Most newer drivers have no idea how lucky they are to have power steering in their vehicles. There was a time when turning while driving at slower speeds could build a little strength in your arms, and could be almost impossible for some drivers. Especially when backing out of a parking spot.
Fortunately, we have moved past the “good ol days” and modern hydraulic systems have taken over the hard work so we can focus on driving.
But for the power steering to continue working properly, there are some things to keep in mind when performing maintenance on your vehicle.
First, here’s a bit of information on how the hydraulics work.
With hydraulics, your steering is assisted by using pressurized fluid to actuate the hydraulic cylinder. This fluid is pressurized by a pump, which is powered either with an electric motor, or most often by your serpentine belt. These all work together allowing you to gently turn your steering wheel using the strength of one finger, rather than your whole arms.
To keep this system working smoothly, make sure to check your power steering fluid level regularly. It’s also important to understand that over time, the fluid will break down, causing your power steering system to work harder. The fluid also becomes contaminated by small fragments of seals and O-Rings that eventually wear the parts down requiring you to replace it. This degraded and contaminated fluid can also damage the rack in your steering system, which is a pretty big expense to replace.
To prevent this from happening and costing several hundred or more to repair, it’s often recommended to replace your power steering fluid when you change your oil. At the very least, you want to have it looked at if you notice the level of fluid getting lower over time. This is a sign you may have a leak, so don’t overlook this important part of your normal inspection cycle.
That goes the same for any whining sounds or if you notice it getting more difficult to turn your steering wheel.
If you are not sure about the condition or your power steering pump, or you are already experiencing these symptoms, give Leslie a call at 541-757-7042 to set up a quick appointment. He’ll be glad to take a look and get your car back in tip top condition.
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Bob’s Auto & Towing
785 Northwest Cornell Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97330
Call or visit Bob’s Auto Repair Shop. Your premier auto repair shop in Corvallis since 1977.