Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Replace a Power Steering Pressure Switch

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.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
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: Screeching metal sound

The power steering fluid you keep adding has to be going somewhere and it most likely leaking from one or more places. Typically the power steering pump, high pressure line and power rack and pinion are common failure items. Have...

Q: Key not turning in the ignition.

It is a common problem with this car to have the key wear down and not trigger the tumblers in the key cylinder. The only fix will be to replace the key assembly and switch. I would suggest having a...

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...