Steps to a Power Steering Fix
The hydraulic steering system utilizes hoses, a power pump and hydraulic fluid to transmit power to the racks via the hoses. Over time, the components, especially the plastic and rubber, degrade due to the exposure which compromises their integrity leading to a leak. Low fluid level causes intense pressure in the pump and the racks. The first sign you will get is a weak whining sound because the pump will be struggling to give the power especially when turning but in vain. To fix any leak, you will have to examine the steering components first. Once you figure out the source of the leak, you can proceed with the power steering fix.
Step 1: Look For A Well Light And Safe Spot
Prior to any power steering fix, always begin with finding a safe place to work on your car. A well-illuminated garage is the most ideal, however, any firm, dry and flat ground would still suffice. Jack the front of the car to give access to the wheels or drive it on ramps. Jacks are most preferable because of the stability and free access to the wheels. Before any inspection, make sure to lock the wheels.
Step 2: Place A White Paper Underneath The Car
A white paper is most preferable because used steering fluids tend to be reddish. To pinpoint where the leak is coming from, place the paper on the driveway or garage and wait for a few minutes. This will reduce your search area making the whole power steering fix a lot easier.
Step 3: Clean The Reservoir And Power Pump With A Degreasing Cleaner
Spray down the lines, the reservoir, bottom and top of the tank. Wipe the whole unit until all the grime is gone as doing so will make the power steering fix a lot easier. Since the fluid is mostly reddish, you will be able to distinguish it from oil-black and coolant-greenish. Focus on the pump first and check if the fluid is leaking from there. Check for cracks and tighten the nuts.
Step 4: Check Connecting Lines
When conducting a power steering fix, scrutinize the connecting lines, check for any loose connections or cracks. Follow the power hoses from the pump to the rack feeling for any cracks with your fingers. If the lines had been replaced, chances are they might be loose where they mate with the metal components, that is, the rack or pump. If so, tighten them.
In case the hoses are damaged at the extreme ends, cut the damaged part carefully and reuse the hose. If you feel any sharp kinks, rips or tears, it may be time to replace the hoses.
Step 5: Check The Column Seals
The rubber seals of the steering column are prone to wear. When conducting a power steering procedure, make sure you determine the integrity of the seals. If they are damaged, you can use spare seals in the seal kit to fix the problem.
-If you’ve increased your car tires over the specified size, this will call for more effort. From your steering system–hence not a symptom of malfunctioning steering system.
-If you find no leaks but the system is misbehaving, then the steering rack or the pump may be having some defects.
-If your vehicle is old, say between 5 and 10 years, it is always advisable you replace the whole unit, it is easier and cost-efficient compared to repairing.
Once you’ve fixed the problem, make sure to bleed the whole system. Open the reservoir tank and have someone turn the wheels. Keep doing this until you see no bubble escaping via the reservoir tank.
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