Car Power Steering Diagnosis and Troubleshooting

Car Power Steering Diagnosis and Troubleshooting

Nowadays, power steering has become standard equipment on most cars. With the passage of car service time, it wears out as systems age. The failure of the power steering system could be the result of many different reasons varying from alignment problems to a bad power steering pump. Below are a few simple tips and techniques you can follow for power steering diagnosis.
Check the power steering fluid level. If there’s not enough fluid, it’ll be hard to make turns. Unscrew the cap of the power steering pump and check the fluid level. If it’s not full, buy power steering fluid from your local automotive supply store and refill the pump. If you have to add fluid frequently, you may have a leak.
Inspect the hoses and lines around the power steering pump for possible leaks.
Lift the front end of the car with a jack. Check the seals of the rack and pinion for leaks. If you have an older car, you may have a recirculating ball unit to check instead.
Check for loose belts. Have someone turn on the engine and turn the steering wheel while you listen for any noise coming from the pump. A screechy, loud sound indicates a loose belt that needs adjustment.
If none of these steps pinpoints a problem, a mechanic can raise your car up on a lift or ramp to check for problems under the car. A mechanic can also look for problems within the steering column itself.
Then I’ll go with several common steering problems, the possible causes and the corresponding corrections.
1.Steering wheel is hard to turn :
You find that it is getting more difficult to turn the steering wheel. It feels like something is binding or dragging. This may or may not happen suddenly or is getting worse over time.
Possible causes:
Low tire pressure: Check and adjust tire pressures.
The wheels are out of alignment: Have the wheels aligned.
The power steering box or rack or power steering pump is bad: Repair or replace steering gear or pump as required.
The fluid level in the power steering reservoir is low: Fill fluid to proper level.
The power steering drive belt is damaged or broken: Replace power steering drive belt.
The steering gear needs to be lubricated or repaired: Lubricate or replace steering gear parts as required.
2.Hard steering:
You notice it takes much more strength to turn the steering wheel. This is especially noticed when you are trying to park. The problem seems to be getting worse.
Possible causes:
Low tire pressure: Check and adjust tire pressures.
The steering gear needs to be lubricated: Lubricate steering gear parts as required.
The wheels are out of alignment: Have the wheels aligned.
A part of the steering linkage is damaged and does not move freely: Replace steering gear parts as required.
Your steering box needs to be adjusted: Adjust steering box as required.
You have a problem with the power steering pump: Repair or replace power steering pump as required.
3.Loose steering:
You notice that the steering wheel is very easy to move and actually feels quite sloppy. It creates an uneasy feeling on the highway because it seems you have no control of your car. The problem seems to be getting worse.
Possible causes:
Steering linkage is worn and parts need to be replaced: Replace affected parts.
Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened: Tighten or replace loose parts as required.
Your steering box needs to be adjusted: Adjust steering box as required.
4.Power steering doesn’t seem to be working:
It takes a lot of effort to turn the steering wheel. In fact, at low speeds you can hardly turn it. The problem is less obvious at high speeds simply because you need to move the steering wheel less at those speeds. The problem may have occurred suddenly.
Possible causes:
No fluid in the power steering reservoir: Fill fluid to proper level.
You have a bad power steering pump: Repair or replace power steering pump.
The power steering drive belt is broken: Replace power steering drive belt.
The fluid in the system is contaminated: Flush power steering out power steering fluid and replace with fresh clean fluid.
You have a steering linkage problem: Repair or replace linkage parts as required.
There is a leak in the power steering lines: Replace power steering lines as required.
Low tire pressure: Check and adjust tire pressures.
The above message is helpful for steering problem troubleshooting; however, it is based on common experience and more or less a bit subjective. In addition, you can try to trace down the trouble origin, but you are not sure that you can definitely find it. This is where technology comes into its function. The MaxiCheck Pro SAS is specially designed by Autel to meet people’s demand if they find any issue with their steering system. This professional tool saves both your time and money if your car experiences any steering trouble. Click the product image below and search for more information!

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