How to Identify a Power Steering Issue


If you've ever tried to drive an old vehicle that is not equipped with power steering, you know how difficult this can be, especially when you are manoeuvring through a tight space. You may take the PAS (power-assisted steering) system fitted to your vehicle for granted on a daily basis but, as with anything else mechanical, issues can arise. What should you do if you notice a warning light on your dashboard which appears to suggest that you have power steering issues?

How It Works

The power steering system in a modern car is either electrically or hydraulically operated but the objective is to provide an additional "boost" to your manual operation. When you turn the steering wheel, this action is transferred down the column and turned at right angles through the steering box. A rotating shaft will then move each wheel according to the intended direction of travel, but the power steering pump will provide additional effort to make the job a lot easier.

Initial Check

With a hydraulic system, everything relies on fluid and you should first check to see if there is enough of this fluid in the reservoir. If you're not sure where to look, you should consult your owner's manual but the outside of the container may carry an image of a steering wheel.

Fluid Leak

If the fluid is low, then it is likely that you have a leak somewhere and will need to get to the bottom of it. There are a number of hoses and pipes as part of the system and you can begin by tracing these back from the pump itself, which is usually located at the bottom of the steering column.

Belt and Pump

The pump may be faulty or the belt that connects it to the engine may be on its way out. This belt will be linked through a pulley system to the end of the crankshaft and if it looks as if it is damaged or appears to be quite loose when you press on it, then it will need to be replaced.

You may also hear a strange "whining" noise when you try to turn the wheel and especially at slower speeds and this indicates that the pump has developed a fault.

Prompt Action

Make sure that you take prompt action whenever you suspect a power steering fault and take the vehicle into a mechanic as soon as possible. If not, the entire system could fail and leave you struggling to turn your vehicle when driving slowly.

For more information on vehicle repair, consult a mechanic in your area.


12 September 2019

Car servicing for women

It's easy to get overlooked when you head into get your car serviced if you are a woman. I have found the trick to getting the auto repairers to take me seriously is to do some research beforehand and look at what the log book says they need to replace this service. I wish I had started doing it earlier because it's also helping me trouble shoot repair issues and I'm saving myself a lot of time and stress this way. I'm keeping track of everything I have learned on this blog so I can share it with other new drivers and help them understand their auto service requirements as well.