Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Power Steering Pump Pulley Last?

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

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.


More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...

Related questions

Q: Steering pulls side to side and not straight ahead

Thanks for writing in about your 2013 Audi Allroad Quattro. Unfortunately, this is an ongoing issue with Audi currently related to their electronic lane assist function. Audi is aware of the issue. I would recommend seeing your nearest dealer for...

Q: My car has an electrical system issue, loses power, and stalls

Hi there. These situations can be caused by a number of things and can be frustrating. From my experience with this vehicle, it is usually caused by a bad ignition switch. It can also be a bad main relay or...

Q: Coolant loss and vibration of front end with funny noise in my AWD Subaru

The problem sounds like the steering rack and pinion is noisey and grinding internally and may need replaced. This can cause erratic steering control.