To reduce the need for driver effort to steer the vehicle, engines use a system called “power steering”. It is a hydraulic system that uses power steering fluid to create pressure to change the direction of the wheels. This means you won’t have to struggle with your steering wheel when trying to take turns. Common Power Steering Problems
When your car’s power steering system starts to fail – or the fluid needs to be replaced – it can make it very difficult to control around curves and corners. Here are some common problems that are associated with the loss of your power steering system.
Leaking Power Steering Fluid – The power steering system uses a particular fluid to transfer pressure to change the direction of your wheels. If this fluid is compromised and a leak occurs, the fluid’s ability to pressurize is difficult to do. This means that curves and turns can be nearly impossible. You can easily spot this as you will see fluid leaking from the driver’s side. There is also a grinding sound when turning. If you run out of fluid, you could burn out the power steering pump.
Cracked, cracked, or worn hoses — Every part of your vehicle wears out over time. Driving puts stress on your car’s parts and this can cause damage. After a few years, you’ll notice that the hoses connected to the power steering system have hardened and begun to crack. Your fallopian tubes are also located too close to other parts and tubes can be worn. This can cause holes or cracks in the hose that will eventually leak out the power steering fluid.
Loose Hose Couplings – Just as your hoses can become damaged during normal use of your car, the couplings that hold your tubes together can become loose. This can be caused by vibration, sudden bumps, or system pressure.
Slipped Drive Belt – A slipped drive belt on the power steering pump is a common power steering problem. This will prevent your car from completely changing direction as there is nothing to tell the pump which direction it should be pushing. You can easily spot it if you hear a crackling sound when you turn the steering wheel in sharp turns.
Worn steering pump – As your car gets older, so does the power steering pump. Pump seals and internal parts break and fluid pressure drops. This can be diagnosed through loss of steering ease and a squeaking sound.
Preventive Maintenance Can Eliminate Causes of Power Steering Failure
Now that you know some of the symptoms of a failing power steering system, if you think your car may be in need of repair, take it in for an expert inspection.
Most of these issues can be prevented through regular inspection and maintenance. Taking your car in for regular maintenance is the only way to keep your car healthy and performing at its best. Let our experienced mechanics help you prevent power steering failure, as it is critical to getting you to your destination safely.