The power steering pump, also called vane pump, is a system driven by the movement of the crankshaft by means of pulley and belt. It has the function of pushing the oil through the pipes up to the power steering system, in which there is a reservoir that, during the steering, introduces the oil into a piston which acts as a lever on the steering.
Like other car components, a steering pump is prone to wear and tear. If the pump is not properly maintained and stops working correctly, it can hamper your ability to steer your car. Worst of all, a defective steering pump can put you, your passengers, and other motorists in danger.
How to Tell If a Power Steering Pump Is Bad: 5 Warning Signs You Need to Know About?
1. Your Car Makes a Whining Noise Any Time You Turn the Wheel
If your car makes a whining noise when you turn the wheel, there may be a leak in the power steering pump. Or, the power steering fluid level may be low.
Power steering making noise is something all motorists want to avoid. To minimize the risk of hearing your car’s power steering whine, you should check your steering fluid level and top it off as needed. If your steering fluid is at a sufficient level, you should take your car to a certified technician.
2. Your Car’s Steering Wheel Is Slow to Respond
Your car should respond when you turn the wheel. If you notice that your car’s steering responds slower than usual, the power steering pump may be faulty. At this time, you may need to have your steering pump replaced.
3. Your Car’s Steering Wheel Is Stiff
A steering wheel can become difficult to turn if your power steering pump is failing. When this occurs, you should take your car to a certified technician who can check out the steering pump and fix or replace it as needed.
4. Your Car Makes Squealing Noises When You Turn the Key in the Ignition
Squealing noises can happen when you start your car if your vehicle’s power steering pump is bad. They can also arise when you try to make sharp turns in your car. In either of these instances, get your car inspected by a certified technician who can determine if the steering pump is faulty.
5. Your Car Makes Groaning Noises
Groaning noises are loud and distracting, and they must be addressed immediately. They may occur due to a faulty power steering pump or other car issues. Fortunately, a certified technician can assess your car, find out why these noises are occurring, and mitigate them right away.
A defective power steering pump cannot always be prevented, but there are many warning signs associated with this problem. If you can identify these issues quickly, you can resolve them before they significantly hinder your ability to steer your car.