Power Steering Warning Signs: How to Predict, Avoid, and Handle ProblemsTerohan Nula June 10, 2014 0 COMMENTS
The power steering system is one of the most critical components of any vehicle, and as time goes by it can wear out. Along with brake failure, malfunctioning power steering is one of the most serious car problems you can encounter, as it takes away control from the driver and could easily cause an accident.
In Australia, for example, regular car maintenance and repair works are treated very seriously. Regular power steering Perth maintenance is every owner’s responsibility, and following these simple steps will help you detect any problem.
Predicting Power Steering Failure
1. Check the power steering fluid – The most common cause of power steering problems is a lack of fluid, either from leaks or regular use. If you notice fluid under your car when it sits for a long period, you might have a leak. Have a mechanic fix the leak as soon as possible.
2. Inspect the power steering hoses and lines – It can be difficult to check the condition of the hoses, because they deteriorate from the inside. If they feel hard, stiff, or spongy, replace all hoses in the system. The hoses are all made from similar compounds, and if one is in poor condition, the other are about to break as well.
3. Check for loose belts – A loose belt will cause the power steering pump to slip under pressure. Have someone turn on the engine while you listen for any noise coming from the pump; a screechy, loud noise indicates that you need to adjust a loose belt.
4. Look at the steering assembly – If the fluid and belt look good yet you’re hearing noises, there might be loose or worn parts in the steering assembly. Raise the front of the car with a car jack and have a friend turn the wheel; parts that need repair or replacement will often make noise when turning the wheel.
5. Examine the rack and pinion – Even if the hoses connected to the power steering pump show no signs of damage, the rack and pinion’s seals might still be leaking fluid. Simply replacing the seals will fix this.
Safely Handling Sudden Power Steering Failure
If your power steering malfunctions in the middle of the road, there are steps you must follow to avoid an accident.
First, turn on your hazard lights and honk your horn repeatedly. This will warn nearby drivers that you are experiencing sudden car troubles, and they will give you space. Second, move to the side of the road and gradually slow down. Resist the urge to slam the brakes; a sudden stop can throw the car into a skid that will be impossible to get out of without power steering.
Once your car is safely stopped, you can call a mechanic or have it towed.