3 Things That Could Cause Power Steering Problems

You don't appreciate how easy it is to turn the wheel when driving your vehicle until the power steering system stops working properly. Without power steering, modern vehicles can become extremely difficult to control through curves, turns, and other maneuvers that require steering wheel movement.

It's important to get to the bottom of any power steering problems quickly so that you can restore the comfort and safety of your vehicle.

1. Power Steering Fluid Leak

The power steering system in your vehicle is essentially a hydraulic system. Pressure is transferred from a fluid supply to your vehicle's wheels in order to make changing direction much easier. A sudden drop in fluid levels can make it much more difficult for the hydraulic system to maintain adequate pressure.

The most common cause of fluid level drops is a power steering fluid leak. You will know you have a leak if you see a puddle with a red hue underneath your vehicle after it has been parked. This red liquid is the power steering fluid escaping from the hydraulic system.

An experienced mechanic can and repair the source of the leak so that you can continue driving with ease.

2. Slipped Drive Belt

Another issue that might explain sudden problems with your power steering system is a slipped drive belt. The drive belt is responsible for driving the hydraulic pump. The pump pushes pressurized fluid through the entire power steering system, so an inoperable pump will leave you with inoperable power steering.

A slipped drive belt is usually the culprit when your vehicle makes a squealing sound whenever you attempt to turn the wheel. Your mechanic will be able to put a slipped drive belt back into the correct position so that you can turn your steering wheel with minimal effort.

3. Faulty Pump Seals

Problems with the power steering pump itself could make it difficult to maneuver your vehicle. The rubber seals that are used to construct a power steering pump can become worn or degraded over time. If these seals begin to leak, the pump can no longer create the pressure needed to drive the power steering system.

A leaking seal can lead to the breakdown of vital internal components inside the pump, requiring the installation of a new power steering pump to make your vehicle easy to operate once again.

Even a small problem with your power steering system could pose a serious threat. Work with your mechanic to identify and repair power steering problems quickly so that your vehicle will remain safe and comfortable. Contact a company like Northern Brake and Transmission to learn more.