Auto Service: Why You Need to Maintain Your Car

Welcome to my blog. My name is Ken. One day, I was driving home from work when the engine in my car failed. While I waited for the recovery truck to arrive, I realised I didn’t have a clue what went on underneath the bonnet of my car. I signed up for an auto service course at my local community college, so I could gain the skills I needed to properly maintain my car and repair it if something when wrong while I was on the road. I wanted to start a blog to pass on these skills to other people so that they can look after their automobiles.

4 Signs Your Car Is Courting Power Steering Failure


The power steering system uses hydraulic pressure to make turning the wheel to control the car much easier. Before it came along, steering took a lot of energy just to make a small turn, particularly at low speeds. Hydraulics is about compressing liquid to create greater force enough to steer a vehicle, and a majority of problems begin when air makes its way into the system – pneumatics and hydraulics do not play well together. 

There are several symptoms of a failing hydraulic steering system, and these are the focus of today's discussion. Because of the dangers inherent in power steering failure (inability to control the vehicle when driving can result in an accident), be sure to visit a mechanic if you notice any of these signs.

1. Steering wheel is slow or stiff/unresponsive

You'll notice this particularly when going round a bend or turning the car. The wheels should respond to the slightest input you make on the steering wheel. If you notice that you need to do extra to get the same turning effect, your pump is probably failing. You may also notice a whining noise (like disgruntled-cat purring noises) along with the slowness. Slow response can graduate to stiffness, which means the wheel resists attempts to turn it. At this point, you must visit a professional immediately for pump replacement.

2. Whining noises

There are many reasons the car may produce whining noises, but most of them are never good. For the power steering, you'll notice the sound only when you try to turn the wheel, and it gets louder with more manipulation, such as when making a U-turn or reversing to turn. The noise may be caused by decreased fluid levels in the system, which means there might be a leak near the pump. Decreased fluid levels can actually damage your entire steering system, so ensure that you see someone about it immediately you notice the sounds.

3. Squealing noises

You should hear these when the car is starting from complete rest or when you make a sharp swerve or turn. The noise will be there for just a minute and then disappear once you're on your way, and it comes from somewhere under the hood of the car. Squealing could indicate imminent pump failure, which causes the belt to slip and make the sound.

4. Groaning noises

Groaning noises, if related to your power steering, are the worst sounds and indicate that your pump will fail very soon. Groaning sounds will replace the whining as the fluid levels decrease even further, and this can damage your whole system, including lines and racks.


9 February 2018