Torque shop

My six-year-old Suzuki Swift's steering has been behaving inconsistently. Whenever I turn the steering wheel fast, it seems to lock up, as if something is resisting steering input. At other times, it behaves normally. A workshop suggested that it could be a faulty or leaking steering pump or a slipping drive belt. What should I do?

Your Swift does not have a power steering pump. There is no hydraulic fluid or a steering-pump drive belt.

Assistance is provided by an electric motor in the steering column. The symptom you describe is typically caused by a weak electric power supply, which is common in some cars that have electric power steering assistance.

If your battery is old, you may want to first replace it. It should solve the problem.

Defective wiring and a failing power steering motor are two other possible causes, but they are much less common.

SHREEJIT CHANGAROTH

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2016, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe