5 Warning Signs of Power Steering Failure

in Automotive

Power steering is meant to add comfort to your life and driving. Drivers nowadays can be thankful to such inventions while driving heavy and performance cars as well. On the other hand, power steering can become a nightmare as well if things go wrong. Let us discuss.

1. Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is the first most important thing. If the fluid has been used over its limit, it can cause the tubes, which move the fluid to gum up, resulting in power steering failure. As it is the case with engine oil, power steering oil can also be inspected to observe its condition. Normally the new oil has red color and a unique odor. Upon used to its limit, the oil turns dark gray. If you observe that there are bubbles in the fluid, it means that there is either water or air in the steering line. If possible, keep a lookout for flakes of chrome that will indicate a degrading power pump. 

2. Fluid Levels

It is always recommended to keep a check on power steering fluid. If you observe that, the fluid is low, there might be some leaks present, and that will need repair. Normally after a car has been driven for a while, the leak can be observed after the car has been turned off, while parked on a flat-leveled surface. Move the car after a while to see any droppings or splashes because further on, low fluid level can also make the pump become noisy. 

3. Squealing

As much as squealing can be irritating and noisy, it also indicates that there is something seriously wrong. If you hear the squealing noises when you are turning the steering even while driving slowly, it means that the power pump is low on life. Upon starting the car, if you happen to hear a clucking or chattering noise under the hood, it also indicates a failing power pump.

4. Vibration

It is well known that a belt requires proper tension to function or otherwise the pump can fail. It can lead the belt to slip from the drive train and break, which means that the pulley is not working properly. Heat can also cause the damage, as it can transfer from drive belt towards the shaft and the pulley system. While your car is standing idle and you notice that your steering is vibrating, you should as well know that the drive belt is failing. Always keep a check on these belts regularly as you do with steering fluid.

5. Play

Excessive play can also indicate signs of a failing power steering. If you notice that while turning the car, you have to turn the steering comparatively more, then this could be the result of faulty steering gear. Such cases can still be difficult to point out, so it is suggested that you get serpentine belt tensioner and take your car to a trusted workshop.


Power steering failures occur with time and is only the job of those who have specialized in such things. A normal mechanic would fix it but the issue may arise again. Therefore, while it is a lengthy process as well, make sure that you are choosing the right person for the right job. So that they install everything including serpentine belt tensioner correctly.

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