3 Causes Of Power Steering Issues

Posted on: 4 July 2018

Your steering system is undeniably one of the most important mechanical systems within your vehicle, as it directly controls the direction of your vehicle. This means that any sort of mechanical issue that affects the effectiveness of your steering can represent a huge safety risk for you and your vehicle, and can greatly increase the risk of an accident or collision occurring.

Understanding what some of the warning signs associated with steering issues are, and what underlying mechanical issues that they point to are, can help you identify steering issues early and head to a mechanic as soon as possible to have them addressed before they can potentially grow worse.

1. Steering Fluid Leaks

Steering fluid provides the pressure that allows your power steering system to work: if a leak develops, your steering wheel will quickly become much harder to turn, offering more resistance while driving. You should check underneath your vehicle for leaks, blotting up liquids to determine what color the leaking liquid is. Power steering fluid ranges in color but tends to be clear or a light pink or reddish color. You can also open up the reservoir, which is usually located near the engine but check your owner's manual to be sure, to determine your power steering fluid levels to further identify the issue.

2. Fluid Pump Damage

Your power steering fluid pump can malfunction or break down over time simply due to normal wear and tear when coupled with age. A damaged or burned out pump will make your power steering much harder to turn, much like a fluid leak, but will also come with a rumbling, vibrating, or grinding noise and sensation when turning your steering wheel. This will occur even if your fluid levels are adequate, as the malfunctioning pump will not be able to provide the same level of pressure for your power steering system to operate properly.

3. Belt Damage

Your power steering system relies on an engine belt to provide power to the motor and other components. Like all other components, this belt can wear down over time and can snap or otherwise break suddenly. If this occurs, you will see a near-instant change in the amount of effort that it takes for you to move your steering wheel, unlike the above two problems which can take some time to manifest.

Further, a belt that has begun to crack or wear itself down may not exhibit any problems through your steering wheel, but may instead emit a high-pitched screeching or squealing noise while you are driving, which indicates that the belt is near its breaking point.

For more information, contact a company like Frankie & Dylan's Collision.