Why is your power steering not working?

If you’ve ever had to steer your car with the ignition turned off, you will know how difficult it is to turn without power steering. Your car’s power steering system uses hydraulic force to multiply the energy applied by the steering wheel, making it easy and safe to turn.

The main reason power steering systems stop working is because one of several vital components fails. This leads to a lack of hydraulic pressure and difficulty turning your vehicle. The difficult part is diagnosing which part has failed. Below are some of the most common problems and their symptoms:


Causes of power steering not working:

1. Power steering fluid leaking

Power steering fluid is a clear, amber colour. Over time, it will become brown or black. Look for these colours when trying to determine if a leak is power steering fluid.

Leaks in the power steering reservoir can lead to low levels of fluid. This reduces the amount of hydraulic pressure created. This also puts additional stress on the power steering pump, causing it to wear more quickly.

To determine if the power steering is low, check the levels in the power steering fluid reservoir, topping up if necessary. If the levels continue to deplete, there may be a leak in your system. Look for leaks underneath the front of your vehicle to find a power steering fluid leak.


2. Power steering pump not working

Over time, the power steering pump will be subject to wear. This will lead to increased difficulty in turning.  You may also hear the power steering pump operating at a louder volume (or a type off whirring noise when turning).

The power steering pump will wear more quickly if you operate your car on low fluid levels. This is because it has to work harder.


3. Snapped power steering drive belt

The power steering drive belt (or serpentine belt) transfers engine power to several important components. These include the power steering system and sometimes water pump, alternator and air-conditioning.

If the drive belt snaps, you will immediately notice the effects. The power steering will stop working and the engine’s temperature will begin to rise. The battery may also not charge, leading to the car not turning on.

In order to prevent permanent / expensive engine damage, we recommend that you stop driving immediately if the drive belt snaps.


4. Damaged power steering hoses

Power steering hoses move fluid from the reservoir to the steering rack. Over time, contamination can cause the hoses to become blocked or deteriorate to a point where they leak. A blockage or leakage will prevent fluid from reaching the rack, resulting in tight turning.


5. Power Steering fails Warrant of Fitness

If any of the above symptoms are present then your vehicle is likely to fail a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) until they necessary fixes are carried out.


Power Steering System Replacement & Diagnostics Hamilton

Is your car’s power steering system not working correctly? If so, we can get it working for you again. At Grimmer Motors, our experienced and trusted mechanics can inspect your power steering system, quickly finding any leaks or other issues. From there, we can provide expert estimates and fixes. This will result in smoother, safer steering.

For power steering services in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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