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Old 09-17-2010, 11:53 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default Symptoms of a Bad Power Steering Pump

Make sure your Power Steering Fluid does not have bubbles. This means that you might have a leak somewhere so make sure you check it out.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Power-steering pumps can develop big leaks or fail from general wear and tear. Several warning symptoms can occur ahead of time to let you know there's a problem with the pump. It may be something simple like low fluid level or a leaky hose. Changes in function or unusual noises are the main signs something might be wrong.


Squealing While Turning
A squealing sound while turning, particularly at tight corners or while driving slowly, is a symptom of a bad power-steering pump.

Squealing at Start-Up
A squealing or chattering noise from under the hood when the car is first started may indicate problems with the power-steering pump.

Stiff Steering
Stiff steering in cold weather or while turning at low speeds is a symptom of a bad power-steering pump.

Erratic Function
Erratic functioning, such as a bit of slippage while turning the wheel, can indicate a bad power-steering pump.

Lack of Power
Power steering that seems to go out for a second during slow turns is a symptom of a failing power-steering pump.

Courtesy of Shelley Moore from eHow.com
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:54 AM   Thread Starter #2
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Default Re: Symptoms of a Bad Power Steering Pump

Power-Steering Fluid- Lifeline of your steering system

The hydraulic fluid that transmits the power in your car’s power steering system is called as power-steering fluid. Servicing the Power steering fluid too like other fluids involves draining it followed by adding fresh power steering fluid.

Do not go on the basis of costs when you judge the Power steering fluid’s value. Of all the fluids that go into your car’s various systems perhaps the power steering fluid may turn out to be cheapest. The fluid is the cheapest component of your power-steering system However it is this fluid that steers your car safely out of any trouble. In fact you could call the power steering fluid as the lifeline of your steering system.

You would wonder what a worthy component of a car it is. It does a lot, costs nothing and even asks for minimal maintenance.

Simply change it on schedule and you benefit an increased lease of life of your expensive power-steering components. You incur a few pennies in terms of power steering fluid change and save a fortune on increased life term on the power-steering pump and the stratospherically expensive power-steering rack.

Though you could say that the function of the fluid is simply to transmit hydraulic pressure so that you enjoy effortless steering but what you need to appreciate is the difficult task of ensuring a seamless system operation over a wide variety of operating conditions that your power steering fluid performs. This means your power steering fluid is called upon to tirelessly function at varying driving situations by maintaining it’s requisite characteristics. And this it needs to do every time in every driving situation… always. Any situation, would mean from sub-zero to scorching heat conditions both ambient and under hood. Any situation would mean functioning without fail every time irrespective of engine being idle or at full-throttle. Functioning means your power steering fluid should without fail, all the while consistently providing enough lubrication to pump and control valve assemblies, maintaining integrity of rubber components in the system, and ensuring a noise-free system operation. If your power steering fluid does so much the least you could do is to replace it by fresh power steering fluid on schedule.

Why a schedule change ? What happens if you ignore it?

What happens is that over a period of time, the various internal power-steering components as well as the seals, O-rings having been subjected to wear and tear tend to wear out. When this happens the power steering fluid gets contaminated with broken down debris forcing the power-steering pump to work harder. The power steering pump now has to pump the debris instead of fluid and no doubt it eventually breaks down.You are left poorer by several hundreds of dollars.

Worse still you may have to spend a fortune if you lose your power steering system.

All you got to do to be out of these hassles is to simply replace the spent out fluid by a fresh one that costs a few pennies.


Preventive maintenance holds the key

You may not become richer but definitely you will become poorer if you ignore the schedule printed on your owner’s manual for changing power steering fluid. When it comes into preventive maintenance there are other issues too other than just following the schedule. You could be faced with other distress situations too some of which we list here:
  • In case while driving you hear an abnormal whining noise whenever you turn the steering wheel, get your power-steering system thoroughly checked. This could be the alarm bell sounding before the power-steering pump failure.
  • Do not take casually any leak.Immediately check your power-steering fluid level.Top it up if the level has fell. Don’t end up ignoring this, otherwise your power steering fluid pump will be wrecked just because you made it run without fluid.
  • Change it as often as you would change your engine coolant. If your car requires "long-life" variety Power steering fluid then you have to change it every five years or 100,000 miles. For others, the change interval is every three years or 50,000 miles
  • You have to see the deterioration that has occurred to your power steering fluid and change that much fluid as has deteriorated. It's not necessary to change all of the power steering system's fluid to keep it in good condition.
  • Most likely, the power steering fluid will appear either amber (on most vehicles) or pink/red in color. Till it is retaining this color it is good. Any serious problem is indicated only when it appears significantly darker than new power steering fluid. When you see that the fluid is significantly darker than its color when it was fresh, it calls for a change of the power steering fluid.
  • If the fluid is only somewhat darker than new you can perform this procedure on consecutive weekends. Proceed till you get the desired "good as new" fluid appearance.
  • If the fluid is dark brown or black that indicates a serious system contamination (likely due to breakdown of internal rubber parts or hoses) and more extensive repairs are called for. When this happens do not proceed with solvent flushing. If you carry on it will only make matters worse.
  • A golden rule of thumb you could safely follow is to change the power steering fluid as often as you change your engine coolant
  • Always remember to dispose of the old fluid properly as per hazardous materials disposal procedures applicable.

Stepwise illustration:
To perform this service you need to equip yourself with the proper tool that’s called and sold as a "fluid removal/transfer tool".

Transfer tool to be used for this service

Click the image to open in full size.

Take care to draw only the fluid, which is easily accessible in the small reservoir. Next replace the extent you have drawn out contaminated fluid with dose of new fresh power steering fluid. You'll be doing this several times over a week or so until the fluid color looks normal.

Filler Cap removal and fluid withdrawal

Click the image to open in full size.

Remove the filler cap/dipstick from the reservoir. Withdraw without spilling the fluid using "fluid removal tool," Dispose as per applicable procedure for hazardous material, the spent fluid that you removed.
Next, fill up to the recommended mark the reservoir. Take care of the "cold" or "hot" marked on the dipstick and accordingly fill up to the required mark. Now start the engine and move the steering for a few times from left to right a couple of times. On having done this make your final check of the level. This gives you the final level to which the fluid has settled.

Final Check of fluid level

Click the image to open in full size.

You can perform this procedure on consecutive weekends (or a little more often, if you can't stand the suspense!) until you get the desired "good as new" fluid appearance.



DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article are not necessarily the official views of, nor endorsed by, the owner of HondaClub(com).
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Symptoms of a Bad Power Steering Pump

wow didnt know any of this!. Good Info
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Symptoms of a Bad Power Steering Pump

Hell of a good write up Eddy...
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