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Can a car's turning radius decrease over time?


Patrick425

Ok, I know next to nothing about cars. I own a 04' Hyundai Santa Fe, purchased it new. When I first bought it, I was amazed at it's turning radius. I would drop my kid off at day care in the morning and I could do a U-turn in the street without hitting the opposite curb or having to make some sort of Y-Turn procedure. Now, on that same street, I can't do a complete U-turn without having to stop and back up to avoid hitting the curb (Y-turn). By the way, I know it's not a 'legal' move. Please don't respond and tell me that. It's not a busy street.

 

So, what causes a car to have a decrease in it's turning radius?

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Guessing, I would start my investigation on the power steering system. Maybe the fluid is not working to 100%, maybe the pump isn't either. Or maybe the the steering rack is showing signs of wear. If you have the 4WD model, that usually limits turning radius on some cars, but I don't know if that would decrease turning ability over time. I don't think a bad alignment would affect turning, at I presume low speeds, but could be wrong.
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