Amy's Amazing Auto Service and Repair Blog

Got a failing power steering wheel? Here are the tell-tale signs

by Derek Davidson

A well-functioning power steering pump is a crucial part of what makes riding a car a great experience. It serves to direct fluid inside the steering gear, which exerts the right pressure levels to rotate the wheels of the car smoothly. However, a failing power steering pump leads to over-steering problems and makes driving quite a hard task. The good thing is that power steering failures occur gradually and leave a trail of warning signs for the discerning motorist. Here are the tell-tale signs of a bad power steering pump which requires immediate attention by a mechanic. Read on for more insight.

Whining noise

If you make out a whining noise while turning your car's wheel, chances are that there's something wrong as far as your power steering system is concerned. Probably there's a leakage in the power steering pump. Alternatively, the needed fluid level may be lower than the required standard. Either way, take your car to a professional mechanic to have the power steering wheel checked.

Slow to respond

Yet again, if you find it difficult to turn your power steering wheel or if takes some time before the wheels actually turn despite the fact that you have been turning the steering wheel frantically for the last few seconds, then there's a problem with your power steering system. A possible cause may be a damaged or slackened power steering belt. A professional mechanic can have the belt replaced completely.

Squealing noises

Whereas whining noises often come about when you're turning the car, squealing noises surface when the car first starts up. Moreover, you may also hear squealing sounds when making sharp turns; nevertheless, they commonly occur for a minute or so as you start your vehicle. You will notice the weird noises coming from your car's hood, and they are a sure indication your power steering pump is failing.

Persistent resistance or back and forth unsteady steering movement

It's to be expected to feel to some extent resistance as you turn the steering wheel. However, if you are holding the steering wheel steadily, but it still quivers back and forth, chances are that you're experiencing a defective steering rack mount, low power steering fluid or a damaged power steering belt. Moreover, your power steering pump may be broken.

In conclusion, power steering is an important part of your car which allows you to shift lanes or make corners effectively while driving. The moment you start experiencing problems turning your power steering wheel or hearing weird noises from your car, then you have a rather serious steering problem which should be diagnosed by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.