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6407 West Lake Street


Mon-Thu: 7am -6pm
Friday: 7am – 5pm

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What to do if the Power Steering Quits

by | Apr 30, 2018 | Car Care Tips, General Car Maintenance, Handling, Power steering

power steering


Making sure the power steering is working is important. If the power steering goes out, you will find it difficult to steer and turn the wheel. This is because the steering functionality has quit for your car. The technology that allows you to steer your car comes down to a few simple components. There is a pump that maintains pressure in the hydraulic system, using fluid to control the motion of the valves and pistons. This makes the wheel turn with less effort on the part of the driver. Basically, these hydraulics take the pressure off of your actual gears and internal mechanisms, and though you’re the one turning the wheel, the hydraulics are doing most of the work for you.

Hydraulic system

If there is a problem with this hydraulic system, turning the steering wheel will take a lot more physical exertion. Driving the car may actually leave you sore. If this happens, the simplest solution is if the vehicle has run out of fluid. This could be due to a leak or it could be because you have not replaced the fluid recently.

The pump

A more serious problem is that the pump itself is failing, certainly something that can happen in older vehicles. Additionally, it is possible for the fluid itself to become contaminated, as parts of the hydraulic system start to corrode. This caused by simple wear and tear.

Proper inspections

The best way to prevent all this from happening is to take good care of your system, which really comes down to changing the fluid regularly. Also, know the warning signs of a fluid leak. If your vehicle has been sitting for a long time and you see a puddle of pink or amber liquid beneath it, it could be the power steering fluid.

If the power steering goes out when driving, remember do not panic. Slowly pull your vehicle to the shoulder of the road. Remember that turning will take a lot more effort than you’re used to, and also remember to brake gradually. Slamming the brakes could send the vehicle into a tailspin, and without proper steering controls you’ll have no way to straighten it out.