Automotive: Warning Signs of Impending Power Steering Failure


Power steering is one of the most convenient mechanisms in your vehicle as it allows you to steer your car with minimal effort on your part. In years past, having to navigate sharp corners and wide bends would require the motorist to put in a lot of effort to turn their steering wheel as far as they can. With power steering, a hydraulic pump functions to provide torque to your wheels, hence making the process much easier for you. However, if your power steering is not functioning at optimum, you may begin to find it quite difficult to control your car. This in turn increases the chances of you getting involved in an accident. Below are some of the warning signs of impending power steering failure.

The power steering fluid has turned a different colour 

The colour of fresh power steering fluid is a bright red, and it has a distinct odour. This fluid works to keep the hydraulic pump sufficiently lubricated as you use your power steering. In the event that the fluid has become old or is compromised, it poses the risk of gumming up within the hydraulic pump tubes. This would eventually lead to the failure of your power steering. So how can you tell that your power steering fluid needs to be replaced?

A sure sign that the fluid is compromised is if it has turned a different colour, usually becoming grey. This is due to oxidation. Other signs to look out for would be bubbles forming in the fluid, and this would be indicative of water being mixed with the fluid. Lastly, check for any flakes of metal in the power steering fluid. This would be indicative of gradual degradation of the pump carrying the fluid, and it may need to be replaced, as it will continue contaminating the fresh fluid.

The power steering fluid levels are low

An often-overlooked maintenance aspect by motorists is the routine inspection of the power steering fluid levels. As such, they end up experiencing problems with their steering, which could have easily been avoided with regular refills. However, if you have been checking your power steering fluid levels and find they are depleting at an alarming rate, it could be indicative of an undetected leak in the hydraulic pump.

To confirm this, you should inspect the ground after your car has been parked for a while to check for any red spots of fluid. Another symptom of decreased fluid levels would be a noisy hydraulic pump whenever you are driving your vehicle.


6 January 2017

Getting an auto service for my racing car

I love to take my car down to the track on the weekend. Running a race car is an expensive exercise so I need to be smart about how I spend my limited car budget. I do some of my auto servicing myself, but I don't have the equipment to some of the more complex jobs. I have put a lot of time and energy into my car so it's quite a commitment to trust someone else with my car, even for a few days, so I've found a trustworthy car service centre with a lot of experience in high performance vehicles. This blog has some tips on finding car servicing for racing cars.