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7 Symptoms of A Bad Power Steering Pump

7 Symptoms of A Bad Power Steering Pump

Here are the seven symptoms of a bad power steering pump:

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  • Fluid leaks underneath the vehicle
  • Drop in the power steering fluid
  • Weird metal flakes on the steering fluid
  • Weird squealing noises every time you start up your car
  • Strange whining noises every time you turn
  • Irresponsive power steering system
  • Difficulty controlling the power steering

Detecting car problems early helps you resolve the issue without needing to install major components. As a result, you mustn't worry about very high repair costs. The good news is that most vehicles will show some symptoms indicating a minor or major component going bad internally.

Your vehicle power steering pump is a very critical component that you must maintain all the time to help control your car. Unfortunately, with the power steering pump failing overtime reviews, you'll need to replace it to prevent safety issues that could get you involved in major car accidents.

This article highlights the seven symptoms of a bad power steering pump. You must consult your mechanic immediately and get the power steering pump replaced to resolve the issue whenever you notice all these symptoms.

What is the power steering pump, and what does it do?

Before we dive into the details about “symptoms of a bad power steering pump,” it is critical to understand the main purpose of this pump in your vehicle and its role.


As the name suggests, the power steering pump is responsible for ensuring that all power steering fluid reaches the different components within your steering system. Since the steering system relies on hydraulic power, this pump must work all the time properly so you can't control the car and steer it.

Over time of use, the power steering pump is expected to fail because it's not designed to last forever. When this happens, you must get it replaced immediately. The good news is that many symptoms are indicating that the power steering pump is failing before the pump fails. Therefore, you must go through the following section to get an idea about some of these symptoms and be proactive about replacing the power steering pump before it fails.

Seven symptoms of a bad power steering pump

Your vehicles are smart enough to bring your attention to problems in their internal components before they even happen. That's why it is critical to familiarize yourself with the common symptoms indicating some of these failing components.

Since the power steering pump is a core component in your vehicle, learning about the symptoms of a bad power steering pump helps you detect the problem as early as possible to get it resolved before dealing with sudden breakdowns.

Let's take a closer look at the seven symptoms of a bad power steering pump:

1-    Fluid leaks underneath the vehicle

One of the first things you must inspect when dealing with a steering system problem is to look underneath the vehicle and confirm that there are no signs of fluid leaks.

If you saw any puddle of fluid underneath the car come up, it could be a lot of different issues because your vehicle contains a lot of different fluids. You can't confirm that it's the steering fluid if you look carefully at the color because the steering fluid color is typically red-brown.

2-    Drop in the power steering fluid

Another common symptom indicating that the power steering pump is failing is when you notice a reduction in the power steering fluid. Typically, the bad power steering pump will cause the fluid to leak from locations between the pump itself and the reservoir.

Therefore, perform a quick visual inspection and look for any signs of red or brown fluid leaks inside the engine compartment. When this happens, it is an issue with the power steering pump.

Keep in mind that the power steering fluid might leak because of a lot of other reasons. Therefore, you cannot immediately replace the power steering pump as a solution to take care of this leak. Thus, we recommend that your mechanic performs a thorough inspection to confirm the actual carpet.

3-    Weird metal flakes on the steering fluid

When the power steering pump fails or is about to fail, many worn-out metal flakes and oxidation signs will appear on top of the power steering fluid. Therefore, if you noticed that the power steering fluid is not red or brown and it's more like I agree or Chrome color, the issue might be related to a bad or worn-out power steering pump.

4-    Weird squealing noises every time you start up your car

Although this symptom might be linked to an issue with the accessory belt, problems with the power steering pump might also cause some squealing noises every time you start your car.

Before you go ahead and replace the power steering pump, you must take a closer look at the accessory belt and confirm that it's well tightened, and check if you're still noticing the quick squealing noises or not. If tightening the belt did not resolve the issue, then you can go ahead and inspect the pump.

5-    Strange whining noises every time you turn

Any weird noises coming from your vehicle related to the power steering or not should be taken seriously. This is because the noises are just ways for your vehicle to communicate with you and bring it to your attention to internal issues.

Most noise is happening every time you move the steering is also related to the steering system itself. Therefore, if you realize some whining noises every time you turn, the issue will be related to one of the steering system components, which is the steering pump. Keep in mind that some of these noises might also be linked to a bad bearing, which indicates that you'll confirm the actual culprit before making final decisions about replacement.

  • Irresponsive power steering system

As we indicated earlier, the steering system relies on hydraulic power as the main force to control your vehicle. If you realize that your steering system is not responding properly, there might be an issue with the power steering fluid pressure, which can also be linked to a bad power steering pump.

7-    Difficulty controlling the power steering

Finally, when the steering pump is not working as it should, he would find it much harder to turn the steering wheel. Therefore, you'll take a closer look at the steering system and confirm why the issue is happening before replacing the pump. The issue might be related to a variety of other things inside the steering system.

How much does it cost to replace a bad power steering pump?

Whenever you confirm that your power steering pump is not working properly, your only solution would be to replace the pump. Unfortunately, power steering pump replacement is not a cheap shop because it should cost you somewhere between $500 and $700.00.

The part itself is relatively expensive, and it should range between $350.00 and $500. However, the remaining costs should go to labor costs.

It is important to note that power steering pump replacement costs might differ significantly depending on your vehicle's brand. Let's take a look at some of the common power steering pump prices by car type:

Car type Power steering pump cost
2013 Honda CRV $571
2006 Kia magnetis $281
2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee $284
2016 Cadillac ATS $538
2011 Cadillac CTS $434
2014 Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG $982

 

It is critical to choose the best location where you can get the power steering pump replaced. For instance, if you did the job yourself, you could eliminate labor costs. But, on the other hand, if you went to an independent shop, labor costs will be a little cheaper than going to a dealership.

Keep in mind that the power steering pump is a critical component in your vehicle, and if it's not installed properly, it might cause major complications that could put your life at risk. Therefore, do not attempt to replace the pump yourself unless you have the right mechanical skill sets. Otherwise, you recommended leaving it to professionals.

Can I drive with a bad power steering pump?

Of course not. It's never a good idea to start your vehicle or move it if the posturing pump is not working properly. This is because you won't be able to control the car, and you can cause further damage is that could cost you thousands of dollars on repair.

Therefore, it is critical to detect early signs of a bad or failing power steering pump before it feels complete, so you have time to fix it before dealing with the sudden breakdowns. As we indicated earlier, the earlier you detect the problem, the easier it is for your mechanic to resolve the issue. In some instances, your mechanic might be able to fix the power steering pump if it didn't get to a point where it failed. Thus, you mustn't worry about installing a new one, which involves investing a lot of money in repair.

How often should I replace the power steering pump?

The power steering pump is a relatively durable component in your vehicle. In other words, you're not expected to replace it unless you hit the 100,000 miles. However, in some instances, the power steering pump is expected to last much longer.

However, if you realize any of the symptoms of a bad power steering pump, you'll replace it even before reaching the 100,000 miles. This is because there might be some external factors that shortened the lifetime of the power steering pump and caused it to fail prematurely.

What are the different types of power steering pumps?

Many people think that power steering pumps are the same. However, I come up there are different types of power steering pumps that you might encounter. Therefore, before purchasing any power steering pump replacement, you need to understand what type you have and compare their replacement ear vehicles owner’s manual.

In the world of power steering pumps, you might encounter one of the following three common types:

  • The vane posturing pump
  • The roller power steering pump
  • The slipper power steering pump

Conclusion

Maintaining a perfectly working power steering pump is important to prevent dealing with major complications that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road. The power steering pump is a core component in the power steering system, and without it, you won't be able to steer the vehicle and control it.

Some of the common symptoms of a bad power steering pump include a Drop in the power steering fluid level coming on weird metal flakes on the power steering fluid, strange squealing every time you start up, weird whining noises every time you turn, and others.

Whenever you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, you'll need to replace the power steering pump to resolve the issue immediately. Otherwise, you'll deal with major complications that will be extremely costly. However, if you realize that repair costs are approaching 75% or more from the value of your vehicle, you might want to sell the car and use this money to buy a better vehicle that doesn't have problems.

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