Old worn cap of power steering reservoir

What You Should Know About Power Steering

July 22, 2020 10:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Power steering comes standard in just about every vehicle on the market these days. If you begin having problems with your power steering, it can make it very difficult to operate the vehicle. You must take your vehicle to a repair specialist if you notice your power steering failing in any way, as it will become difficult to turn your vehicle and increase your risk of an accident.

So, how does power steering work, and what are some of the biggest signs of power steering failure in Madison, TN? Here are just a few examples of some of the things you should watch for.

Power steering fluid levels

You should always keep an eye on your power steering fluid levels, because if they begin to get low, it could result in problems with your power steering system. As a hydraulic system, your power steering needs a constant pressurized flow of this fluid, so if the fluid level starts to drop, the pressure will be too low for the steering to operate as intended.

If you have noticed your steering becoming jerky or the vehicle responding excessively when turning the wheel even slightly, this is a sign of low power steering fluid. You might also notice whining or other strange noises when turning if you have low fluid levels.

Turning the wheel is likely to become more difficult as the fluid level drops, up to the point when power steering fails entirely. Hopefully you notice the issues before it gets to the point of complete failure so you can make the necessary adjustments to your fluid level. Your power steering fluid is located in a reservoir with a dipstick, and you can use that dipstick to check the levels.

Pump pulley issues

Your vehicle will have a power steering pump located in the path of the serpentine belt. That belt runs over a pulley on the power steering pump. When the pulley turns, it engages the pump, which is what makes your power steering system work.

This pulley can wear out over time, so if you check it and see that the pulley is worn or does not spin, it’s likely the power steering pump will also fail. You should notice signs of potential failure before this becomes an emergency issue. Red flags to watch for include the steering not responding well when turning, or responding excessively. You might also notice burning smells under the hood, caused by the belt rubbing on the pulley or by pulley seizure.

Pump failure

The power steering pump also houses a number of highly sensitive components that could cause the pump to stop working if they fail. This will result in a complete loss of power steering.

You might be able to notice potential power steering pump failure if you hear strange noises while turning. The steering may also be slow to respond. If both of these issues appear, the problem is almost certainly with the power steering pump.

For more information about the power steering system and the most common signs of power steering failure in Madison, TN, get in touch with Rivergate Muffler & Auto Repair today.

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