Power Steering Pump

Car Power Steering Pump

A power steering pump provides hydraulic fluid to operate the power steering box. (Sometimes, the fluid goes to the power steering rack.) To provide this fluid, the pump must be put under pressure — and the newest version (aka the electric power steering pump) uses an electric motor to make this happen. Why use auto power steering at all? In a nutshell, it makes for an easier and smoother turn on the steering wheel — especially when you’re driving at low speeds, such as in a car park. If your vehicle is a product of the past 10 years, chances are you have power steering.

How Your Car’s Power Steering Pump Works

Your car’s power steering pump transmits hydraulic fluid to the steering box or steering rack via two hydraulic lines — car parts called power steering hoses. While one of these hoses is the ‘high-pressure’ line that often assists the box or rack while turning, the other is a ‘low-pressure’ line that sends fluid back to the pump. Usually mounted to the engine, the power steering pump runs off a drive belt, running other car parts such as the water pump, alternator and air conditioning compressor.

How Your Car’s Power Steering Pump Can Fail

Like all car parts, the power steering pump will break down over time. Here are some common questions concerning power steering pump failure and replacement.

1. What’s Behind the Power Steering Pump Failing?

Ultimately, when the hydraulic fluid runs dry, the power steering pump will fail. This can happen due to hose splits or leaks — or leaks in the steering box, steering rack, or pump itself due to a worn-out seal. A leak’s sole silver lining is it’s easy to catch — you should see spills on the spinning pulley, which will consequently spray in all directions across the engine. In a nutshell: a spitting ‘fan’ is your tell that you need a power steering pump replacement.

2. How Can I Spot a Failing Power Steering Pump?

If your power steering pump is low on fluid, you’ll hear about it — keep your ears open for noises as the auto power steering kicks in. If you hear a persistent noise that makes itself more known when you turn the steering wheel, that’s also a sign of power steering pump failure. Another thing to look out for is steering wheel stiffness. If you’re straining to turn the wheel, there may be insufficient hydraulic fluid to lubricate it. Alternatively, this can mean that the drive belt has dislodged, and so the engine isn’t running the power steering pump.

3. How Much Will a Power Steering Pump Replacement Set Me Back?

On average, a power steering pump replacement will cost between $420–$850 — though pump prices will vary, and some models will cost considerably more than the upper limit of this ballpark figure. Thankfully, they are not complex suspension parts and replacing them is a straightforward process. You need to bleed out the old fluid and fill it up with the new stuff, ensuring you don’t leave trapped air in the system.

Buy Your Aftermarket Power Steering Pump Online

If you’re looking for the best power steering pumps at sale prices, you needn’t look further than Meta V Parts. In our online collection, we have power steering pumps a-plenty that will put that slick turn back in your steering wheel. If you’re looking for parts beyond the suspension system, we’ve also got you covered. From 4x4 parts to heating & cooling parts — and everything in between — we have it all. For quality aftermarket parts indistinguishable from the original make, start your shopping online with Meta V Parts.