Maintaining Your Car’s Power Steering System
Have you ever been driving and every time you turn a corner you hear a low whine from power steering pump? Or you find it difficult to get your car to turn at all?
You may be low on power steering fluid. There are other signs that your steering system may be leaking fluid, which can cause it to be difficult to steer your vehicle.
Power steering has been an element of most new automobiles for quite some time now. It was invented in the 50’s and it helps the driver handle how the car steers by amplifying the torque applied at the steering wheel.
Manual steering is just that…you have to use your muscle power to manually turn the steering wheel. Here’s more on what power steering offers:
When we talk about power steering, then we are either referring to hydraulic power steering or electric power steering. Thus, we can say that electronic power steering and hydraulic power steering are types of power steering and thus both possess all the features of a power steering system.
If you are low on power steering fluid, there are a number of symptoms. As mentioned above, you might hear a low groan or a high-pitched squeal, your car will be much harder to steer, and your steering wheel may vibrate while idling.
If you experience any of these things, you need to get some power steering fluid added as soon as possible. Checking your fluid levels regularly is a good practice for ongoing car maintenance, so be sure you know where to find your power steering fluid levels as well.
Here’s a video from Scotty Kilmer that shows how to check and add power steering fluid:
Because the power steering pump can provide up to 1,500 pounds per square inch of pressure, it is critical to keep the fluid at the appropriate level. You can potentially burn out the pump if you drive for too long without fluid, but the main point is that you endanger those on the road around you if your steering goes out completely.
What To Do If Your Power Steering Goes Out
So, besides pulling over and getting the power steering fluid filled up, what should you do? You most likely have a leak in the system that needs to be fixed, but if you are driving and suddenly your car feels extremely hard to steer, this post explains how to handle the situation:
The biggest thing is to not panic. Honk your horn and turn on your blinkers to let other motorists know you’re having an issue, and then slowly
maneuver 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.
Once you get the vehicle stopped, turn the engine off and then on again. If the wheel seems like it can turn without any extra effort, you can try driving to a mechanic; if you cannot steer like normal then you may wish to call for a tow truck.
Keeping your steering system in good health will help to avoid any disasters from low power steering fluid, so call your local repair shop in San Antonio for advice on the correct fluid and any other questions you may have.