Do You Know Anything About the Noise Coming From Your Power Steering Pump?

Posted on: 29 September 2019

Your car always has a way of communicating to you, informing you about any underlying problems. You will hear, see or smell something unusual, a sign that you need to examine the car further to know the problem. When it comes to your power steering pump, the issues will always manifest themselves in several ways. The most common one is an irritating noise from the power steering pump. If you hear it, then you need to dig deeper to know the severity of the problems. Here is a troubleshooting guide you can use to follow up on power steering pump problems:

Check Your Essential Belts

A bad power steering pump makes a squealing noise like that of a loose belt in the vehicle. Specifically, two belts that are notorious for producing a squealing sound are the fan belt and the timing belt. Your diagnosis should start with these two. It will enable you to rule them out and be confident that it is indeed the steering wheel pump that has a problem.

There Might Be an Airlock

A power steering pump works with a pipe system to facilitate the transfer of power steering fluid. The system is susceptible to airlocks, which occur because of the restricted flow of power steering fluid. Vapour accumulates in the pipework over time and rises to the highest point of the pipework. It takes up the space belonging to the steering fluid and obstructs the fluid from flowing. In the end, your power steering pump will not function properly because it cannot push the fluid past the accumulated vapour.

You can relieve your power steering pump of an airlock by following these steps:

  • Fill the steering fluid reservoir with the appropriate fluid and let it bubble in the reservoir.
  • Turn your steering wheel fully to the left or right to push the air from the system. The engine should be off at this time.
  • Elevate the front wheels from the ground, using your jerk. This relieves the strain on the power steering components.
  • Turn the engine on and rotate the steering repeatedly from right to left, squeezing out the air. The fluid will stop cavitating when all the air leaves the pipework, and your pump should be up and firing.

Your Pump Has Called It Quits

Noise from your power steering pump could be a result of old age or normal wear and tear. There is no second-guessing when it comes to such pumps. You need to remove it immediately and replace it with a new one.


A Lifelong Hobby

When I was a kid, I used to live a few doors down from a garage run by a guy called Alfredo. It was a proper old-fashioned garage, like something out of an old movie: He did everything by hand and took great pride in his work. I hung around there as much as I could get away with, and I learned a lot about cars just by watching them all at work. Eventually, once I turned about 14, he hired me for a weekend job. I didn't keep up that line of work once I left for college, but I've carried the passion behind it with me into adulthood. These days I work alone building and improving my rides rather than fixing other people's, and I figured it was about time I shared some of what I've learned about parts and maintenance.