Steering Systems

Steering Systems & Rice Tire

The steering system on your car is made up of a collection of components, linkages, tie rod ends, steering box, etc.  collectively these components are the system.  The primary purpose of the steering system is to allow the driver to guide the vehicle. Clearly a very important thing and something you want to make sure to have checked regularly.  Steering issues can masquerade as wheel alignment issue (click her for more details on wheel alignment) and both are closely tied together.  

The steering system while being it’s own system is also a part of the larger overall Suspension System and something we inspect when servicing those components as well.

Generally speaking, there are two types of steering systems, rack and pinion and parallelogram.  Both can be found either manual or power assisted.  If you’ve ever driven behind a manual steering “box” you know the feeling of the “heavy feel” and hard to turn steering wheel.  Parallel parking being reserved only for the heartiest of souls.  Power assisted or “power steering” makes turning the wheel a breeze and sliding into that tight spot almost a non-event.

Steering Systems

Rice Tire Rack and Pinion Vs Parallelogram Steering System Diagram

We understand it can be difficult keeping up with all the required vehicle maintenance your car or truck may need and that it can seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  Just add it to your regular oil & filter changes & tire rotations. 

Rice Tire is #1 place to go if you need tire or wheel needs, automobile maintenance, and repairs in the mid-Atlantic region.  We have 11 locations throughout Washington DC, Baltimore, Maryland, and Virginia. We are in, or near your neighborhood making us your best local tire shop.  Give us a call, we are happy to schedule an appointment to check your wheel alignment.

How can I tell if I have an issue with my steering system? 

Here are a few telltale signs that your vehicle may need to be adjusted:

  • Wear on your tires.  We don’t mean normal wear.  We are talking about abnormal.  Do your tires show wear on just the inside of the tire?  Or outside? Is there any scalloping of the tire? What about feathering?  Regular tire rotations with a qualified technician will help you keep your wheels aligned correctly.  They are trained to notice any abnormalities in the tire wear and inform you if you need a wheel alignment.
  • Does your car handle loosely when driving?  Does your car feel like it is wandering on the road or sloppy in the curves?  These are symptoms that you should have your steering system checked.  
  • Does your steering wheel return to the center?  After a turn, your steering wheel should return automatically to the center.  If it does not,  you should have it checked.  
  • Does your car make clunking sound (or any strange noises) or do you feel a clunk when turn the wheel?
  • Does your car make a “squealing sound” when make a turn?  This is a sure sign of an issue with your power steering pump or belt and something that should be looked at immediately.
  • Does your vehicle pull to one side or “wander” when driving down a flat, even road?   
  • Is your steering wheel centered?  Is the emblem on the steering wheel level?  When you are driving down a level road, your steering wheel should be nearly perfectly straight.  If you notice that your steering wheel is off more than a few degrees, it’s time for an alignment check.

Get your vehicle checked today!

Rice Tire is here to help answer any questions and to schedule any type of service.    We are your full-service stop for tires, tire rotations, and wheel alignments.  Our technicians are trained to look for potential problems and have the experience to fix them.   Rice Tire has 11 locations throughout the mid-Atlantic area. We are in your neighborhood. We are in your city.

Rice Tire for your oil change needs, and more……

Not only is Rice Tire the largest tire dealer in the area, but we also offer vehicle maintenance services to help keep your vehicle in top running shape.  We have been servicing our client’s vehicles for more than 60 years. We pride ourselves on the relationships we have built over the years. Making us your go-to local tire shop for all your vehicle needs. 


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