Depending on when you learned how to drive, you may have learned that 10 and 2 was the ‘right’ way to hold your steering wheel. Today’s driver’s ed classes and recommendations from the NHTSA, however, teach that this is actually incorrect, and that 9 and 3 is right instead. What’s the truth? Let’s take a look.
The Right Way To Hold Your Steering Wheel
So, is there a right way to hold your steering wheel? The short answer is, “Yes”.
The right way to hold your steering wheel is at the 9 and 3 position.
- Don’t hold your steering wheel at the 10 and 2 position
- Don’t hold your steering wheel at the 12 o’clock position
- And definitely don’t use your knees to steer!
Why Is Holding The Steering Wheel At 10 and 2 Wrong?
But holding the steering wheel at 10 and 2 wasn’t always wrong. Prior to the universality of power steering, this position was optimal for leverage and maneuverability.
What changed? The reason is tucked behind the front housing of your steering wheel — your car’s airbag. As it turns out, this life saving device can have some unintentional consequences.
When deployed, your airbag inflates at 200 miles per hour in an upward direction, which is the first reason that your hands shouldn’t be near that half of the steering wheel. With hands held at 10 and 2, your airbag could also push your hands into your face, causing injuries to your hands and/or face.
That’s why the best way to hold your steering wheel is at the 9 and 3 position. This gives you excellent maneuverability and reaction time, as you’ll be able to turn the wheel in a 180 degree direction on a moment’s notice.
It’s also recommended that you don’t hook your thumb over the rim of the steering wheel. Instad, let your thumb rest on the face of the wheel. This will prevent your hands from getting caught if your airbag deploys.
When Steering Isn’t Easy: The Signs Of Low Steering Wheel Fluid
Every once in a while, you might notice that it’s taking an unusual amount of effort to turn your steering wheel. Low power steering fluid might be the culprit. This fluid is located in the hydraulic system that powers the steering in your car. How do you know if your steering wheel fluid is low? There are a few key symptoms.
- Difficulty steering: This is the biggest – and hardest to miss – symptom of low steering fluid. You might notice that you’re getting a minor workout just to turn into a parking space.
- Your steering wheel won’t move: An upgraded version of ‘difficulty steering’, your steering wheel can simply refuse to move if the power steering fluid is too low – or empty.
- Your turns suddenly have their own soundtrack: And not a pleasant one! When your steering fluid is low, you may hear screeches, groans, and squeals every time you try to turn your car.
- There are pink or red stains on your garage floor: If you notice that you start seeing red and pink liquid on your garage floor, especially in conjunction with difficulties steering, your power steering system may have a leak. It’s important to get this problem addressed by a mechanic, as pink and red fluid can also be antifreeze and/or coolant.
Power Steering Repair And More At T3 Atlanta
Whether your steering wheel fluid is low or you simply need routine maintenance, T3 Atlanta is here to help. Our fast and friendly service shops in Smyrna and Decatur are convenient to the metro area so you can get back on the road quickly.