Symptoms Of A Failing Power Steering Pump

Published on: April 26, 2020

Auto Repair Warwick, RI

If you’re old enough to remember the days of manual steering, you don’t take your power steering for granted. Classic cars are awesome… and quite difficult to steer. Your power steering system is driven by the power steering pump and this pump, basically, creates the condition that helps you turn your steering wheel with minimal effort. If your pump is going out, it will offer up some symptoms first. Primary Auto Care lists what they are, so keep reading.

Sluggish Response

When you bought your car, truck, or SUV, you noticed how easy it was to steer the vehicle. If you’ve noticed lately that the steering seems off, maybe sluggish in its response or even feeling as if it’s catching or slipping, the problem could lie in your power pump. For example, you might have to crank the wheel tighter than usual to get your vehicle to complete a turn.


This, hopefully, is just a sign that you’re running low on power steering fluid. Your steering should be silent, but if you notice grinding, groaning, or whining when you turn your steering wheel, it could be low fluid as just mentioned, problems with the power steering pump, or both. In some cases, the power steering pump might be leaking which is why the power steering system is low on fluid.

Sounds at Ignition

A bad fan belt will screech when you start your car, truck, or SUV. Your steering wheel pump will squeal when you first turn on your vehicle, too, if it’s dying. Your vehicle systems engage the minute you turn the key or press the start button, and if your power steering pump is going bad, you might hear squeals. In some cases, this will be accompanied by a dashboard warning light.

Leaking Power Steering Fluid

As we said above, the pump can spring a leak, especially if it’s failing. Power steering fluid is pink to red – although, usually red. If you see red fluid on your garage floor under your vehicle, check to see its location in conjunction with where you parked your automobile. If the red fluid dripped from underneath the center of the vehicle, it’s more likely transmission fluid, a problem unto itself.

If the fluid is toward the front, it could be power steering fluid. Bring your vehicle into Primary Care Auto Repair in Warwick, RI, right away. We’ll inspect your power steering system and replace the pump if necessary. You can call us at 401-386-9995.

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