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Common Causes of Power Steering System Damage

power steering

The Power steering system help lower the effort needed by drivers to steer and control their cars, which is key to allowing the vehicle to maneuver without much effort and increase the driving experience. Most vehicles today use a hydraulic power steering system (HPS) to create the force necessary to move the wheels. However, manufacturers are starting to build cars using an electric power steering system (EPS). When problems arise in the hydraulic power steering system they can most often be attributed to faults in the fluid or pump, but sometimes belts or other factors are to blame.

The Aamco of Keller team are your locally trusted, expert mechanics that are here to keep you and your vehicle safely on the road. Power Steering System Damage and lack of proper power steering system maintenance can lead to more costly repairs in the future. So we always recommend having your power steering system and power steering fluid checked during your routinely scheduled vehicle maintenance.

Low Power Steering Fluid & Power Steering Leaks

A low power steering fluid level reduces the amount of hydraulic fluid pressure the pump can create. This also makes the pump work much harder, consequently wearing it out much faster. In addition, fluid is also used as a lubricant and coolant. If the components are lubricated or cooled improperly, the power steering system can be jeopardized. Failing to replace the fluid on time makes the wheel increasingly difficult to turn until it gives out altogether.

Damaged hoses and old, degraded seals are the biggest reasons for power steering leaks. An inadequate amount of fluid can cause the pump to wear out very quickly or even overheat. If this happens the pump is rendered useless and must be entirely replaced.

Broken Power Steering Belt

A belt connected to the crankshaft of the engine usually energizes the power steering pump. When belts become worn, they can slip. There’s no way you’ll miss a belt slip or snap. Broken power steering belts will reduce your steering ability as soon as it fails. This is due to the inability of the belt to power the pump.

Failing Power Steering Pump

The aforementioned symptoms also lead to the pump being worn out. After a pump is worn, the car may become even more problematic if you try to drive. As your pump ages, you’ll start to hear pump noise and the force you need to steer increases. It’s always better to get the pump fixed sooner rather than later.

Contamination of Power Steering Fluid

One of the most critical elements of the whole system is the power steering fluid. Contamination of the fluid can happen when the pumps fail, hoses deteriorate or any outside moisture enters the fluid. Such problems all result in contamination of the fluid, likely causing small openings to plug up the steering system, an increase in friction, or even interference with the fluid’s hydraulic characteristics. Contamination may lead to the failure of a power steering component.

Power Steering Fluid

Proper Electronic Power Steering Maintenance

The EPS system takes advantage of an electric motor, so no fluid is required! This decreases the amount of routine maintenance this system needs. However, there’s still plenty of ways to damage your EPS. For example, it’s not advised to drive over bumpy or damaged roads at high speeds. Hard bumps and vibrations can cause damage to the steering rack.

It’s also important to also check to make sure the rubber protective coverings are still in good condition. If water, dust and dirt get into the steering wheel arch, it can cause rusting and other problems for the EPS system.

Easy Ways to Maintain Your Power Steering System

Our team of ASE-certified technicians at Aamco of Keller are here to assist you with any power steering system problems while helping you avoid any more damage to your car.

Here are a few helpful reminders to help keep your Power Steering System in the best possible working condition.

Have the High and Low-Pressure Hoses Checked

Power steering fluid is transported through two main hoses. One of the hoses adds high-pressure and the other returns it back to the fluid tank with low-pressure. It’s common for leaks to form in either of the two hoses. Thus they should be checked on a regular basis to make sure that they don’t rub against one each other and that any protective coverings remain intact.

Change the Filter

Some drivers don’t even know there’s a power steering fluid filter. The filter should be changed every year unless indicated differently in the owner’s manual. It’s necessary to always keep the fluid clean so that it flows freely to reduce the wear-and-tear on the pump. It’s surprising how many contaminants make their way into the fluid’s tank. It’s the filters job to keep the contaminants out and the fluid clean.

Inspect the Power Steering Fluid Regularly

Keeping the filter changed on a regular basis in addition to keeping the fluid free from contaminants means higher quality fluid. The quality of the fluid is able to be determined from home by sampling and inspecting the color, while making sure there are no pieces of dirt, metal, grime or other pieces of debris. When the fluid is darker, the quality is a lot lower. When the fluid is dark and also has many particles and debris floating in it as well, that’s when you know it’s time for the fluid to be flushed out and replaced.

Aamco of Keller Your Local Power Steering Experts

Keeping you and your family safely on the road is important to us at AAMCO Keller.  If your believe you’re facing potential issues with your car’s power steering system, let one of our expert AAMCO Keller technicians correctly diagnose your vehicles issue. Stop into our shop located at 1485 S. Main St., Keller, TX 76248 or contact us today for an appointment.

Have your Power Steering inspected by the locally trusted experts at AAMCO of Keller.  Call us today at (817) 431-0009 or schedule your appointment online now.