How to Tell if Your Power Steering Pump Is on the Way Out

If you've ever wondered why it is so easy to steer your car when reversing into a tight space, you can pull this off thanks to the power steering system. It's a relatively simple but life-changing invention, as it makes it easy for anyone to steer the car in all circumstances, regardless of their physical strength. But as with everything else mechanical, things can go wrong. How do you know if something is amiss with your power steering, and what should he do about it?

Manual Labour

In a car that is not equipped with power steering (as in the old days), the amount of effort that you put into turning the steering wheel translates into the amount of movement at the road wheel.

In between the steering wheel and the tyre, you'll find a rack and pinion system. A steering column extends from the steering wheel through the bulkhead down to the rack. The gears translate the column's circular movement to the rack's lateral movement, and further parts connect to each road wheel.

Fluids to the Rescue

In a power-assisted steering system, hydraulic fluid is used to increase the amount of torque at each wheel. A driver will only need to put a limited amount of effort into turning the wheel, while a special pump increases the pressure of the fluid and does all the heavy lifting.

As can imagine, the power steering pump is the most important part of this operation. If it begins to fail, then you will start to notice symptoms and eventually find that it's really difficult to manoeuvre.

Three Stages of Decay

Sometimes, you will hear a strange squealing noise whenever you start the vehicle. This signifies that the pump is starting to work but is not operating as it should, causing the belt that connects the pump to the engine to slip.

Next, you may notice that the pump begins to whine whenever you turn the wheel of the vehicle. In this case, fluid may be leaking from the pump, or its internal components may be compromised.

Finally, the pump may begin to make even louder noises as it starts to fail. It may not matter if it is full of the appropriate fluid, the internal components could be beyond repair, and you will need to replace them.

If your pump needs to be replaced, always ensure that you get a top-quality part in its place. This component does come under a tremendous amount of wear and tear in everyday use, and you find it very difficult to operate your car without it. You can learn more by contacting power steering pump technicians.