Your power steering is probably one of the least talked about parts of the car. And when it starts malfunctioning, it is always quite frustrating. You just find out that steering your vehicle is unnecessarily hard. Many would just keep ignoring this problem until it becomes too late and it costs a pretty penny to repair.
Auto technology has come a long way from what it used to be. Electric power steering systems used to be only in the luxurious cars of the old times but today, you’ll find them in a lot of cars.
Is your power steering wheel giving you some problems? This article is all about how to fix you power steering yourself. Yes, you can do it yourself if you have the right tools.
What Tools Do You Need?
You need the following tools to help you make necessary repairs to your power steering system.
- Car jack
- A bright source of light. A torchlight is preferable.
- Cleaning towels to get rid of grease and grime
- Adjustable wrench
How to Fix Your Power Steering Problems
1. Add some more power steering fluid
A low level of power steering fluid could cause some frustrating inconveniences when you’re trying to steer. Check your fluid reservoir with a dipstick. If your fluid is too low, make sure you top it up.
Also, you should watch out for leaks. Just check the floor underneath your car to see if there are any leaks. A leak could occur where air is being drawn into the power steering system. You will hear some whining sounds from your power steering pump when this occurs. The steering fluid will also appear to be foamy.
To Fix this problem, you just have to replace the hose that connects the fluid reservoir and the pump if the hose is damaged. There are some cases where the hose is just okay but the clamps that hold the hose are loose. You should re-tighten the hose clamps properly.
If you notice this leak in time, try to fix it immediately. Do not wait till you start hearing the whining sound before you do something about it.
You can call your car mechanic to help fix it if you aren’t confident in being able to fix it yourself.
2. Unclog the power steering hose if it is clogged
The hydraulic fluid that I talked about above is an important part of the whole power steering system. Apart from the difficulty in steering that you would experience, you may also hear some whining sounds if the hose is clogged.
Check to see if the hose is clogged. Unclog it by flushing it but if you’re unable to get rid of the clogging, replace the hose.
3. Get a new power steering fluid pump
The power steering fluid pump helps to pump fluid into the system to ensure that the system is working smoothly. Once the fluid pump gets damaged or stops working, the system is cut out of fluid supply. This could end up damaging some more parts of the power steering system.
So, the moment you notice that the fluid pump is not doing its job well enough, replace it before it causes some more problems to your power steering system.
4. Replace the power steering belt
Like the other problems mentioned before, this one can also be discovered by the noise it makes. In this case, it is a screeching noise, especially when it rains. The noise is usually loud enough to quickly draw one’s attention.
This problem can be solved by either adjusting the belt if that’s all it needs, or replacing the belt entirely if it is worn and brittle.
Whenever your steering wheel starts rebelling against you when you’re trying to turn it, make sure you check it out. First, check the fluid. If the fluid level is low, replace it.
Next, check the hose and the pump. Do some unclogging when needed and some tightening and re-clamping when required. Ultimately, make repairs when you should. It’s part of the best car maintenance practices.
Repairing your power steering system should be easy to do if you are good with DIY projects. However, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you might as well call your car mechanic. These repairs shouldn’t cost much if they are promptly taken care of.
Now that you know how to fix your power steering system issues, you should also check out other car maintenance tips that could be useful to you.
As always, your opinions and inputs are highly appreciated. Please feel free to drop them at the comments section and I’ll be glad to attend to you.
Have a great day.