The power steering system is standard on nearly every car and truck these days. It is one of the most important systems on your vehicle. If the steering “goes out”, there is a possibility it will be tough to turn, spray power steering fluid around your engine compartment, or even create a loss of control.
Not all power steering systems are hydraulically controlled, there are more and more new electric power steering systems on cars. For the most part, the heart of the system is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine. It is important to understand the different types of power steering services that are required to keep from costing you time and money.
The Power Steering Pump
The pump generates boost that assists you as you steer your SUV. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to inspect them at every oil change.
Power Steering Fluid
A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so you need to use the correct type –just ask your service consultant at A+ Japanese Auto Repair.
In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. The lubricants and detergents are depleted over time so you need to replace your old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.
We have also seen the power steering fluid collect water, get dirty, and have metal shaving in it as the power steering components wear out.
Power steering fluid flush
Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many manufacturers specify power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. When in doubt, every two years is a good fallback.
We will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.
Tight steering wheel
If you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign is that you have to frequently top off the fluid.
Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can stress out your pump and the lines. We want you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly to keep you headed in the right direction.
If you have any more questions about power steering, please feel free to give us a call 650-946-1856 or live chat on our auto repair website.
Written by Eric Sevim – ASE Master Certified Auto Repair Technician
A+ Japanese Auto Repair, Inc.
780 Industrial Road
San Carlos CA 94070