Steering System: The Basics
Give this exercise a try for a super simple illustration of the dynamics of a steering system: stand up and face forward. Now, turn your body so that it’s facing the right.
Try it again, but this time pay attention to how your feet move. In all likelihood, your right foot moved a little bit, pivoting in place, and your left foot moved a lot (at least in comparison to your right). Your whole body changed direction, but your feet rotated different amounts. A similar thing happens with your steering system and wheels. When your car enters a right-hand turn, the two front wheels must both be placed at an angle, with the angle being much steeper for the inside (right) wheel.
The complexity of the steering system comes from how the system’s two major components, the steering wheel and your vehicle’s front wheels, are linked.
Steering & Alignment
Even when all of the inner workings of your steering system are operating to the best their ability, there’s still one more thing to keep in mind when it comes to steering your car in the right direction: wheel alignment. Safe steering and proper wheel alignment go hand in hand.
When your car was first manufactured, your wheels were pre-set at special angles to keep them running straight and driving smooth. In order for your vehicle to travel and respond to your steering the way it’s supposed to, it needs precise alignment.
Unfortunately, your alignment can get thrown off when you bump into a curb, hit a pothole, or drive on rugged, unmaintained road. Improper alignment can shorten the lifespan of your tires and affect your ability to steer safely and accurately. If your car pulls to the right or the left, your steering wheel is crooked when you’re driving straight, or your tires are squealing, it may be time for an alignment.
Is Your Car Headed In The Right Direction?
Proper alignment helps ensure your vehicle will move in the direction you steer and in the way you expect. Steer clear of a potentially dangerous driving situation with a simple alignment at Daks Toyota automotive center. Our technicians will inspect your vehicle’s steering and suspension system during the process to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. Contact us today. We’ll get you pointed in the right direction!