Do you remember the days when there was no power steering? I’ll bet you don’t, but there is a sure way to discover what that was like by failing to service your car and neglecting your power steering fluid.
Suspect that your power steering is on the fritz? Did you know that power steering fluid is significant in the overall health of your car? If you do not change the fluid regularly, or if you allow it to get too low it could lead, like all neglect of your vehicle, to a costly repair.
Here’s what to look out for;
Discolouration of power steering oil
If your power steering fluid has darkened significantly, this could be an indication of oxidisation in the fluid. This means that the fluid has been contaminated or is starting to break down. Both signs point to CHANGE THE POWER STEERING FLUID IMMEDIATELY!
Ultimately your repairer should flush the system and then put new fluid in. This is to ensure that the contaminated or old fluid doesn’t remain throughout the power steering system causing further ongoing damage.
Like we mentioned above, some of us have never experienced the old school steering systems and the rest of us barely remember having to get a full upper body workout each time we turned a corner. However if your steering becomes heavy, this is a sign that there is an issue with your power steering.
New cars are fitted with a hydraulic power steering system which makes turning the front wheels a breeze, so if you notice it’s getting tougher to turn the wheel, check your power steering fluid and book in to see your mechanic. If the problem is caught early, it may be as easy (and affordable) as a flush and a fluid replace. But don’t leave it for too long or you’ll be caught out with a pricey repair.
Note: the power steering system is what’s known as a ‘closed system’ which means that the fluid does not evaporate. While topping up may fix the issue temporarily, you could find the problem coming back, so check with your repairer to make sure there isn’t a more serious problem.
Screeching noises when turning wheel
As with most mechanical problems, noises, especially screeching, whining noises are never good. Do not proceed past go, do not collect $200. You have a problem with your car.
In the case of a power steering problem, the noise may indicate a problem with your steering pump, or drive belt. Regardless, the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Book an appointment today and save yourself the heartache of a new steering system.
Fluid leaking from the car
Sometimes it is hard to identify a leak in your car. Some people mistake condensation from the aircon as a leak in engine fluid, however it is always better to be safe than sorry.
The power steering system is dependent on the fluid to keep it functioning so always have a suspected leak checked.
Remember that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and the best cure is prevention, so booking your car in for a six monthly service with Northside Automotive Service, or your preferred after-market repairer will keep your car functioning for longer. After all, your vehicle needs to be safe and running well to help you run your busy life and having the car in the shop for lengthy and expensive repairs only stops you from doing what you want.