If your car, truck, or utility vehicle has hydraulic power steering, you have power steering fluid and a power steering pump that circulates it through the system. Checkpoint Motors explains that the power steering pump will not last forever. You can expect to get about 100,000 miles out of the factory pump. After this time, you may notice one or more of the following signs that the power steering pump is going bad. It’s important to have the pump checked as soon as possible at the first sign of trouble.
1. Strange Noises When Steering
A common indicator of power steering pump trouble is strange sounds when you turn the steering wheel. The sounds will get louder the tighter you turn the wheel. The most common sound is a groaning noise that makes you think your automobile doesn’t want to turn. This sound will continue to get louder the longer you ignore it. Groaning noises are definitely an indication of problems with the pump.
Another common sound is whining. You will hear the whining noises, again, the tighter you turn your steering wheel. As with the groaning sounds, the whining will get louder until you replace the faulty power steering pump. Your vehicle’s steering should be silent. You should not hear any groaning or whining noises coming from the steering system when you turn your automobile.
Finally, although indirectly related to the power steering pump, squealing noises when you first turn on your car, truck, or utility vehicle are an indication that the accessory belt is too loose. How this relates to the power steering pump is that the accessory belt powers the pump. In other words, if you have a problem with your vehicle’s accessory belt, you may have a problem with the power steering pump.
2. Stiffness in the Steering Wheel
Because the power steering pump circulates the power steering fluid through the system, you will notice that your steering wheel feels stiff if the pump is going bad. This is an indication that the power steering pump is unable to circulate the hydraulic fluid through the system. Consequently, instead of having power steering, it will feel as if you have manual steering.
3. No Response to the Steering
Assessing a problem with the power steering pump at the first sign of trouble is important because there may come a point when the pump will die and your vehicle will be slow to respond to your steering commands. This can obviously create huge problems when you are on the road.
Call Checkpoint Motors in Oregon City, OR, today if you are experiencing any of the issues listed above. We will inspect your power steering pump and replace it if necessary.