Power Steering Repair and Maintenance
Your car’s Power Steering system is an integral part of the vehicle. While the system can fail and you’ll still have the ability to steer, you’ll find that the wheel is much harder to turn. Obviously, it’s important to have the system serviced and maintained properly. If you see a warning in the message center that reads, “Service power steering,” it means that there’s a condition that has been detected requiring immediate service. Have your car inspected immediately.
The power steering system is responsible for converting a gentle force into a strong force, meaning that the system itself is usually under a great deal of stress. Additionally, any hydraulic system – such as the power steering system in your car – is highly pressurized and requires the fluid to be filled up and in good/clean condition in order to function at optimum levels. Periodically, the power steering system can require maintenance, especially if it’s been neglected for long periods of time. To have a better idea of how to take care of your power steering, it’s helpful to have some understanding of how it works.
Rigid, Unresponsive Electric Steering
Let’s take one of the power steering problems that’s not directly associated with low power steering fluid. This non-hydraulic failure involves the power steering system’s electrical components. Whenever steering becomes super-stiff, the electric assist mechanism isn’t responding.
No Power Steering Assist (Loss of Hydraulic Power)
If your steering wheel feels like it’s stuck in quicksand and it takes 5 times your normal strength to make a routine turn, chances are the power steering hydraulic assist is losing power. Don’t check the fluid level while your car is cold; run it for a few minutes first. This way, you’ll get the most accurate assessment of the actual amount of fluid in your power steering system.
Whinnying Noise / Grinding / Squealing Noise During Turns
A shriek, shrill sound or unpleasant, “where the heck did that noise come from?” grinding doesn’t necessarily spell doom for your car’s steering system, but it can indicate imminent problems almost ready to surface. Like most unexpected noises, power steering squeals & grinding are – 99% of the time – related to the belt drive.