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Matt, Engineer
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 21599
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer BEng Hons22 years experience in car engine industry, 10 years in formula 1
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The steering wheel of my manual Kia Picanta is stiff so it

Customer Question

The steering wheel of my manual Kia Picanta is stiff so it didn't pass the warrant test. It steers Ok when moving but that doesn't help it pass the warrant test.
JA: How has the car been driving lately? How many miles are on the car?
Customer: fine. If anything there is the occasion when the steering can seem rather loose momentarily so I just take extra care. km = 56 000
JA: What is the model/year of your Kia?
Customer: 2011
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: The same problem occurred last year at warrant so whatever a garage did was only temporary. And the warrant officer said the Kias seemed to have a steering problem so I was looking for hints what to do.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: no
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Kia Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Kia
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


if the steering effort seems high the 1st thing to check is if the fluid level in the power steering reservoir is up to the mark ( check this when the engine is warm)

also if the drive belt on the front of the pump is in good condition and the pump isn't making any odd noises especially when you turn the steering

Then check that the tyre pressures are correct to those stated in the manual / on the door jamb sticker,

if this all seems OK then I'd jack the car up so the front wheels are off the ground and move the road wheels from lock to lock by hand feeling for any tight spots as you move it

To feel if there's a worn strut top bearing then lightly hold the spring by hand and have your assistant move the steering from left to right with the wheel on the ground - a worn bearing will feel 'notchy' through the spring. The wheel needs to be on the ground for the test to load up the bearing

if its tight throughout the movement this could be a faulty steering rack or a seized strut top bearing

if you've been getting any strange clonking or 'boings' from the front suspension this points to a worn strut top

if there are tight patches of movement then its likely that a steering column universal joint is seizing up

so try dousing the joints one at a time in WD40 - or similar penetrating oil and turning the wheel in between to see if this makes any difference

Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


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