Your steering column is part of the overall steering system, and while it may not look like much, it is critical to keeping your car on the road and moving in the direction that you want it to move. If your steering suddenly starts feeling loose and you can’t find any other reason for it, then it’s probably time to start shopping for a new steering column.
The steering column does much more than just hold up your steering wheel. It provides a conduit for many of the electronics that your vehicle needs in order to perform correctly. When you’re looking around for a new steering column, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind – most notably that you’ll need to purchase the entire assembly as these probably won’t come alone unless you decide to go to a junkyard – something that is not recommended.
Here are some things to note when purchasing a steering column:
Make sure it contains fittings: Your rack-and-pinion system or your power-assisted system both need to contain fittings for the inner tie rods, so everything will mesh together as expected.
Correct type: It’s important for you to know what type of current steering column you have, so consult your automotive manual to be sure you’re getting the correct parts.
Purchasing entire assembly: Purchasing the entire assembly at once can also assure that there are no core changes which would affect performance down the road.
Warranty: Warranty is important with these types of parts. Be sure whatever you choose has an adequate warranty to protect you from defects.
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Steering Column and was authored by Valerie Johnston.