Mechanic Tips

Power Steering Problems: Steering Clear of Difficulty

Steering clear of difficulties with your power steering system is crucial for maintaining a safe and comfortable driving experience. The power steering system is designed to help drivers steer their vehicles with minimal effort. However, when issues arise, it can lead to vehicle handling difficulties, sometimes even resulting in accidents​​. To help you navigate through these troubles, we’ll explore common power steering problems, their causes, symptoms, and how to address them. This comprehensive guide aims to arm you with the knowledge needed to identify and resolve power steering issues effectively.

Common Power Steering Problems and Their Fixes

  1. Vibrations or Shuddering: One of the tell-tale signs of power steering issues is when the steering wheel vibrates or shudders, especially at slow speeds. This could indicate a failing component like a bad power steering pump​​.
  2. EPS Warning Light: If your electric power steering system fails, it may trigger an EPS warning light on your dashboard, usually red or yellow, signaling a problem with your power steering​​.
  3. Fluid Leaks and Foaming: Power steering fluid leaks can lead to foaming of the fluid, a messy engine compartment, pump damage, overheating, and reduced performance. Regular monitoring of your power steering fluid reservoir is essential to prevent these issues and maintain your vehicle’s steering performance​​.
  4. Hard Steering: This is a common issue where the steering feels heavy or hard to turn. It’s often due to low power steering fluid, but it can also indicate a problem with the power steering pump or the serpentine belt.
  5. Noise When Steering: A squealing or whining noise when steering can be due to a loose or worn belt, low fluid level, or a failing power steering pump.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance

  • Check the Fluid Level: Regularly check your power steering fluid levels. Low levels can lead to many of the issues mentioned above. Top up if necessary, ensuring you use the correct type of fluid for your vehicle.
  • Inspect Belts and Pulleys: Check for any signs of wear or damage on the belts and pulleys. A loose or worn belt can lead to ineffective power steering and noise.
  • Look for Leaks: Inspect the power steering system for any signs of leaks. Leaks can lead to a loss of hydraulic pressure and reduce the effectiveness of your power steering.
  • Regular Servicing: Regular maintenance by a professional can help identify and rectify issues before they become serious problems.


What should I do if my power steering fails while driving?

If your power steering fails while driving, reduce your speed and try to pull over safely. Steering will require more effort, especially at lower speeds. Once safely parked, check your power steering fluid level and look for any signs of leaks.

How often should I check my power steering fluid?

It’s advisable to check your power steering fluid every time you service your vehicle or at least once every six months.

Can I drive with a power steering problem?

Driving with a power steering problem is not recommended as it can lead to further damage and potentially unsafe driving conditions. If you notice any issues, it’s best to have them checked out by a professional as soon as possible.

What is the cost of fixing power steering issues?

The cost can vary greatly depending on the issue and the vehicle. Simple fixes like topping up or changing the fluid can be relatively inexpensive, while replacing a power steering pump or repairing a leak can be more costly.


When it comes to steering clear of power steering difficulties, being proactive is key. Regular checks, prompt attention to symptoms, and professional servicing can help prevent and address issues effectively. If you’re experiencing any problems or just need some expert advice, consider visiting SNC Automotive in Brendale. With certified Brendale mechanics who are not only skilled in fixing car issues but also in providing honest and quality advice, you can trust that your car is in good hands.

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