Power steering is one of life’s greatest inventions—as long as it’s working properly. When your vehicle’s power steering is well maintained, you don’t have to exert much force on the steering wheel. Unlike in the vehicles of yore, which required more physical effort to navigate, today’s power steering should be responsive and smooth.
Today’s vehicles use rack and pinion steering. If it’s not properly maintained, that can lead to steering problems. The rack and pinion gears push the wheels left or right, depending on how the steering wheel is turned. Rack and pinion steering is used alongside hydraulics to make the power steering experience smooth and easy.
If you’ve been experiencing car steering issues, read this simple guide to maintaining your vehicle’s steering, and bring your car to your mechanic for the help it needs:
- Check the power steering fluid regularly: Whenever you take your car in for repair or maintenance, ask your mechanic to inspect the power steering fluid for you. In many cases, this is included within regular maintenance duties. It’s worth learning how to check it—and top it off—on your own, so you can save money addressing any minor fluid-related issues.
- Learn how to spot a leak: Checking your fluid on a regular basis will help you spot leaks. Your power steering fluid should be bright red. If you spot a puddle of red fluid underneath your car, it’s time to take the vehicle in before the problem gets worse.
- Flush and change the fluid once per year: Once a year, you should change the power steering fluid completely. Have your maintenance pro flush the power steering system and replace it with new fluid. This will ensure that any dirt, debris, blockages or buildup are eradicated.
- Have your power steering system inspected for leaks: If it seems like your power steering fluid is emptying out rapidly, have the system inspected for leaks. Low fluid levels can turn into major issues down the line. At best, you’ll have a harder time turning the wheel. At worst, you might find that your power steering system is damaged beyond repair.
- Keep an ear out for power steering pump problems: Every so often, make sure you drive without the stereo playing. Playing music, podcasts and other entertainment can mask noises that indicate issues with your power steering. If you notice a grinding or whining noise when you turn the wheels, take your car in for repairs right away.
Grinding noises, difficulty steering, the smell of burning oil and fluid leaks are all clear signs that your power steering system needs help fast. If you notice any of these signs, take your vehicle to a local auto repair shop for assistance. With any luck, it’s a simple issue that can be solved with fresh fluid, a flush or minor parts.
When you need help with power steering—or any other part of your vehicle—Glen Park Autoworks is here to assist. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment to address your car’s steering issues!
Categorised in: Steering
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