While you are driving your car, you may not give much thought to making turns because the steering wheel normally moves easily. Lately, however, you may have found that you are having difficulty turning the wheel and needed an unusual amount of force to do so.
Although the problem could be low power steering fluid, the issue could also lie with the pump itself. Other than being unable to turn the steering wheel freely, below are a couple of other signs that your car's power steering pump is going bad and needs to be fixed or replaced by a professional auto repair technician.
1. You Find a Puddle of Fluid Underneath the Car
One sign that your car's power steering pump is going bad is when you find a puddle of fluid on the ground underneath the engine compartment. If you find a puddle, examine the color, and if it is reddish-pink, the power steering fluid is leaking out of a bad connection or cracked case.
However, if the fluid has a grayish color, this means that air is entering into to otherwise closed system from a crack or break causing oxidation of the fluid. In either case, you need to have the power steering pump checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
2. You Hear a Loud Whining Noise
Another sign that you need to have your car's power steering pump either repaired or replaced by a professional is when you start to hear loud whining noises. At first, you may only hear this sound whenever you turn the steering wheel while driving. As the problem gets worse, you will hear the whining noise when you cold start your car after sitting for hours, which indicates that the pump is struggling to pull the fluid through the system. Since this whining sound means that the motor within the pump is going bad, you need to have it looked at right away before it fails and you lose your ability to steer your car.
If you are having difficulty turning your car's steering wheel without the use of force, the vehicle's power steering pump may be going bad. You may also find a puddle of reddish-pink or gray fluid under the engine compartment as well as hear a loud whining noise when you first start the car and while turning the wheel. If so, you should take your car to an auto repair shop in your area to have them fix or replace the power steering pump before it fails completely.
For more information, contact an auto repair shop near you.