If your car, truck, or utility vehicle has power steering fluid, it has a power steering pump. Powered by the engine’s vacuum pressure, the power steering pump is what circulates the power steering fluid through the power steering system. Mark’s Auto Service advises that you can expect your power steering pump to last about 100,000 miles before it needs to be replaced. If you are driving a high-mileage automobile, you may notice one or more of the following signs listed below that your power steering pump is going bad. Don’t worry. We can replace it if necessary.
Strange Noises When You Turn the Steering Wheel
One of the first things that starts to happen when a power steering pump malfunctions is you will hear strange noises when you turn the steering wheel. These noises can be groaning, squealing, or whining. Most of the time, the noises occur when you are making a tight turn and cranking the steering wheel all the way. The most common of the three noises that indicate a problem with your power steering pump is groaning. You may think that your car is protesting because it doesn’t want to turn.
As an aside, a squealing sound can also indicate a problem with your vehicle’s accessory belt. This is the belt to which the power steering pump is attached. If your automobile squeals loudly when you first turn it on, this is an indication that the accessory belt is too loose. We may need to tighten your vehicle’s accessory belt to stop the squealing noises at ignition.
The Steering Wheel Seems Unresponsive
Another sign that your power steering pump is going bad is an unresponsive steering wheel. What we mean by this is you may turn the steering wheel but your car will be slow to respond. Unfortunately, this can create problems. Imagine being halfway into an intersection to make a left-hand turn and having your car, truck, or utility vehicle refuse to complete the turn.
The Steering Wheel is Stiff and Hard to Turn
Finally, if your steering wheel suddenly feels as if you’re automobile is equipped with manual steering instead of power steering, this, too, is a sign that you need to replace the power steering pump. The steering wheel will become difficult to turn if the power steering pump is unable to circulate the power steering fluid through the system. It will be as if you don’t have any power steering fluid at all.
As we said above, Mark’s Auto Service in Loves Park, Belvidere, Roscoe, and Rockford, IL, and Loves Park, IL, can replace your power steering pump if it needs it. Call us today to set up an appointment.