If you’ve ever driven an automobile that has manual steering, you know how difficult it can be to navigate the vehicle. Chances are, your car, truck, or utility vehicle is equipped with power steering. What used to be a luxury is now a common amenity in automobiles. Trinity Automotive advises that if your power steering system is hydraulic, you have power steering fluid and a pump that circulates it through the system. This power steering pump can go bad if you are driving an older automobile.
One of the signs that your power steering pump is having problems is whining noises when you turn the steering wheel. These noises will get louder the harder you turn the wheel. It’s important to have any whining noises investigated right away. A simple solution might be that you need to add power steering fluid to the system. The problem might not be the pump at all. If it is, however, it needs to be replaced.
Another sound your power steering pump will make when it is going bad is a groaning sound. As with the whining noises, the groaning noises will get louder the tighter you crank the steering wheel. Unfortunately, these groaning noises will not go away if you ignore them. Rather, if they are stemming from a faulty power steering pump, you need to have the pump replaced in order to stop the noise.
Squealing noises are an indirect indication that there is a problem that might affect the power steering pump. In most cases, if your vehicle squeals when you first start it, the accessory belt is too loose. Depending on the type of power steering pump you have, it may be powered by the accessory belt or by engine vacuum pressure. A loose accessory belt can affect the power steering pump if it powers it.
Stiff Steering Wheel
Another indication that your power steering pump is going bad is if your steering wheel is stiff and difficult to turn. It may take you back to the days when you drove a vehicle with manual steering. If the steering wheel is hard to turn, this is a sign that you don’t have power steering fluid circulating through the system. If the pump is faulty, it is likely unable to circulate the fluid through the system.
Finally, unresponsive steering points to an issue with the power steering pump. Unresponsive steering can also be dangerous in that it is much easier to get into an automobile accident if you are unable to control your car, truck, or utility vehicle.