Power Steering Problems
Power Steering Rack Troubleshooting Procedure Step 1 - Check Power Steering System Fluid Level - The power steering system utilizes hydraulic fluid to transfer force from the power steering pump, the rack and pinion or steering box, without fluid the system cannot function. Check the power steering fluid level by locating the power steering fluid reservoir and remove the cap (twist counter clockwise). Most systems have a fluid level dip stick mounted inside the cap. If the fluid level is down or there is no fluid in the reservoir the system has a leak. Inspect the entire power steering system: pump, hoses and rack and pinion or box assembly, replace worn or broken components as needed. Refill system with manufacturers recommended fluids then start engine (keep away from moving engine parts) and turn steering wheel from lock to lock several times. Shut the engine off and recheck fluid level, allow system to stand for a period of time to allow air in the fluid (aeration) to dissipate. Check fluid level and fill as needed.
Power Steering Cap Step 2 - Check The Serpentine Belt - The power steering pump is driven by a serpentine belt which is used to transfer energy from the engine to the hydraulic steering pump. If the belt is in poor condition or has failed completely it will render the system non-operational.