Power steering helps you get the car where you need it to go. Without power steering, you have to apply a lot of pressure to get your steering wheel to turn. That is why it is such a problem when the power steering fails; drivers are often taken by surprise and have difficulty maintaining control of their vehicle. Accidents can occur as a result of an issue with this system. Learning about what power steering is, and what the signs of failure are, is important to ensuring that you stay safe while on the road.
What Is Power Steering?
The power steering pump and the rack and pinion work together to help you steer your car. Together, they make up your power steering system. The pump can develop leaks, so it is important to watch out for that going forward. In addition, it is crucial to check your power steering fluid every so often to make sure you have enough in your vehicle.
The rack and pinion is responsible for getting the wheels of your car to turn. If there isn’t enough hydraulic pressure, the rack and pinion system can develop problems. Tie rods are a crucial component of this part of the vehicle as well.
Signs That Your Power Steering Needs Maintenance
If you are concerned about your power steering, first look at the power steering fluid. The fluid should be reddish in color; if it isn’t, there may be a problem. In addition, if you see little bits of chrome in the liquid, it is important to get your pump checked to see if it needs to be switched out. Finally, if you notice that you don’t have much fluid but you know that you recently added some, you could have a leak somewhere.
Next, pay attention to what you hear when you are driving the vehicle. Is it making a noise when you turn the wheel quickly? That could be an indication that the pump needs to be replaced. In addition, another sign that it may have to be switched out is if you hear a strange noise when turning the vehicle on.
Are you having trouble getting the wheels to turn? That is a pretty strong indication that your power steering needs maintenance. For example, the power steering belt may need to be repaired or you might have a leak somewhere.
What Should You Do In The Event Of Failure?
If you are behind the wheel of your car, you need to get yourself and your vehicle to safety by pulling over to the side of the road. Put slight pressure on your brakes (you don’t want to push too hard or you may have trouble maintaining control of the vehicle) and maneuver the wheel so that you get the car off the highway. You will have to apply a lot of pressure to the wheel to get it to turn, and it may not be easy at first. It is always a good idea to put your hazard lights on so that other motorists recognize that there is a problem.
Should you notice any of the above issues, it is important to get your vehicle checked by an automotive technician. Your safety is important. If you suspect a problem, keep in mind that it probably will not get better on its own. Come in to see us at Ethan’s Honest Automotive; we are happy to check out your vehicle, determine if there is a problem, and take the necessary steps to fix it.