Beware of These Primary Causes of Power Steering Damage


Power steering allows you to smoothly turn your car's steering wheel without using too much energy. The system works by pumping pressurised steering fluid to the gear, allowing it to move the wheel with little manual effort. Therefore, if you're having difficulties turning the wheel, your car may be losing its power steering capabilities. Below are some of the causes behind this problem and what you can do to remedy it.

Contaminated Power Steering Fluid

Steering fluid is important to the functionality of your vehicle. The fluid allows the gears to move effortlessly. However, it has to be clean and in excellent condition for it to function as expected. Contamination of the fluid causes an increase in friction, which in turn interferes with the hydraulic capabilities of the system.

Contamination can result from moisture in the system or the deterioration of the hose's components. Also, if you haven't replaced the fluid in a long time, it may be old and dirty. The only way to remedy this problem is to replace the fluid. Also, check the components of the power steering system for failure or damage.

Low Fluid Levels

Fluid contamination is not the only thing you have to worry about when dealing with power steering systems. Low fluid levels can also cause you to lose steering power. Remember, the fluid is pumped to the gears, allowing them to turn. There must be enough fluid for it to generate the force needed to push the gears. 

If the levels are low due to irregular top-ups or leaks, your car will lose steering power. Regularly top up the power steering fluid and check the pump and hoses for leaks to ensure there's adequate fluid at all times.

Faulty Power Steering Pump

The pump is responsible for pumping pressurised fluid to your car's gears. Therefore, if it's defective, it will fail in this task. A failed pump will result in little to no steering power. As a result, your steering wheel will feel rigid and uncooperative. Pump failure occurs due to contamination or normal wear and tear. Also, if the belt that connects to the crankshaft is worn, it won't be able to power the pump, and this will result in failure. If you have a faulty pump, then you'll need to repair or replace the pump.

Poor Driving Habits

Bad driving habits can cause your car to lose its power steering capabilities. For example, if you drive over potholes, hard bumps or damaged roads at high speeds, the resultant vibrations can damage your power steering system. Similarly, failure to service your car regularly can lead to low steering fluid levels or contamination. Observe proper driving habits and service your vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer to avoid power steering failure.

If your car is lowing steering power, contact an auto repair specialist for an accurate diagnosis and repairs. 


31 January 2020

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