Have you ever tried to drive a car without a power steering system? Well, you probably noticed how important it is for modern driving. The power steering system makes maneuvering your vehicle safer, easier, and more comfortable. It also allows you to swerve to avoid unexpected obstacles such as animals, pedestrians, etc. that are not paying attention. The power steering system plays a big part in the safety and agility of your vehicle which obviously needs to be dependable.
And, it is! However, it is not immune to damage or breaking. There are different things that can go wrong with this system.
Power Steering Fluid Replacement
A power steering fluid replacement has to be done by the manufacturer’s specifications to be able to protect the system from any unnecessary damage. Most power steering systems need fluid in order to create hydraulic pressure to diminish the amount of effort to steer the car.
This fluid has detergent and anti-corrosive additives that cleans and lubricates the system from the inside. These additives can help protect moving components from any excess friction, ensure smooth operation, and prevent fluid clogs.
The additives can wear out with time and no longer give adequate protection to the system components. Hoses can start deteriorating and bits of rubber can break off and cause clogs in the fluids. Worn, contaminated fluid can also attract water, which will speed the deterioration process, lead to leaks, and corrode connectors and hoses. If the fluid can’t flow properly because of leaks or clogs, steering performance will deteriorate and become choppy and rough.
Leaks in the power steering system can increase the amount of effort needed to steer and can lead to loss of control and uneven steering. Low fluid levels also can cause pumps to fail, poor fuel economy, and damage to other components. Repairing leaks as soon as they come can save you from expensive repairs, like a power steering pump replacement. If your system fails, you can still drive and steer the car, but not very efficiently.
The slower the vehicle is going the harder it is to maneuver it without the help of this system. However, system malfunctions can cause the steering to lock up and you will not be able to maneuver or drive your car and will require it to be towed to the auto body shop.
Serpentine Belt Replacement
In some newer cars, these systems rely only on an electric motor which helps the driver’s effort to steer the car. However, in most cars, the drive belt or serpentine belt drives the pump that pressurizes the fluid and helps with hydraulic steering. The serpentine belt can wear out over time adding extra stress to the pump. Replacing the serpentine belt according to factory service recommendations can be the way to prevent damage to these components.
Signs Your Car is in Need of Power Steering Repair
- Low or contaminated fluid – if the fluid is always low it could indicate a leak
- Difficult, choppy, or rough turning
- Whining/high-pitched noise after a cold start
- Mechanical steering problems
- Pump issues
- Car is pulling to one side
Driving Advice to Avoid Damages That Require Power Steering System Repair
- Avoid hitting potholes or bumps hard
- Avoid turning the steering wheel hard to one side and hold it there for more than a few seconds
Choose Our Complete Auto Shop
Sudden Impact Auto is a certified auto service shop. We use high-quality parts and have a guarantee for our repairs to last a long time. We also offer free diagnostics! Over 35 years of experience in auto repair and service in Las Vegas NV. Call us today at 702-457-3002!