How to Replace a Power Steering Pressure Switch

Under the hood of most cars, trucks and SUVs sold prior to 2010 is a hydraulic power steering system. It utilizes a power steering pressure switch to measure the pressure inside the hydraulic lines so that the engine control module can increase or reduce hydraulic flow to maximize efficiency across the board.

The power steering pressure switch is like any other sensor in that it is suspect to wearing out or breaking due to the extreme conditions it is exposed to daily. This component is always sending information to the vehicle's ECM anytime the engine runs, which can cause extensive wear within the electrical components that are contained inside the pressure switch. If this situation occurs, the faulty power steering pressure switch will give a few warning signs, such as the Check Engine Light coming on and sluggish steering when driving.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing of the power steering pressure switch

Materials Needed

Step 1: Disconnect the battery and lift the vehicle. Before removing any parts, locate the vehicle's battery and disconnect the positive and negative battery cables.

  • Note: This step should always be the first thing you do when you work on any vehicle.

Lift the vehicle with a hydraulic lift or jacks and jack stands.

Step 2: Remove the engine cover and ancillary parts. With most vehicles, it is easy to gain access to the power steering pressure switch, but some require you to remove a few components, including the engine cover, air filter and hoses, and the battery.

Always refer to the vehicle's service manual for exact instructions on what you need to remove.

location of the power steering pressure switch

Step 3: Remove the power steering pressure switch’s electrical harness. Once you locate the power steering pressure switch, you'll need to remove the electrical harness attached to this component.

Using your fingers, press on the tabs on the sides of the electrical harness to remove it.

If the electrical harness is attached to another harness, remove the harness from that connection as opposed to the one on the power steering pressure switch. This is common with power steering pressure switches that come with a new harness.

highlight two end wrenches on the switch

Step 4: Remove the pressure switch. If the pressure switch is attached to a hydraulic line, you'll need to use two wrenches to remove it.

Secure one side of the end wrench to the bottom of the hydraulic line and the other to the actual sensor switch.

Hold the bottom wrench in place as you loosen the top power steering pressure switch. Once you get it loose, you should be able to hand screw the power steering pressure switch off the hydraulic line.

Make sure you place rags underneath the fitting as hydraulic fluid will most likely leak.

verifying that you have the right pressure switch

Step 5: Inspect the old and new power steering pressure switches. It's very common for auto part stores to give you the wrong power steering pressure switch.

This is why we recommend you complete a physical inspection of the old and new ones.

Make sure the following parts are exactly the same: the connection that screws into the hydraulic line or the power steering pump, and the electrical harness connection.

The color, size and shape can be different for individual aftermarket part manufacturers, but as long as the fittings are identical, it should be okay to use.

hand tightening the new power steering pressure switch

Step 6: Install the new pressure switch. Screw the new power steering pressure switch into its connection on the hydraulic lines or the power steering pump.

Once the switch is hand tight, use the two wrenches to snug the new switch. Do not over tighten this switch or it may strip.

Step 7: Reconnect the electrical harness to the sensor or the relay. Depending on what type of harness you have, make sure it's connected before you complete this job.

Step 8: Prepare the vehicle for driving. Fill the power steering fluid reservoir to the correct indicator line and reconnect the battery cables.

Step 9: Test drive the vehicle. Once the job has been completed, make sure to clear all error codes from the computer with a scan tool before you test the repair. Start the vehicle and inspect underneath for any leaks before you road test your vehicle. A quick road test of 5 miles is recommended.

If you've read these instructions and still don't feel 100% confident in completing this repair, please contact one of the local ASE certified mechanics from YourMechanic to complete the power steering pressure switch replacement job for you.


Next Step

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Recent Power Steering Pressure Switch Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(45)

Rating Summary
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42
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Jared

4 years of experience
21 reviews
Jared
4 years of experience
Ford Escape L4-2.3L - Power Steering Pressure Switch - Decatur, Georgia
jared was prompt, communicative, and mechanically competent. would definitely have him work on my vehicle any time an issue arises that i can't take care of.

Pardeep

21 years of experience
1068 reviews
Pardeep
21 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-5.0L - Power Steering Pressure Switch - San Jose, California
This is my second appointment with Pardeep. Pardeep does excellent work, and is a great mechanic and nice guy!

Robert

22 years of experience
279 reviews
Robert
22 years of experience
Honda Accord L4-2.4L - Power Steering Pressure Switch - North Richland Hills, Texas
Robert was thorough, kind and honest; he lowered the estimated cost when finding what truly needed to be done.

Michael

38 years of experience
135 reviews
Michael
38 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser L4-2.4L Turbo - Power Steering Pressure Switch Replacement - Whittier, California
Michael is always such a wonderful mechanic. I have had him do repairs on my PT Cruiser many times. He is always on time, and very professional. He explains all the technical stuff and does every thing in a timely and clean fashion. I would recommend Michael B. to anyone. I love that he comes to my house ready to work and with a smile on his face. He has a lot of integrity and knows his business well.

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