3 Signs Your Power Steering May Be Failing

Posted on Oct 31, 2019

Avoid an Aggrevating Drive by Looking Out for These Power Steering Issues. 

For this blog entry, we want to give you key identifiers for when your power steering is about to fail.  Why? Because driving without power steering is awful, and it could be dangerous.

Sure, anyone can tell that their vehicle’s power steering is out; it’s almost impossible to turn your steering wheel.  But how do you know that you may have a power steering issue before the system fails completely?  Catching a power steering issue before your system completely fails can be a huge time saver and save you the aggravation of driving several miles to your mechanic without your power steering assistance.  Here are some big signs that your power steering is about to fail.


Steering Feels Loose or “Jumpy”


If there is a leak in your power steering system, you will be constantly loosing pressure in the lines.  You may also have air building up in your system.  Both of these issues could cause the power steering to engage, then disengage repeatedly during a long turn.  Your steering wheel even may feel like it’s vibrating in your hands.  If you feel this happening, make sure that your power steering reservoir is full, and get to your mechanic as soon as possible.


Squeaking or Whining When Car is Started


Listen closely the next time you turn over your ignition.  If you hear a squealing noise coming from from the hood, it could be your power steering.  As your power steering pump begins to fail, it does not let the serpentine belt rotate normally, causing it to slip and cause the awful noise that you are hearing.  There is no amount of power steering fluid that can fix this problem.  Time to head to the repair shop as soon as possible.


Noises While Steering


If your car tends to make a low grown while you are steering, it could be your power steering pump struggling to make the wheels turn.  This is almost always a sign that the pump is about to fail.  Try not to drive to long with this symptom, as it could cause permanent damage to the rest of the steering mechanisms, leading to a more costly repair.


For all of these situations above, we recommend visiting your mechanic as quickly as possible.  A power steering pump is hard to fix without specific tools, so a quick fix in an auto repair store parking lot may be out of the question.  On another note, driving without power steering can be dangerous.  As mentioned above, there are situations when the pump is failing that can cause the power steering to engage and then turn off.  If this happens while you are on a large, double lane turn, you would be fighting against the steering wheel to keep the car turning at a consistent arc, and possibly struggling to stay in your lane.


Master Tech has been providing certified auto repair to the city of Santa Fe for over 20 years.  If you recognize any of the symptoms above, feel free to give us a call and schedule an appointment.  Our staff would love to take care of you and your vehicle, to get you back on the road safely.  Please contact us soon.

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