Easy step by step instructions on how to repair automotive steering problems,
this information pertains to most vehicles.
Difficulty Scale: 4 of 10
- The power steering system utilizes hydraulic
fluid to transfer force from the power steering pump to the rack and pinion or steering
box. Check the power steering fluid level by locating the power steering fluid reservoir
and remove the cap (twist counter clockwise) to inspect the fluid level in the pump
fluid reservoir. Some systems have a fluid level dip stick mounted inside the cap
while others are present on the side of the fluid reservoir, if the fluid level
is down or empty the system has a leak. Inspect the pump, hoses and rack and pinion
or box assembly, replace worn or broken components as needed. -
Removing Power Steering Fluid Reservoir Cap
Step 2 - The steering pump is driven by a serpentine
belt which is used to transfer energy from the engine to the hydraulic steering
pump assembly. If the belt is in poor condition or has failed completely it will
render the system non-operational.
Step 3 - A hydraulic pump is used to supply fluid
pressure which is needed to operate the system. If the pump fails internally, the
pressure needed to operate the system is not present rendering the system non-operational.
The power steering pump
Replacing a Serpentine Belt
must be replaced and refilled with fluid. (Note: some power steering pump pulleys
are pressed on and require a specialized tool to be removed and replaced).
Replacing Steering Pump
Step 4 - If everything checks out and power steering
problems still exists the rack and pinion or steering box is the only component
that remains. When replacing a pump be sure to flush the system before refilling
it with new fluid.
A power steering
system is designed
to utilize power from the engine to assist in the force needed to steer the vehicle.
A pump pressurizes fluid and transfers it through hoses which are connected to a
power steering box or rack and pinion. If the power steering malfunctions the vehicle
can be difficult to control. It is advised NOT
to move a vehicle with the
power steering system not operating or engine not running.
Article first published 2016-11-28