Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Power Steering Pump Pulley Last?

Power Steering Pump Pulley

In a hydraulic power steering system, which is what the vast majority of cars on the road today use, fluid must be pumped through a series of lines and hoses to the steering rack. That is done by the power steering pump – without it, there’s no way to move fluid, or provide power steering assist.

The power steering pump is located on the side of the engine near the power steering fluid reservoir. It is turned by the serpentine belt that also supplies power to other engine accessories, including the alternator, A/C compressor and more.

Your car’s power steering pump operates at all times if the engine is running, but it is put under an additional load when you turn the steering wheel (when it forces high-pressure fluid into the lines to the rack in order to provide the steering assist you need). There is no real lifespan for these pumps and in theory, yours could last the life of the car with the right maintenance. With that being said, they generally don’t last longer than 100,000 miles and pump failures at lower mileage aren’t uncommon.

Other problems that can be confused with power steering pump failure include a stretched, worn or broken serpentine belt, low power steering fluid and damaged/seized pulley bearings (the pulley that operates the power steering pump).

If the pump fails, your entire power steering system will be disabled. This isn’t as dire as it might sound, as long as you’re prepared for it. You will still be able to steer the car. It will just require more effort to turn the wheel, particularly at lower speeds. Of course, that’s not something you really want to experience, particularly if the pump fails and catches you unaware. Therefore, it makes sense to know a few signs and symptoms to watch for that might indicate your pump is on the verge of failing. These include the following:

  • Whining from the pump when turning the steering wheel (it may be more pronounced at lower speeds or higher speeds)
  • Knocking from the pump
  • Grinding or groaning from the pump
  • A noticeable lack of power steering assist when turning the steering wheel

If any of these symptoms are present, it’s important to have your pump checked and replaced if necessary. A certified mechanic can help inspect your power steering system, and replace or repair the power steering pump pulley if needed.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...


Related questions

Q: Power steering loss

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2001 Mercedes Benz ML430. This problem could be caused by a slipping belt or a faulty belt tensioner. The power steering pulley needs to be observed while the car is parked and...

Q: Oil warning light keeps coming on

Hello there. This sounds like there are a few different things going on. The temperature warning and the water pump were most likely related occurrences. The power steering could've also gone out if the belt that powers the power steering...

Q: Power steering wheel making noise

The first thing to check is the power steering fluid with the engine off. Add fluid if it is low and recheck for noise. If the fluid is very dark colored, a flush may be needed. If the fluid was...