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Labeled diagram of a vehicle steering system.

    Power steering pump

    Power Steering Pump

    The power steering pump is powered by the engine's fan belt.  It spins vanes inside a chamber and forces hydraulic fluid through lines down to a steering box that converts that hydraulic pressure back into a mechanical movement (the tie rods moving from side to side) to move the wheel hubs.  The power steering pump is at the heart of the steering system and is what moves the wheels together.

    The most common signs that your power steering pump is faulty are whining noises, difficulty turning the steering wheel, and fluid leaking.  The whining and steering difficulty are pretty obious as they're both the most noticeable when you're turning the steering wheel. Sometimes it's a bit more difficult to tell what the cause of a fluid leak is from without knowing about vehicle engines.  Usually if you've got a power steering leak from a bad pump, you'll also have the other symptoms as well.



    Tie Rods

    Tie rods are steel rods that move from side to side and force the front wheel hubs to move with them.  They get their input from the steering box that's connected to the steering wheel.  The steering box is usually power assisted so that the forces required to steer the car is easier.  Tie rods are just a bit player in the entire steering system, but when tie rod ends go bad, repairs are necessary or your car will not handle well and excessive tire wear will occur.  Have the experts at Mobile Mechanic Garden Grove evaluate your steering system and take care of any other auto repair services you might need.

    Photo of vehicle tie rod.
    Photo of mechanic putting power steering fluid into the power steering reservoir.

    Power Steering Fluid

    Probably the most common issue you'll have with your car is low power steering fluid.  Every once in a while, your car will need its power steering fluid topped off, just to make sure the hydraulic power steering system continues to function properly.

    If you find that it's difficult to turn the steering wheel or your car seems sluggish and not very responsive to steering imput, those could be signs of low power steering fluid.  Your car can also make whining or squeaking sounds when turning.  If you notice any of these symtoms have your power steering fluid level checked immediately as operating your car while the fluid level is low is hard on the steering system and you don't want to make larger problems for yourself.