Understanding The Need For Automotive Maintenance

Signs Your Power Steering Pump May Be Going Bad

There are many different parts in your car that can go bad or stop working. One of the parts that may fail is your power steering pump. The power steering pump is responsible for pumping power steering fluid into the steering gear. This helps your wheels to turn as you turn your steering wheel. A power steering pump generally lasts about 100,000 to 200,000 miles. This is a huge difference, which is why it important to know the warning signs that indicate the power steering pump may be going bad. Here are a few of those warning signs. 

Your Steering Wheel Feels Hard to Turn

One of the signs that your power steering pump may be going bad is having a steering wheel that feels hard to turn. Your steering wheel should smoothly and easily turn when you want it to. But if there is a problem with the power steering fluid or the pump, the wheel may feel stiff or hard to turn. This may also be a sign of low power steering fluid, so be sure to check those levels before assuming the pump is going bad. 

There's a Delay Between Your Steering Wheel and Wheels

Another sign that your power steering pump may be going bad is a delay between when you turn your steering wheel and when your wheels actually turn. When your power steering pump is operating properly, your wheels will turn just as soon as your steering wheel does, helping you to avoid debris or hazards on the road way. If you turn your steering wheel and your wheels on your car don't respond right away, you need to have the pump inspected. 

You Hear Noises When Turning Your Steering Wheel

The last sign of a potential steering pump problem is strange noises when you turn the steering wheel. Often, these noises sound like groans or whining. This indicates that there is not enough fluid present. If this problem is ignored for some time, the sounds may become louder or may begin to include grinding or screeching noises. If you hear sounds when turning your steering wheel, check the power steering fluid level. If it is not low, you likely have a pump problem. 

If you notice one or more of these signs, you will want to take your car for a power steering inspection and repair. A mechanical repair can help to replace the pump before it goes completely bad and causes your car to not steer as it should.