Most power steering systems show symptoms of needing to be replaced. If any of the components develop a leak they should immediately be replaced. If the power steering pump develops a loose pulley it should be replaced. If either the rack and pinion or steering gear develop looseness or slop it should be replaced. These are certainly times to replace power steering system components.
The time to replace power steering coolers can be different though. Power steering coolers are exposed to the elements constantly and are often made of aluminum. Aluminum is great at dissipating heat; however, it is also a brittle metal and can develop corrosion. The power steering fluid cooler location is often at the very front of the vehicle, and it can develop leaks from impact with rocks and bugs. Power steering cooler cost is often minimal and it should be changed out as a preventive maintenance item, similar to brake pads. The cooler should be inspected for damage during regular maintenance intervals, and replaced if any damage is detected.
If you have questions about power steering coolers, our technicians can help. Check out our Ask the Experts forum to learn more.
How Often Does Power Steering Need to be Replaced
Many ask how often a power steering system has to be replaced. First, we think you should know more about your power steering system. There are traditionally around 4 or 5 total components to a power steering system. Some systems may have more components if they have a hydro-boost system. The components are the power steering pump, the steering gear or rack and pinion, the high-pressure power steering line, and the power steering fluid return line. Some vehicles will also include a power steering cooler, especially if they have things like a tow package, or performance package. With all of these parts, it’s important to know more about when you'll need to replace your power steering system.