Power Steering Repairs & Replacements

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What is power steering and what does it do?

Your power steering is either an electric motor pump or a mechanical pump that puts pressure on the hydraulic fluid to work the power-assisted steering rack.

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How does the pump work and what are its components?

Whether it’s an electric or a mechanically-driven pump, your power steering will use an impeller to draw in hydraulic fluid from the lower-pressure return pipe. It then forces the fluid into the high-pressure pipe. The power steering unit comes as a whole – there are no removable or serviceable components so if one part fails, the whole unit will need to be replaced.

How can you tell if there’s something wrong with your power steering pump?

There are several signs that you might see when your power steering is failing, including:

  • The power steering fluid is leaking from the pump
  • Your steering wheel feels heavier or harder to turn than it used to, and
  • You can hear a grinding or squealing noise when you turn the steering wheel

My Power Steering is heavy and I can’t turn the wheel!

This is a dangerous position to be in if your power steering has completely failed. You will need to be recovered back to a garage or find a suitable mobile mechanic to have your power steering fault diagnosed and fixed.


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When do you need to get a power steering unit replacement?

Your power steering is essential to your control of your car, especially when you’re at low speeds. It’s vital to the safe running of your car that your power steering works and so if yours is failing then you need to get it to a reliable garage immediately. Once your mechanic diagnoses a failed power steering system, you need a replacement.

How often do power steering pumps need to be replaced?

Your power steering is in constant use while the car is running, but thankfully the unit is very robust and isn’t a so-called “wear part”, which means that for most people, their power steering will last as long as the car does.

How can I make sure my power steering unit lasts?

You can’t service your power steering unit as it has no removable or serviceable parts. What you can do, which is very important, is to keep the levels of your power steering fluid topped up. Your manufacturer will have a recommended brand and a recommended top-up schedule that you should follow.

What happens if I need my power steering replaced?

There’ll be some minor differences between car manufacturers, but the basic process is similar for all cars. Your mechanic will:

  • Test and check the functioning of your power steering pump to see if there is a problem
  • If the unit does need to be replaced, then your mechanic will uncouple the power steering pipe unions that are attached to the pump
  • Drain the power steering fluid from the pump
  • Remove the pump unit and replace it with a new one, before putting the surrounding components back together
  • Refill the fluid and bleed the system to remove air bubbles, then
  • Start the car and test drive it.

How much does it cost to replace a power steering system?

Of course, the price depends partly on your make and model, as well as your location and which parts your mechanic orders in for the replacement. 

AutoAdvisor can help you to find the best prices and the most trustworthy garages and mobile mechanics in your area. You simply need to create a free account with us and give us information about your car and the problems you’re having with it, as well as your location.

Once we have all your details, we can draw on our UK-wide network of trusted service providers, who will send their quotes directly to your AutoAdvisor portal. Then, it’s up to you to choose your preferred garage or mechanic to book your car in with.

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