Many people often take their vehicle's power steering system for granted until it stops working properly or fails completely. Experiencing power steering failure when you are on the road means you will have to steer the vehicle with a lot of effort so as to turn the wheels, increasing chances of an accident occurring in the process. Therefore, it is important to know about some of the sure signs of looming power steering trouble so that you can do the necessary repairs before disaster strikes!
Here are 3 sure indicators of power steering trouble that you should never ignore:
When it is unusually hard to turn the wheels.
If you have to use a lot of physical effort (instead of little effort on the steering controls) before the wheels of your car can turn, then it is most likely that your power steering is failing. Possible causes of failure include low amounts of power steering fluid, presence of a leak in the power steering rack or an out o power steering belt may be out of order. Broken or cracked power steering belts should be replaced depending on the type of vehicle you own as these components usually vary according to vehicle make and model. Before fluid levels can be topped up, the power steering rack should be thoroughly inspected to spot and seal any leaks. This is because replacing the power steering fluid can never help to permanently solve the problem unless the leaks are fixed.
When a squealing noise is being heard.
Increased effort when using the power steering wheel to direct the vehicle is sometimes accompanied by a squealing noise coming from the pump. This noise is often an indication of a leak, which is drawing air into the power steering system, causing the pump to whine. Potential causes of this leak are a cracked or a loose hose. If the air entering the system blocks power steering fluid from reaching the wheels, you will hear squealing noises, and this is a sign that the system may fail prematurely. In some cases, sealing the leaks and flushing the entire system with new fluid can help clear clogs, but in other cases, you may have to replace a damaged power steering rack.
If the steering wheel keeps vibrating.
If the steering wheel repeatedly vibrates violently, even when the power steering is not being operated, it may be a sign of a failing power steering system. When the drive belt is broken or is loose, it will lack the correct amount of tension required for the pump to work properly, thus resulting in violent steering wheel vibrations. As mentioned earlier, damaged power steering belts should be replaced according to vehicle type.