Power Steering Problems: What to Look Out for

Looking Out for Power Steering Problems

If you suspect your car might be having some power steering problems, the first thing you are supposed to check is the power-fluid level in the reservoir tank. If the level is below the required minimum, know you might be experiencing power steering fluid leakage. These leakages start small and aggravate as you drive hence very difficult to detect. While the power fluid leak may not leave you stranded on the roadside, if not handled at the right time, it usually wrecks the car making the repair cost more expensive. To solve this, inspect your car regularly and the following are key areas that you should inspect when you hear a weak whining sound coming from the engine.

The Steering Pump

This is one of the most common spots where a leak is likely to take place. The constant pressure and friction on the rubber seals around the connecting shaft make them wear out creating power steering problems due to the fluid to leak. Additionally, the pump itself may break. The pump may generate pressures that accidentally destroy the casing. Since most have 2 bolting halves, a leak will be observed first at the joint gasket if it’s loose or old.

Connecting Lines/Hoses

The connecting lines that run from the steering rack to the pump, gear or the reservoir tank are other possible sources of power steering problems. This is especially common where the high-pressure rubber lining mates with metallic components such as the pump and the rack. During repair, you can feel with your bare hands along the hoses for any crack.

End Of Each Steering Rack

The seals at the end of the steering rack tend to wear out and lead to a leak. When experiencing power steering problems as a result of worn-out rack seals, it may take time to notice because the fluid usually gets trapped the rubber boots on either end. The boots are there to protect the rack from debris. You will only see a leak when the boots get filled and permeate the fluid. Therefore, during any inspection, give this area proper scrutiny.

Power-Steering Coolers

Some steering mechanism adds to the power steering problems due to the addition of the cooler system. The cooler complicates the steering system because it brings additional hoses(plumbing) hence potential areas for leakage. To make matters worse, they are mounted on top of the engine which makes them prone to damage. When inspecting your car for any leaks, this additional feature could be the culprit too.

Hydro-Boost Brakes

Though it is quite rare, hydro boost may be the source of your power steering problems hence a good area to suspect. Some car models combine the steering system with the brake system, sounds like a convenient plan—right? However, the seals, gaskets and hoses tend to wear out quickly and leak to a leak.
Lastly, the steering-gear housing can cause a leak too. This happens especially when the piston gets old and becomes worn out.

Dealing with power steering problems can be quite easy when detected on time. As mentioned earlier, keep checking your reservoir tank or spots in your garage or where you pack your car. The power steering fluid is distinct in smell and color, mostly yellowish.

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