src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1486846771408232&ev=PageView&noscript=1"

Power Steering Pump: How to Tell If It's Bad

Signs of a Faulty Power Steering Pump

Main Causes of Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms

Can You Drive With a Bad Power Steering Pump?

How Much is a Power Steering Pump Replacement?

Get Your Car Inspected Today

From fluid leaks to metallic flakes, there are several ways for you to tell that your power steering pump is faulty. Since the power steering pump is a vital component of your vehicle, it’s critical to familiarize yourself with these signs so your car won’t have to be one of the 12 million vehicles involved in traffic crashes.

This article will discuss the symptoms of a bad power steering pump, how much it costs to get it replaced, and why it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible.

Signs of a Faulty Power Steering Pump

Here are some of the common signs of a bad power steering pump you need to watch out for:

1. A significant drop in power steering fluid

One of the telltale signs of a failing power steering pump is a sudden drop in power steering fluid levels. This could be a sign that the pump is leaking. Faulty power steering pumps often cause fluid to leak between the reservoir and the pump itself.

However, remember that not all leaks can be associated with a faulty power steering pump. That’s why a thorough inspection should be done to determine the issue.

What to do: Perform a visual inspection and look for signs of brown or reddish fluids inside the engine compartment. Once you confirm a leak, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional for further inspection and possible repairs.

2. Pump makes whining or grinding noises

If you hear whining or grinding noises when you turn the wheel, it could signify that your power steering pump is on its way out. These sounds are often caused by a lack of fluid or an obstruction in the system.

Hearing strange noises whenever you’re turning the wheel is generally a clear indication of a problem with the car’s steering system. However, it’s not necessarily a confirmation that a faulty power steering pump caused the issue.

For example, whining and grinding noises can also indicate bad bearing issues. It’s best to have your vehicle inspected first to determine the actual cause of the noise issue properly.

What to do: Take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to have it inspected. Grinding and whining noises often indicate that some internal components are loose or have already broken off. Those are serious issues that could potentially damage other parts of your vehicle and affect how you drive.

3. Pump is hot to the touch

If you feel that your power steering pump is abnormally hot, it’s time to have it checked out. This could be a sign that the pump is working harder than it should be, which can cause it to overheat.

Overheating is often caused by a lack of fluid, dirty fluid, or an obstruction in the system. It’s important to address these issues as soon as possible, as an overheated power steering pump can potentially lead to engine failure.

What to do: If you suspect that your power steering pump is overheating, take your car to a mechanic right away for inspection. You may need to have the pump replaced if it’s determined that it’s causing the car to overheat.

4. Fluid is thick or discolored

If the power steering fluid is thick, cloudy, or has a burnt smell, it’s time to have the pump replaced. This is usually a sign that the pump isn’t working correctly and isn’t filtering out contaminants as it should.

The pump may also be dirty if the fluid is discolored. This can cause damage to the pump and other components in the steering system.

What to do: Have your power steering fluid checked as soon as possible to see if it needs to be replaced. If the fluid is thick, cloudy, or burnt, the pump is most likely faulty and needs to be replaced.

5. Steering becomes difficult at high speeds

If you notice that the steering becomes harder to control at high speeds, this could be because the power steering pump isn’t working properly. The power steering pump pressurizes hydraulic fluid and enables the driver to steer the vehicle.

An issue with the power steering pump can be easily felt when turning the steering wheel. When driving at high speeds, you may find it difficult or rough to use the steering wheel. This can be extremely dangerous since losing your ability to steer at high speeds can lead to fatal accidents. Any issues with the steering wheel need to be addressed as soon as possible.

What to do: If you’re experiencing difficulty steering at high speeds, take your car to a mechanic immediately. Regardless of the cause, losing the ability to steer properly is already a clear sign that your vehicle needs to be inspected and repaired by a professional.

6. Vehicle pulls to one side when braking

If your car starts to pull to one side when you brake, there’s likely an issue with the power steering pump. This is often caused by fluid loss, leading to a seized pump.

A seized pump can cause extensive damage to the accessory belt, causing it to wear out or snap. This can put the driver and everyone else in the car at risk because it’ll be more challenging to steer the vehicle properly.

It’s vital to have the pump repaired as soon as possible if you’re experiencing this issue.

What to do: Take your car to a mechanic if you notice that it pulls to one side when braking. They will determine whether you are in fact dealing with a seized pump or some other issue.

7. Metallic flakes on the steering fluid cap

If you notice that there are flakes of metal on the power steering fluid reservoir cap, it’s a clear sign that there’s something wrong with the power steering pump.

These metallic flakes usually come from friction between the pump’s components resulting from a lack of fluid.

If left unchecked, this issue can severely damage the pump and other components in the system.

What to do: If you see flakes of metal on the power steering fluid reservoir cap, take your car to a mechanic for inspection. There’s a good chance that the pump is faulty and needs to be replaced.

One of the most common reasons for a bad power steering pump is a lack of fluid.

Main Causes of Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms

car dashboard

There are six main causes of bad power steering pump symptoms: lack of fluid, dirty fluid, obstruction in the system, seized pump, low pressure, and high pressure.

Lack of fluid

When there’s not enough fluid in the system, it can cause the pump to overheat and seize.

Make sure that you have enough power steering fluid in your car. You should check the level of fluid regularly and add more if necessary.

Dirty fluid

If the power steering fluid isn’t clean, it can cause many problems for the pump. The dirty fluid can cause the pump to overheat and seize, as well as damage other components in the system.

Get your power steering fluid replaced regularly. This will help ensure that the fluid is clean and won’t cause any damage to the pump or other components.

Obstruction in the system

If there’s something clogging or blocking the system, it can cause the power steering pump to overheat and seize. This obstruction can be caused by several things, such as dirt, rust, or corrosion.

If you suspect an obstruction, take your car to a mechanic for inspection. Whatever is blocking the pump will need to be removed for it to work as intended.

Seized pump

If the power steering pump seizes up, it can cause a lot of damage to the car. It can also cause fluid loss, leading to many other issues such as excessive friction between pump components.

If you suspected a seized pump, take your car to a mechanic for repair. It will need to be replaced so the car can be driven safely on the road.

High and low pressure

A power steering pump that doesn’t produce high or low pressure can make it harder to steer, making it extremely risky to drive at high speeds. Several problems, such as a loss of fluid, a seized pump, and component damage, can sometimes be traced to an imbalance of pressure.

Take your car to a mechanic if you’re experiencing high or low pressure in the power steering system. This is often a sign that the pump needs to be replaced.

Driving your vehicle with a damaged power steering pump is extremely dangerous.

Can You Drive With a Bad Power Steering Pump?

man driving

You can drive with a bad power steering pump, but it’s not recommended. The pump is responsible for transmitting power to the steering wheel, so if it’s not working properly, you won’t be able to steer the car. In some cases, you may even experience difficulty braking the car.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of a bad power steering pump, take your car to a mechanic for repair as soon as you can. Driving your vehicle with a damaged power steering pump makes it difficult to steer, which is extremely risky when on the road.

While repairs are possible, it’s likely that the pump should be replaced for the car to function properly.

How Much is a Power Steering Pump Replacement?

The cost of a power steering pump replacement can vary depending on the make and model of your car. However, the average cost is between $500 and $700.

Having your power steering pump replaced can be expensive, with the part itself costing somewhere between $350 and $500. Your vehicle’s brand can also affect the price. For example, a 2013 Honda CRV’s power steering pump can cost around $571 while a 2014 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG costs $982.

While you can replace the power steering pump yourself, it’s often recommended that you have a mechanic do the replacement. This is because some other components in the system can also be damaged when the pump fails.

Additionally, if your power steering pump is seized, it will need to be replaced, and you'll likely require a tow truck to take your car to the mechanic. This service can cost you extra as well.

Get Your Car Inspected Today

man inspecting a car

If you’re experiencing any of these bad power steering pump symptoms, take your car to a mechanic for inspection. The sooner you get the repair or replacement done, the safer you and your passengers will be.

Additionally, keep a close eye on the fluid level in your car’s power steering system and get the fluid replaced regularly. This simple maintenance tip helps ensure that the pump functions correctly and won’t fail unexpectedly.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your vehicle, be sure to get in touch with our team at Auto Works of Brandon. Our company offers everything your vehicle needs from auto inspections to component replacements. Get in touch with our team today to set up an appointment.

Categories:

Car Maintenance
Auto Works Of Brandon is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Auto Works of Brandon (813) 657-4399 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.