One of the top advantages of owning a car that uses a power steering system is that it's much easier to control it when driving. In fact, at higher speeds, the amount of play in your steering wheel will be greatly reduced. Power steering systems are made up of various components and the pump is one of them. The power steering pump is responsible for providing the hydraulic pressure that your power steering system requires to function. However, just like any other vehicle component, the pump may pick up some problems down the line. When this happens, your drivability will definitely be affected. To prevent this, watch out for these signs that your power steering pump is failing.
The Steering Wheel Is Harder To Turn
Turning a power steering wheel is usually simple. Therefore, a hard turning steering wheel is one of the most common signs that the power steering pump is failing. If turning your power steering wheel feels stiff, you should have the pump checked as soon as possible.
Along with this, the steering wheel may also be slow to respond. This will in most cases happen when making corners so be keen to identify this. If these two symptoms occur at the same time, it may be a confirmation that your power steering pump is going bad.
The Steering Wheel Makes Usual Noises When Turning
A properly functioning power steering should be characteristically quiet when in operation. If you notice whining noises when turning your steering wheel, you may be dealing with a failing power steering pump. In most cases, this would be a result of a leak in the pump. Therefore, check the level of power steering fluid. If it's low, there could be a leak somewhere in the pump that needs repair. When checking fluid levels, be keen on its appearance too. Healthy fluid should be bright red in colour. If you notice bubbles in the fluid, your power steering line could be having water or air in it so you should have it checked. Listen for squealing or groaning noises too.
The Steering Wheel Fails Completely
This is a more severe case of a failing power steering pump. It can be extremely dangerous if this happens when you are in the middle of the road because you will lose control of your car. It is, therefore, of vital importance to note the signs of a failing power steering pump early enough to prevent such outcomes. However, remember that this could be caused by a number of problems in your power steering system like faulty tensioners or belts.