– Symptoms of power steering problems
– Causes and Consequences of a Power Steering Problem
– How to solve a power steering problem?
Power steering problems are easily detected. If manoeuvres suddenly require more effort from the driver or if a noise is heard when turning the steering wheel, it is time to have a service performed by a professional or to check the condition and fluid levels yourself. A simple operation that avoids a lot of trouble.
Symptoms of power steering problems
This driver assistance system has been present on all new cars for about 15 years. It is a mechanism that relieves the driver during maneuvers. When the driver wants to steer the wheels in a different direction with a single touch of the steering wheel, an auxiliary power source lightens the load almost instantaneously. Driving in urban areas is more pleasant and parking becomes child’s play.
If the power steering system is damaged or close to failure, the driver will notice it right away. And with good reason: all manoeuvres will be more difficult. The steering wheel is hard to steer and you have to force the wheels in one direction when you’re doing a simple slot. The hardening can only be felt when the steering wheel turns to the right, or to the left, or even to both sides. It all depends on the origin of the breakage.
Good to know: a muffled rumble or hissing sound can also prevent a malfunction in the power steering.
Causes and consequences of a power steering problem
Like all other key components in automotive mechanics, power steering components can wear out and lead to system-wide failure. That’s why, before repairing it, it’s important to understand where the breakage comes from. Here are a few ideas:
– if you hear a hissing sound when you manoeuvre, check the fluid level: if it’s below the usual level, add the difference in the moment;
– if the power steering works harder on one side than the other, the power cylinder is certainly involved: it may need to be changed;
– if both sides are equally difficult, it may be a lack of hydraulic pressure: contact a professional if a leak is detected.
Other more recurring causes may be responsible for a malfunction: a worn seal, a faulty control valve or a corroded assist pump. In all cases, contact a professional as soon as possible before the entire system fails.
How do I solve a power steering problem?
Power steering works with liquids: oil for automatic gearboxes, LHM for hydropneumatic suspensions.
In both cases, the hydraulic fluid is responsible for the pressure emitted by the system to engage the mechanism. In order to ensure the good health of the power steering system, it is essential to check the level of these fluids regularly. Otherwise, premature wear and breakage will occur.
Good to know: the entire power steering structure must be drained every 4 to 5 years.
Fluids eventually break down with wear and tear. Harmful components can penetrate the mechanism.
Example: To check if air has entered the hoses, you can ask someone to turn the steering wheel fully while you observe the fluid level in the reservoir. If the level does not drop significantly, there is air in the tank, so it must be drained and vented.
How do I drain a power steering system?
To drain the power steering system, you can use the following instructions:
– place your vehicle on stands so that you can steer the wheels during the manoeuvre;
– turn off the engine and wait for it to cool completely before taking any action;
– Insert a syringe into the pump jar to draw oil out of the mechanism;
– once the syringe has drawn in as much oil as possible, remove the return hose and place a basin under the car;
– maneuver the steering wheel from left to right to expel the rest of the fluid and the air as you would do a brake change: push it all the way down;
– when the power steering cylinder is empty, replace the hose and pour new oil into the system by gently turning the steering wheel from left to right.
Note: if the oil flowing into the syringe is “muddy”, it was high time to change it!
If you don’t want to take care of the oil change, Gilman Sport offers to drain your power steering. A power steering that breaks down means that you have to change some components: a hydraulic pump or even more. And if the whole system needs to be changed, you can count on their team of professional mechanics who are very knowledgeable in the matter and they will be able to get your car back in working order.