Why is your steering wheel hard to turn?

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Your power steering has a lot to do with the way your car handles. A sudden change in steering could be any/all of the following: low fluid, a broken belt (there is a belt that connects the engine's main drive pulley to the power steering, alternator, air conditioning, etc. pulleys) or the power steering pump went bad. Before you take your car to the shop, check the fluid and the belts to make sure they are OK. Note that loose belts are the same as broken belts. The belt MUST have the correct tension in it for it to work properly. In virtually all modern cars, belt tension is set with a spring loaded pulley that should always maintain the correct tension. You should check out the belt tensioner too. If all these check out properly, then the power steering pump is the next most likely culprit. Finally, the power steering rack - the thing that couples the hydraulic pressure from the power-steering pump into the steering mechanism - may need replacement or rebuilding.
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