As a car owner, you rely on your power steering to make driving as effortless as possible. Power steering is a hydraulic-electric system that uses power from your car’s engine to assist you in steering the wheels. But just like any other system in your car, power steering can develop issues over time. Knowing what to look for can help you diagnose and fix these problems before they escalate into something more serious.
Here are six common power steering issues that you should know about:
Electric Power Steering Failure
Electric power steering (EPS) systems have replaced the traditional hydraulic power steering systems in many modern cars. However, EPS failure occurs mostly due to electrical faults; this is more apparent when you notice your steering being too heavy or slow. In this case, you should take your car to a mechanic to have the EPS system checked.
Some common causes of EPS failure include a damaged steering angle sensor, a blown fuse, or a faulty control module.
Leaks in the Steering System
Power steering systems rely on hydraulic fluid to function properly. If there is a leak in the system, the fluid level will drop, causing the power steering to fail. Worn seals, hose cracks, or any damaged components can end up causing leaks. If you notice fluid under your car, have your power steering system checked for leaks.
To prevent leaks from happening, it’s important to maintain the power steering system. For this, check the fluid level regularly and replace the fluid when it seems to have become contaminated.
Worn Steering Gear
The steering gear is an important component in your power steering system. It’s responsible for converting the rotational motion of your wheel into the linear motion needed for stable steering. Over time, the steering gear can wear out, causing it to become loose or develop play. If you notice your steering wheel being loose, it might be time for a replacement.
In some cases, worn steering gear can cause the steering wheel to vibrate, which can be dangerous when driving at high speeds.
Damaged Power Steering Pump
The power steering pump is responsible for providing the hydraulic pressure that assists your steering. If the pump is damaged or worn, it may not be able to provide enough pressure, causing the power steering to fail. If you hear a whining or growling noise when you turn the steering wheel, this could indicate your power steering pump needs replacement.
Power steering fluid can also become overheated due to a malfunctioning pump, which causes further problems.
Clogged Power Steering System
The power steering system can become clogged with debris, causing it to fail. This can happen if debris gets into the fluid, or if the power steering filter becomes clogged. When power steering feels heavy or is slow to respond, you need to check your system for clogging. This is when your system will need a cleaning.
To prevent clogs from happening, it’s important to maintain the power steering system by flushing the fluid and replacing the filter when necessary.
Conversion to Manual Steering
In some cases, car owners may choose to convert their power steering to manual steering. Performance or racing applications typically require this. The idea behind this conversion is to eliminate the power steering pump and associated components, which can reduce weight and free up engine power. However, converting your power steering system to manual steering requires significant modification to your car and should only be done by a professional.
The conversion process involves removing the power steering pump, hoses, and fluid. The steering gear is then replaced with a manual steering box. You’ll need to remove the car’s steering system as a result. This is a complex and time-consuming task. Furthermore, the steering will be much heavier and require more effort to turn, which can be tiring during long drives.
In conclusion, power steering issues can range from minor problems to major issues that require a complete overhaul. If you notice any of the problems mentioned above, it’s important to have your power steering system checked as soon as possible.
At our dealership, Toyota Creek Motors, in Karachi, we have a team of experienced technicians who can diagnose and fix power steering problems quickly and efficiently. If you’re facing any power steering issues, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment.