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Common Causes of power steering noise and how fix it

This guide will take a deep dive into the common causes of the power steering noise, and if you have a car out there, you should give this a good read.

The car’s power steering wheel mechanism consists of the steering rack and the power steering pump. The rack changes the direction of your wheels, and the pump makes your wheel feel light and easy to move. The fluid in your steering pump makes it easy for you to turn your wheel with ease.

When your wheel doesn’t move smoothly, the problems start and are highlighted in this guide.

Common causes

Low fluid levels

Why does my car whine when I turn the steering wheel? Many people ask this question without knowing the solution to the problem, but it’s simple. When there is a low power steering fluid, air will seep in and start circulating inside the steering wheel hence the strange noises you hear when turning the steering wheel.

Lack of proper maintenance

Why is my power steering making noise? The power steering pump tries to remove the fluid because it hasn’t been changed in a while. The occurrence happens because the fluid has accumulated some air bubbles inside the pump.

Failing power steering pump

What does a power steering pump sound like when it is bad? You will hear whining noises like a door’s hinges that aren’t correctly oiled but louder and with more contact. It is a worrying sign if you hear the noise without fluid leaking and your steering still performs well.

What does a bad power steering pump bearing sound like? It has squealing noises and sometimes a groaning noise when about to turn the wheel. You will also notice the wheel being a bit stiff as you try to turn. These are symptoms of a bad steering wheel or a failing power steering wheel. This means it’s already damaged and cannot be salvaged, or it’s heading there, and you need to act fast to solve the problem.

Trapped air and pump design

The pump design, a centrifugal pump, supports the formation of air pockets. The accumulated air pockets form around the pump of the steering wheel and make a noise when you turn the steering wheel. The gas in the fluid is trapped, and that forms the air bubbles.

What noise does a bad power steering pump make? You will hear squealing noises when the car starts; this occurs when the steering pump is going bad, and it causes the belt to slip hence the squealing noises. The noises come from your vehicle’s hood immediately after you start the vehicle.

Why do I hear noise when I turn on my steering wheel? When you turn a corner, your steering wheel may seem a bit slow to respond. When applying more force, you may hear a noise when you completely turn the steering. The chances are that your power steering pump is failing.

How to fix your power steering wheel

Many people dream of owning a car or driving one when they get their license. Most people don’t know that maintaining a vehicle is a daunting and expensive task. Take note of the signs once you own a vehicle. Once you feel something is off, you know there is a problem. When you hear your power steering wheel whining, you should follow the below guidelines.

Visit a mechanic

Most car owners don’t know how their car functions mechanically; even changing a tire could be a problem. If the owner doesn’t know the simple things, what about changing the engine oil or ensuring the steering fluid is replaced? That is why you need to visit a mechanic who will diagnose and recommend the best cause of action for your vehicle. You can call them the “vehicle’s doctor,” because a mechanic will run diagnostics, look at the fluid levels, and give you a list of what the vehicle needs.

The mechanic will lay suction lift lines with a rising slope towards the pump to remove the air pockets and prevent further formation of the air pockets. If possible, the mechanic could ensure each pump has its suction line so that air cannot penetrate the suction line through a non-operating pump when only one pump is running.

The mechanic can also shut off gate valves in suction lift lines where their stem is fitted in a horizontal position. Instead of replacing the whole thing, the mechanic will fix the problem quickly.

Regular maintenance checks

Regular maintenance checks help you fix an underlying issue before it becomes a major problem. Maintenance checks should be scheduled to help you follow a planned routine that ensures your vehicle is fresh every time you visit an auto shop.

Seasoned car owners often do their maintenance checks. A responsible car owner will know which oil needs to be filled and have some fluids stashed somewhere for emergency use. The maintenance will enable you to empty the power steering fluid and refill it with a fresh batch.

Constant maintenance will enable you to check the quality of the fluids, and if it looks like it isn’t consistent, it means you need to change the fluid. You may find leaks in your vehicle when carrying out maintenance and when the fluids leak, they lower the level of fluids hence causing the squealing noises in your steering wheel.

Final thoughts

If your vehicle makes unusual sounds, that is a sign that something is functionally wrong. Ignore it, and it will only get louder, and the costs of repair will be huge. Do not ignore the noise; listen to your car and look for the problem area. Address the issue and avoid the garage where mechanics may charge you higher fees. The tips given will help you address the noises in your power steering, and if you follow these tips, you are well on your way to being a responsible car owner.

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