In the past, effectively steering a vehicle was not exactly a walk in the park. Only drivers with strong arms could perfectly steer a vehicle. However, the invention of power steering brought light to many drivers. In this article, you will find more about its purpose, how to identify any defect, and the power steering pump cost.
Due to the necessity of regular inspections and repairs, car ownership comes with a hefty price tag. The costs associated with repairs and replacements can be kept to a minimum if routine maintenance is performed consistently. Even though the power steering pump may seem like a crucial component of your car’s engine, many motorists believe replacing it will be prohibitively expensive.
What is a power steering pump?
Most vintage automobiles lacked power steering, making them more difficult to maneuver. As a result, engineers have developed hydraulic aids for steering with progress in the steering systems. The pump used to operate the power steering is an integral part of the vehicle’s hydraulics. It is the pump that helps to pressurize and recirculate power steering fluid.
Turning the wheel is aided by the pressurized fluid once it has been sent through a hose to the steering pump. When the wheel is in motion, the fluid is recirculated through the pump and pressurized through a different hose again. This procedure continues as long as the engine is running, so you never have to worry about being without power steering. Most modern automobiles have power steering; thus, a failed pump is readily apparent in the form of a difficult-to-turn steering wheel.
Power steering pumps can either be a belt-driven or hydraulic-driven electric pump. The pressure generated by each of these pumps is what drives the power steering assist motor. If you didn’t have this, turning the steering wheel would need the strength of an Olympian or powerlifter.
When should you replace the power steering pump?
The power steering pump must be properly maintained as it is a vital part of any vehicle. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the pump is defective before replacing it.
If you’re experiencing any of the following issues with your power steering, it is time to replace the pump.
Sounds like groaning, whining, or screeching when you spin the wheel or move with an increased speed could indicate a failing power steering pump. In addition, because a belt drives the pump, unusual noises may indicate a problem with the belt.
Also read: What To Do If Your Car Squeaks When Driving
Difficulty in turning the steering wheel
Another major symptom of a faulty power steering pump is difficulty turning the vehicle. Again, when you’re moving slowly, you’ll probably have the most trouble.
Leakage of fluids
A leak in the fluid supply is a common warning indication of a failing pump. In terms of color, the power steering fluid is either red or reddish brown. After driving, be sure to look for puddles under the car. A leak may not always indicate a faulty pump, but it does point to an issue with the system.
How much does it cost for a power steering pump replacement?
When the power steering pump fails, it’s usually advisable to replace it rather than try to have it fixed, as doing so would be costly and inefficient.
To access the power steering pump, a mechanic will disassemble the vehicle’s drive belts or disconnect the electric pump, which is a complex process. Therefore, whenever problems arise, you should replace them immediately.
The cost of the pump, as well as the ease and availability with which it may be replaced, depends on the make and model of the vehicle.
A power steering pump replacement will cost anything from $300 to $800. Based on the labor costs, these values may vary.
What process to follow to replace the power steering pump?
The mechanic will let the engine cool down before removing the drive belt in the case of a belt-driven pump. The mechanic will discover the pump attached to the steering shaft or the steering rack if it is a hydraulic electric pump.
Both types of pumps require the removal of panels, dashes, and perhaps the steering column to reach the pump for its removal.
The mechanic unscrews threaded connectors to access the pump’s inlet and outlet.
The mechanic takes off any or all mounting bolts and brackets. He may flush the system to eliminate any potential contamination in the power steering system.
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They affix the new pump, connect the pressure and return lines, and release any trapped air.
Belt-driven pumps require regular maintenance by a mechanic to ensure proper operation.
The mechanic fires up the engine and takes the car for a spin to ensure the new power steering pump is working properly.
If a belt drives the pump, the technician will recheck the belt tension after the test run and make any necessary adjustments.
Is it important to replace the power steering pump?
If your power steering pump fails, driving your automobile, especially at slow speeds, will be a major hassle.
Driving will be less taxing and stressful if you replace a broken power steering pump. As soon as the defect is identified, replace the power steering pump immediately without much delay.
You can try to save money by replacing the faulty pump on your own, but if you lack skill in this area, it’s probably best to hire a professional.