Power Steering (power-assisted steering) made a huge difference to driving when it was invented, it is a hydraulic system that makes steering your car easier, lighter, and more precise.
The whine that a broken Power Steering Pump makes is very distinctive and cannot be mistaken for anything else, in most other cases of engine noise there can be a variety of sources, with the power steering pump this is an obvious fault. Here we take a look at how to fix a power steering pump noise.
The only other similar sounding fault in your engine would be a problem with your transmission. It should be relatively easy for you to tell the difference as they are located on different sides of the engine –allow your car to tick over, life the bonnet, and see which side the noise is being generated.
If you have an intermittent screeching noise from under the bonnet then the most obvious culprit is always the power steering belt. These do wear (and stretch) and so check both the belt and the tension. They can be replaced easily and this will rectify the problem.
What could be causing the Power Steering Pump Noise?
There could be a number of causes of the Power Steering Pump Noise:
Air trapped within the system.
Air bubbles caught within the pump will cause vibration and whining noises. The simplest solution is to flush the system and replace the power steering fluid. This is an instant fix.
This will be particularly obvious when steering around corners – and is usually more noticeable in one direction over the other. This may combine with fluid leaks around the pulley/pump area. A replacement pump is the only way to solve this, there are no repairs.
Insufficient Fluid present.
A lack of fluid automatically results in a lack of lubrication. This can be terminal for your pump, and monitoring fluid levels should be part of your ongoing car maintenance. Check the levels and top up if necessary.
Old or contaminated Fluid.
If you haven’t flushed the system, or if the fluid is old and no longer at the right viscosity, then the Power Steering Fluid will no longer be doing the correct job. Flushing the system and replacing the power steering fluid for new will ensure the longevity of your components and fix the noise.
Rattling, Clicking and Clunking?
These noises are usually front suspension or steerage issues – The joints become loose and worn over time, and older cars are generally a little noisier. Whilst parked move your steering wheel to the left and right with someone outside the car.
You are looking for responsive wheels – if there is play in the steering wheels, and you move the steering wheel without the necessary response from the wheels outside then get it checked out, this is definitely a safety issue.
How to Fix a Steering Pump Noise?
This is a problem where you can do a lot of the work yourself – at the very least you can narrow down the issues and inform yourself of where the problem lies. Ignoring a Steering Pump Noise can lead to a dangerous, and catastrophic failure, regular maintenance, checking fluid levels and having a good awareness of any noise changes with your engine will all help keep you safe whilst making sure that you don’t face a huge repair bill.