Steer Clear: The Importance of Maintaining Your Car's Steering Wheel
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One of the parts of your car you may not realize needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained is your steering wheel. If you think about it, your steering wheel is one of the most important parts of your car. If you can't grip it properly, you can't steer it properly. The rest of the story need not be told. Let's cover how you can "steer clear."
About every 10,000 miles have your steering system checked out by a mechanic. There are two types of hoses in the steering system. One carries fluid from the rack to the pump and the other carries fluid from the pump to the rack. If your power steering gets tight, that is a clue that there is a problem with the fluid getting delivered to your pump. A mechanic will be able to tell you if either of your hoses or your pump is weakening and avoid any problems before they arise if you follow through with a 10,000-mile maintenance routine.
Check Power Steering Fluid
Performing routine maintenance checks on fluids is important. You can check the power steering below the hood using the same method as you would when checking the oil and the transmission fluid. Just use a dipstick to see the level of your power steering fluid you have. It is a good idea to check the fluid right after you have driven the car a short distance. Once it is stopped, turn the wheel from the left to the right and back before you check the fluids. This will ensure that you get an accurate reading of how much fluid you have.
Clean It Regularly
Your steering wheel is a breeding ground of dirt, grime, and bacteria. All the invisible nastiness that is on your hands and under your fingernails tends to transfer to your steering wheel. If you allow this to continue to build up, your steering wheel can eventually become slippery with the grime. Our hands have natural oils on them, and they mix with the grime creating what can be a dangerous situation when your grip slips considerably enough for your hand to leave the wheel. Make sure you clean it regularly with an all-purpose cleaner to avoid this.
Consider a Cover
Not only can a steering wheel cover reduce the grime and damage that is done by normal daily driving, but it can also reduce driver fatigue. If you find a steering wheel cover with the spongy memory foam on the inside of it, you will find that the stress on your hands after driving long periods of time is relieved. you can even find covers that are ergonomically made with molded fittings for the thumb and four fingers of each hand. When going over bumps in your vehicle, a good steering wheel cover will act as a shock absorber soaking up those vibrations and keeping them from going into your hands.
It may not seem important, but your steering wheel should be a part of your routine maintenance in order to ensure you can keep your vehicle where you want it on the road.