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What is a power steering assist fault? You are on a long drive with your friends, enjoying music and creating moments and memories. And then you feel like you are having trouble controlling the steering. So the question is why this problem occurs and what can you do to fix it. This problem is not to be neglected as it can be highly dangerous and may lead to accidents. Also, there is no meaning of best accessories or best auto parts if your steering isn’t all right.
What Happens If The Power Assist In Your Steering Fails?
- Due to the power steering assist fault, it will be more difficult to turn your vehicle’s wheels. Operating your steering will become hard especially at low speeds.
- When turning your steering wheel or when driving slowly, if you hear screeching or squealing noises is a sign of a faulty power steering assist system.
- You may feel a vibration from the steering wheel while taking turns or when your is idle.
- Screeching of power steering pump while taking turns.
- If you spot any dark brown oil under your car, smelling like burning oil, which means your power steering fluid is leaking.
- Your steering wheel feels stiff or unresponsive.
If there is a problem with your power steering assist system, you will get a warning in the message box saying “Power steering assist fault”. The assisting system gets shut off automatically so it will still be very difficult to steer the wheel but at least you can travel to the least distance even without the assist system. And yes if you see this message, you need to take your car to Autozone to get it examined.
What Is Power Steering?
The power steering system helps the driver to steer his vehicle without putting much effort by reinforcing steering effort, making it easier to turn the vehicle. There are both hydraulic systems and power steering systems present in your car’s steering system. The hydraulic system helps you steer your car easily and the power steering system escalates the normal power steering. There can be three types of power steering systems based on what car you drive:
- Hydraulic Power Steering systems
- Electric Power Hydraulic Steering system
- Fully Electric Power Steering systems
Why Steering Lose Power-Assist?
Here are some reasons why the steering system loses its assist power:
1. Due to Corroded Bolts:
The power steering system may lose the power assist trait due to the corrosion of bolts attaching the power steering gear motor. This leads your motor to get separated from the housing which results in power steering system failure.
2. Due To Lack Of Power Steering Fluid:
- Lack of power steering fluid due to a leak which may be caused by a pump or a cracked hose may also cause power steering failure.
- Contaminated or loss of power steering fluid damages the hydraulic pump which also results in noise and power steering assist fault.
3. Due To Hydraulic Pump:
- The hydraulic pump is connected to the crankshaft by a belt. This crankshaft rotates and helps the hydraulic pump to operate. So if the power steering belt is broken or cracked, the hydraulic pump will become impotent and won’t be able to supply hydraulic fluid to the system.
- Hydraulic pump valve blockage, contamination, air leaks, clogged or dirty filter, worn pump, or broken pump drive can also cause the failure of power steering assist.
4. Due To Damaged Electronic Components:
If any of the electronic components of your vehicle gets damaged or fail, steering assist might fail as well. Failing of any electronic component may result in an unresponsive or stiff steering wheel.
What To Do When Steering Assist Fails?
The power steering assist system gets deactivated when fails. You will still be able to steer your wheel but it will be hard to move the steering wheel. Turn off your vehicle and try doing things below:
1. Check Whether Serpentine Belt Is Proper:
If you are hearing squealing noises from a car’s steering system while turning, this might be related to belt drive. So take your vehicle to AutoZone as this is something a professional would be able to do better. If you are doing this yourself, you can take someone’s help and can check the power steering belt after jacking up your car. Make sure to shut off your car before doing anything to the serpentine belt.
2. Check Whether Bolts are corroded:
If bolts attaching power steering gear motor are corroded or missing, then you can get them changed, also apply wax sealer as it’s necessary for gear motor to prevent exposure to road salt.
3. Check If There’s Any Leakage:
If you see any red/brown fluid under your car and it smells like burning oil, it means that your power steering fluid is leaking which can damage the hydraulic pump. For this, you can check if there is any worn-out hose or any connection problem. This fluid is highly flammable and is risky for your vehicle. You need to show your vehicle to a mechanic so that they can inspect your steering fluid reservoir, replace it and refill it as needed.
4. Check If There’s A Loss Of Hydraulic Power Or Worn Hose:
If there is a loss of hydraulic power, you need to check the steering fluid reservoir, check the fluid level. If the level is low check if there are any wasted components or cracked hydraulic lines. Loss of hydraulic or power steering fluid can make the hydraulic pump go dry which will cause the steering assist system to fail. Mostly the reason for leakage is damaged or worn hydraulic hose. So get them replaced or repaired.
5. Check Whether Power Steering Fluid is Contaminated:
If hydraulic fluid gets old it may lose its cooling and lubricating properties. It may get contaminated by air or water which will cause power steering assist fault. You can check the fluid reservoir and change it by yourself. If steering fluid is contaminated or has lost its greasy property, empty out the reservoir using a turkey baster and then put some Hydraulic fluid system cleaner into the reservoir. Start your car and steer the wheel back and forth and then the car idle for 15 minutes. Then again steer your wheel back and forth and again let the car idle for 15 minutes. After this using a turkey baster suck out all the fluid and then refill the reservoir with power steering fluid.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Power Steering Assist Fault?
Power Steering Pump:
It may cost you around $300 to get a power steering pump repaired and if you want to get it replaced, it may cost you around $400 to $800. The average Labour cost is around $270.
Power Steering Hose:
It may cost you around $100 to $300 to get a power steering hose replaced and labor costs around $100. Getting it repaired would be much cheaper and will cost you around $10.
Power Steering Reservoir Tank:
If you want to get your power steering reservoir tank replaced, it may cost you around $150 to $250.
Power Steering Control Module:
If you want to get your power steering control module, it may cost you around $750.
Power Steering Rack And Pinion:
It may cost you around $500 to $1000 to get the power steering rack and pinion repair.
It’s better to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic or auto shop so that they will detect any issues regarding the power steering system. Also, they will change any corroded or damaged gear bolts and apply wax sealer. If you are having trouble moving your steering wheel try to slow down and stop your vehicle. Power steering assist fault is a serious problem that shouldn’t be ignored. If there is any wasted or failed component, please get it changed as soon as possible.
Please do not ignore this problem, it can be dangerous and be safe.