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.
1) What are steering services?
The steering system is quite complex in vehicles. This entire system powers your steering wheel and directs the vehicle’s tires. If one component of the steering system is not working, your vehicle can become unsafe. Common steering maintenance includes flushes of the power steering fluid, pump and rack, and pinion upkeep.
When you bring your vehicle to Ethan’s Honest Automotive, we will keep all parts of your steering system. After our initial analysis, we will give you an update about the problem and provide a quote for the repairs. In addition to steering issues, you may also have a problem in the suspension—a closely related part system—that needs to be addressed.
2) How often do I need to change the power steering fluid?
Your power steering fluid needs to be changed regularly. This process is also called a power steering flush. You should consult your owner’s manual for the specific schedule. However, as an average, most manufacturers recommend you get your power steering fluid changed every 30,000 miles or so.
3) Why does the power steering fluid need to be changed?
Changing your power steering fluid needs to occur on a regular schedule. The reasons for this requirement are many. Most importantly, the old power steering fluid gets dirty. The power steering fluid is used to lubricate the steering gear. The dirty or decomposed fluid will not do its job as effectively.
If you drive with old and dirty power steering fluid, you could be doing expensive damage to your vehicle. A non-lubricated steering system can ruin the rack and pinion. It can cost $1000 or more to repair or replace the rack and pinion. The best way to ensure your steering system remains healthy is to change the power steering fluid on time.
4) Why won’t my steering wheel turn?
A very common reason for customers to see us for steering service is that their steering wheel will not turn. If you are having problems moving your steering wheel, there may be a couple of reasons.
The most common cause of steering wheel problems is a lack of power steering fluid. Old and dirty fluid is less effective, which can cause the steering wheel to stick. Another reason for power steering fluid issues is a leak. Leaks significantly reduce the amount of fluid that gets to the steering gear. This in turn makes it harder to turn your wheel.
5) Signs I need my steering system examined?
You should always bring your vehicle in on time to have the power steering fluid replaced. However, there are a few other signs that your steering system needs maintenance. Any problems with the steering wheel are cause for concern. Another indicator that something is wrong is hearing squealing or clunking whenever you turn the steering wheel.
Keep in mind that steering system issues are unlikely to go away on their own. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should bring your vehicle into Ethan’s Honest Automotive right away. We will diagnose the problem and give you the options for fixing it. Contact us today.