Power Steering Trouble Signs

If you have ever driven a car without power steering, you know the extra effort required to make it go in the direction you want. The job of power steering is to make steering and turning your car easier. It uses a hydraulic system of fluid pressure involving a pump and a piston. When you move the steering wheel, it causes fluid inside the pump to move to one side or the other (left or right), which causes a piston to move. The piston is attached to the steering gears, which make the wheels turn.

image of woman steering her car, driving at night.

Car is Hard to Steer


If the steering wheel is hard to turn, or the tires feel like they’re flat (but you know they’re not), your power steering is failing. This usually happens because the power steering fluid is low – and this can happen when there is a leak in the system or a hose coupling is loose. Another possible cause is the power steering belt is worn out. The power steering pump could be failing altogether, too. Because there are different things that could be if it’s difficult to turn the wheels of your car it’s time to use what little steering you have left and get your car to a local AAMCO Colorado repair shop.

Whining and Squealing

When you make sharp turns, any screeching or squealing is a sign the power steering needs to be inspected. The loud screeching noise when you make a sharp turn usually means the drive belt inside the power steering pump is loose or worn out.

Steering Fluid is Low

Steering fluid usually becomes low due to a leak in the system. Cracked or worn out hoses are usually the cause of power steering fluid leaks, which you can readily detect simply by looking at the ground under driver’s side of the car after it’s been parked a while. After years of use, hoses can become worn – cracked or even worn from making contact with other parts in the engine compartment. Old hoses can simply burst or crack, which causes a huge fluid loss that you will notice very quickly, either while driving or when you see the puddle on the ground under your car.

Worn Out Rack and Pinion

Other causes of low fluid levels related to leaks are worn out or dried gaskets in the rack and pinion assembly. In some cases, the rack and pinion system is damaged. You might be able to temporarily stop these leaks, but eventually the rack and pinion assembly will have to be replaced. When this crucial subsystem of your system starts to go bad, you will experience many of the signs mentioned above – car is hard to steer, screeching or squealing as you turn the car, low power steering fluid.

AAMCO Colorado Multi-Point Inspection

The powering steering in your car is a complicated system where one sign of trouble could mean there are other things wrong (e.g., low fluid = leak = damaged rack and pinion). If your steering wheel is hard to turn, or there is loud squealing when you make tight turns, it probably means your power steering needs service. Bring your car to AAMCO Colorado for a complete Multi-Point Inspection. We’ll pinpoint the problem and fix it. Get a money-saving coupon and bring your car to your local Colorado AAMCO automotive center.

AAMCO Colorado Keeps You Informed

At AAMCO Colorado we take great care to keep you informed about your car and all its systems, as well as keep your car on the road with scheduled maintenance services and repairs, including full transmission repairs and rebuilds.

If you are experiencing any problems with your car, bring it to your local AAMCO Colorado Transmission and Total Car Care center for a complete Multi-Point Inspection. We’ll help you keep your car running reliably and safely through all seasons, all weather.

If you have questions about your car’s transmission, road readiness, or about car repair and maintenance topics, AAMCO Colorado can help. You can also go online and use the AAMCO Colorado Ask a Mechanic feature to submit your auto repair questions. They will be answered by a real AAMCO Colorado mechanic as soon as possible.

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