How to Take Good Care of Your Power Steering System

safety driving

Your car's power steering system adds a world of convenience and ease to your driving. As a critical component in your car's performance, you need to ensure that your power steering system is in tiptop shape at all times. Otherwise, you'll experience serious issues such as hard steering, uneven tire wear, vehicle drifting or pulling to one side, etc.

All of these issues not only affect vehicle performance, they can compromise your safety as well. Therefore, it's important to take care of your power steering system and ensure it serves you well all year round. By following these four easy maintenance steps, your power steering will always be ready to assist you.

Keep steering fluid clean and topped up

Power steering fluid is critical to the entire system's health. Your car shouldn't be losing power steering fluid so it's important to watch out for leaks. Likewise, dirty fluid can affect the system's efficiency and damage other parts. Check the clarity and level of your fluid regularly at the power steering reservoir.

Inspect the hoses

The power steering fluid flows through two hoses--one sends the fluid to the rack and pinion while the other returns the fluid back to the reservoir. These hoses are generally made of rubber material, which can deteriorate with time. Inspect these hoses periodically to check their condition.

Replace the filter

The power steering fluid filter should be replaced once a year or as often as recommended by your manufacturer. If you're handy around your car, you can replace the filter yourself. Otherwise, leave the task in the hands of a capable mechanic.

Replace a damaged pump immediately

If you start to hear unusual whirring or whining noises whenever you turn the steering wheel, it could be a symptom of a failing power steering pump. Expensive repairs often follow ignored power steering problems. Avoid the headache by having your noisy pump inspected and replaced if need be.

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