Symptoms of a Bad Power Steering Pump
Steering systems have evolved over the years. From manual steerings to hydraulic and electric power steerings, automotive manufacturers have come a long way to enhance driving efficiency. However, some problems may exist in electrical and hydraulic power steering systems.
A power steering system minimises the effort required to turn the steering wheel. Therefore, it is essential to have a functional steering pump to ease manoeuvring. Moreover, if you have ever lost the power on the steering, you may know how necessary it is for a comfortable ride.
Here is a detailed explanation of the bad power steering pump symptoms to help you determine the problem at the earliest.
How to Tell if a Power Steering Pump is Bad
Many steering and suspension components can fail over time. When the power steering pump fails, it becomes difficult to steer the car. However, certain signs of a bad power steering pump will help determine the problem.
Let’s go through the bad power steering pump symptoms and how to fix this problem in cars.
Squealing, Knocking or Groaning Noises
When you hear squealing noises from the car after turning the ignition switch, it is a sign of a faulty steering belt or lack of power from the power steering fluid.
Groaning noises are another bad power steering pump symptom that occurs when turning the steering wheel. It happens due to insufficient steering fluid.
In electric power steering, when the pump malfunctions, the steering wheel makes a knocking sound when the driver manoeuvres the vehicle.
A car jerks due to worn-out steering components. That said, a steering wheel may feel jerky due to the low power steering fluid level. The faulty power steering pump may not be able to provide enough pressure to assist in turning the steering wheel smoothly.
A failing power steering pump can cause air bubbles in the power steering fluid. Air bubbles can cause the power steering system to lose pressure, leading to uneven or difficult steering.
As a result, the steering may feel jerky or erratic, especially when making sharp turns or manoeuvring at low speeds.
Stiff Steering Wheel
If there is a problem with your steering wheel while turning the car, a bad power steering pump can be the cause behind it. When the pump fails, it can cause a loss of power steering assistance. That makes the steering wheel feel heavy or difficult to turn.
Another symptom of a bad power steering pump is that it causes the power steering fluid to become contaminated with debris or metal shavings. It can cause the fluid to thicken and become less effective at providing hydraulic assistance to the steering system. Furthermore, it contributes to a stiff or hard steering wheel.
Metal Pieces in Power Steering Fluid
If you notice metal pieces in the power steering fluid, it could indicate a problem with the power steering pump. The hydraulic power steering has internal components such as gears, bearings, and shafts that can wear over time and produce metal shavings.
When these shavings circulate through the power steering system, they can cause damage to other components and contaminate the fluid. The debris and metal pieces in the fluid can damage other steering components.
Plus, it is a sign of a failing power steering and needs immediate repair or replacement. It can also result in unsafe driving conditions since the power steering system can fail due to a faulty pump.
Power Steering Symbol on the Dashboard
The power steering system uses sensors and control modules to monitor the system’s operation and detect any faults or malfunctions. If the sensor detects any issue with the steering system, it sends information to the car computers.
The electronic control unit (ECU) will activate the warning light on the dashboard to alert the driver. The steering warning light on the dashboard may vary on the car’s make and model. However, it is a sign of a bad power steering pump, contaminated fluid or a broken power steering belt.
Since these bad power steering pump symptoms can result in unsafe driving conditions and steering problems, it is essential to maintain it on time. You can follow the steps to change the power steering pump with a new one and always keep a check on it.
When you buy a used car in the UAE, ensure to check for all the noises and other common car issues to avoid future problems.
Stay tuned to dubizzle’s leading cars blog to learn more about symptoms, causes and fixes for different vehicle problems.