Power steering ended the days when we felt like making a turn was really wrestling with our cars. But like any system in a vehicle, power steering can require repairs and maintenance, and in older vehicles, it will eventually wear out. Many customers see us for power steering problems when they find driving in Madison, TN difficult and unpleasant. If you face this problem, here are five things that may be wrong:
- Fluid leaks: The hydraulics of power steering cannot work without fluid, so if it’s leaking, pressure is not transferred and the benefits of power steering go away. In many cases, drivers find steering their vehicles is impossible. You can easily spot this because you will see fluid leaks under your vehicle and hear a grinding noise when turning. Address this soon or you could burn out your power steering pump and end up with a much more expensive repair.
- Broken pump: The power steering pump makes fluid transfer possible. But it is also one of many parts that wears out as vehicles get older and the seals and internal parts of the pump break down. If steering becomes impossible and you hear squealing sounds, it is likely time for a new power steering pump. Make an appointment soon—otherwise, the pump will take out belts and other components as it dies. That can add to your repair costs.
- Cracked hoses: Cars perform a high-stress job, and hoses are often the first thing to wear out as cars get old. Hoses connected to the power steering pump are not immune, as they will eventually dry out and crack. Also, being close to other engine components, they will eventually wear out and peel due to friction and heat. Eventually, the hoses will leak power steering fluid unless preventative maintenance detects the problem and you replace them first.
- Loose hose couplings: The couplings connect hoses together. As hoses wear out, so do these essential components. They may disintegrate, but it is more likely that they will loosen, and that results in fluid leaks. In addition to vehicle age, rough driving and hitting pumps can loosen couplings and lead to leaks.
- Slipped drive belt: In addition to hoses, power steering pumps are also run by drive belts. When you get other belts replaced, oftentimes the power steering belt is addressed, too. However, if you allow this to linger, the belt will slip, there will be nothing driving the pump and you will lose fuel pressure. This will make it impossible to change direction. Fortunately, you can detect this early on, as you will start hearing a squealing sound when you turn the wheel sharply.
Bottom line: pay attention to sounds and how your car handles. Steering issues are pretty easy to detect, as they often make driving much more difficult. When handling difficulties and new sounds start to plague your steering, it’s likely time to make an appointment with a skilled auto mechanic.
Dealing with power steering problems in Madison, TN? Madison Muffler & Auto Repair can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment and restore the benefits of power steering.