A vehicle’s steering system is essential for safe and effective operation. However, most people are ignorant of this critical aspect of driving and give little or no thought to the status of their steering system. The power steering system is a modification of the ancient manual steering system that involved manually navigating the wheels back and forth after every turn as desired. Most vehicles manufactured in the modern times utilize a power steering system and they offer great advantages over manual steering.
However, just like any other mechanical gadget, power steering problems are bound to happen. There are several signs that may indicate power steering problems (e.g., difficulty in steering). Nonetheless, there are other means of identifying malfunctions in power steering system. In summary, such identifiers may include:
1. Listening to the Power Steering Pump
Possible problems in the power steering pump can be easily detected by simply listening. Having a person sit inside the car and turn the steering wheel from left-to-right repeatedly will reveal any unusual sounds in the system. When the power steering pump is in action, a whining sound can be heard after turning the wheels if there is a hitch. Such a noise is produced if there is slippage of the power steering belt. In addition, this problem might be a result of the power steering fluid and this calls for check-up. Favorably, this problem can be rectified by simply adjusting the belt of the power steering system.
2. Checking the Power Steering Fluid
The power steering fluid is essential for proper functioning of the power steering system. The fluid reduces resistance and causes the steering wheel to smoothly move back to the neutral position after making a turn. Power steering problems can develop if the level of steering fluid is below the minimum limit. When diagnosing power steering problems, it is always advisable to inspect the power steering fluid’s reservoir to ensure that your vehicle has enough fluid as recommended by the manufacturer.
3. Checking the Power Steering Pump
Some kinds of power steering problems may arise from the steering pump itself. Such hitches can best be identified by inspecting the pump especially if there has been difficulty in steering. In addition, one should ensure that all pipes or ducts connected to the steering pump are intact and none of them is leaking any fluid. Be advised that constant use of the power steering pump may cause leakage in the ducts and pipes. Maintaining the pump in a clean and meticulous condition is commendable and greatly aids visualization and identification of problems such as leaks.
4. Watching the Steering at Work
If the steering pump shows no signs of deviation from normal, watching the steering action carefully might reveal any hidden power steering problems. Someone can assist in turning the vehicle on and steering the wheel back and forth, while another person watches the movement of wheel assembly’s. Irregular or jerky movements of the wheel assembly could indicate power steering problems and repair should be done.
Finally, most of the power steering problems mentioned above are repairable and one should have the vehicle checked by automobile experts. This will greatly increase the efficiency, safety and value of the vehicle in addition to making steering easier
for the user.
David Stanley Chevrolet
Brandy Martin works with David Stanley Chevrolet – for a reputable body shop Oklahoma City looks here first. She has covered automotive design trends for 15 years, and enjoys writing about auto repair.