a malfunctioning steering wheel can cause an accident. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
6. Broken Ball Joints Or Tie Rods
This is also a common cause of your steering wheel not working. Especially, if you see that one of your front wheels is not moving. It means the malfunctioning wheel isn’t connected to the steering rack. That’s because one of the components is broken or misplaced.
The ball joints can be misplaced after using your car for a long period. There’s also a chance that your tie rods may have broken too. These are the two components that are usually damaged if one of the wheels is not moving.
You need to take the car to the mechanic to know what’s exactly causing the problem. You’re in luck if the ball joints or tie rods aren’t broken. They’ve just changed their places and your mechanic can adjust them with ease. However, it’ll cost you a decent sum of money if they are broken and need to be replaced.
7. Faulty Wheel Bearings
There’s no way that you’re going to miss faulty wheel bearings. They usually make lots of noises before going bad and pull the car in one direction as they’re going bad.
It’s extremely unsafe to drive your car with faulty wheel bearings. Contact your mechanic and get it fixed as soon as possible.
Why does the steering wheel keeps locking up when turning?
Low power steering fluid and steering linkage failure are the most common causes that make your vehicle lock up when turning.
Is my steering wheel supposed to turn all the way around?
It depends on your car. Normally, it’s okay to turn your steering wheel all the way for a few seconds. You’ll know if something is wrong as your steering wheel would feel loose and unnatural.
What causes steering wheel to not turn?
Power steering pump failure can stop your steering wheel from turning. Either you’ll have to tighten a piece of the pump that has gotten loose or replace it.
How do you check steering fluid?
Remove the steering fluid cap and check the level. There are usually three levels: high, medium, and low. Check it twice to ensure that your results are accurate.
Now you know some of the most common reasons why the steering wheel keeps turning repeatedly. Fixing a steering wheel isn’t an easy job. You can’t do it over the internet or by yourself. Take it to a competent mechanic who’ll know what to do to solve your problem.
We hope this guide has been helpful to you and we’ve steered you in the right direction. Leave a comment below if you have any questions for us.
About John M
John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.