5 Ways to Improve Your Car’s Steering Response

Getting used to your car`s steering response is an important part of owning a vehicle. A driver should always be in sync with their car, so bad steering can throw everything off. If you`re having trouble getting used to the wheel, then there are a few tricks to improve its response.

1. Take Defensive Driving Courses

Most drivers get too caught up in the mechanical portion of steering response while ignoring the human component. A defensive driving course always serves as a refresher that drivers should never be in a position to `fight` their car. This small lesson goes a long way when you need to understand why the steering response is feeling off on your daily drive.

Another important aspect of defensive driving is getting back into the habit of the 3 to 4 second rule. This rule was created as a way to prevent drivers from getting into completely avoidable collisions. By following a few paces away from the car in front, you can stop a potentially dangerous driving situation from occurring. For bad weather and high traffic conditions, increase the number of seconds you follow behind another car.

No matter how much you improve the steering response, following too closely to another car will land you in a bad position. And if your steering response is already lackluster, then the damage will be even greater than expected.

2. Turn Off Updated Features

Modern cars introduce new convenience features to make driving more accessible. Some of these new features can even be labeled under the automated driving category. Advanced cruise control, automated parking, streamlined lights and even automated braking with detection. If the feature isn`t implemented in a professional way, then it can cause issues with steering response.

Unfortunately, turning off the updated features of a modern car isn`t always straightforward. In some cases, the only option is to manually disable the feature each time you start the car. When these are mechanics that mess with your steering, it can quickly become a game of aggravation. And when you`re on the road with other drivers, an unwanted steering feature is a major hinderance to your safety.

Calling your car dealership is the best way to remedy this problem. It`s important to prioritize the dealership over a mechanic in this situation. By going to a third-party mechanic to disable a root vehicle function, you risk voiding the vehicles warranty. There is a cost to this service, but it is well worth it for improving the vehicles steering.

3. Mods

This is often the most controversial and confusing subject when it comes to steering problems. A bad mod can mess up steering no worse than a good mod. An installed mod is made to improve the performance of your vehicle and increase its longevity. For most situations, you`ll want to contact a professional about installing a mod if it drastically changes the vehicle.

Custom wheel mods are installed for more than just looks. They can make the wheel more comfortable for the main driver. They can be small, large, stick out more or even have advanced vehicles controls embedded on the wheel. An advanced wheel mod won`t make things difficult, but a cheaply done one can wreak havoc with your control.

When you think of a steering wheel mod, it should also include steering wheel covers. They may seem harmless, but a bad steering wheel cover can affect your control more than a bad steering wheel mod. Even covers that start with a good grip will slowly lose the quality of their material over time. Before you reach the breaking point, replace the cover with a new one.

As for the actual physical mods, leave the complicated installs to professionals when possible.

4. Check the Suspension

A lax suspension on your vehicle will directly affect the steering. In tense situations on the road, it will also make it difficult to react. Without a good suspension, you are robbed of precious seconds that could potentially save your life. Getting regular checkups and maintenance work will prevent this from being an ongoing issue. But outside of the normal repairs, a driver still needs to keep their eye on driving oddities. If you drive often on a rough terrain with a van, you can hire experts for a bus conversion.

During winter, your suspension will get a nice workout. After winter, it is a good idea to get a checkup – even if it is before your regularly scheduled date. This is also good practice when there is a lot of unexpected wear on your tire. That is usually a sign that the suspension isn`t doing its job in balancing out the entire weight of the vehicle. Another sign of a bad suspension is when your vehicle is constantly shifting its weight as you change speeds.

Pay attention to these signs so that you don`t spend weeks fighting the steering wheel over an easily solved problem. 

5. Change Your Hand Positions

For some drivers facing steering wheel control issues, a change in hand position is all that is needed. This is almost insulting to think about for most seasoned drivers.

Bad driving habits don`t translate well to new vehicles that force comfort features onto unsuspecting owners. As mentioned before, updated features completely change how a driver interacts with a vehicle. When a car maker creates advanced steering features, they are usually targeting drivers that have two hands on the steering wheel. That is also why the steering wheel buttons are always in the 10 and 2 position – this is the expected placement for traditional car owners.

If you have a non-traditional driving habit, then the steering motion may never feel quite right. It isn`t impossible to find an optimal position for non-traditional hand placement, but you do run the risk of having an uncomfortable steering motion.

Drivers that want to improve the steering response of their cars may have to sacrifice their usual hand placement while in motion.

Drive Safe

Don`t let unresponsive steering be the cause of a terrible accident. It is one of many things that you are in full control of as a responsible driver. Keep your car in check, and everything will be okay on your daily drives.