First, always check the power steering fluid level. It can be an indication of the overall health of the power steering system. Is the reservoir full? Is the fluid clean? If either of those questions can be answered no, then you may have an issue. Most of the time power steering problems will start off small and if caught early will result in a less expensive repair. In addition to the reservoir, you should also check for any visible issues to the system. Do you see any leaks from the hoses or are there any signs of previous leaks?
In addition to a visual check, you should also conduct a performance review. Does the system produce any strange noise or does it operate different than it should? Power steering noise can be a very good indicator of a problem, so pay close attention to any moaning or whining noises when checking the system. In order to test the system, simply turn the vehicle on and turn the steering wheel one side to the other. If there are any stiff spots or noise, it is an indication of a problem that requires further inspection. The number one cause of noise in the system is due to it being low on fluid. However, power steering fluid does not dissipate. If the power steering system is low on fluid, it is an indication of a leak and you should perform a thorough inspection.
Now that you have a better understanding of some common symptoms of a failing power steering system, you can decide if it’s time for you to find a replacement part for your vehicle. If you have any questions on power steering, reach out to the technicians in our Ask the Experts forum.
Symptoms of Bad Power Steering
There are certainly some symptoms of a bad power steering system. Let’s discuss some signs that something in your power steering system is bad or that your system has developed a problem. Issues within the power steering system can at times be very obvious and at other times be very subtle. The power steering system is critical to the safety and drivability of the vehicle and should be inspected at regular maintenance intervals. In order to verify proper function of the power steering system, follow a couple of guidelines.