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

Schedule Power Steering Pressure Switch Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Power Steering Pressure Switch Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Power Steering Pressure Switch Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(37)

Rating Summary
35
1
0
1
0
35
1
0
1
0

Robert

22 years of experience
195 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
125 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.

Richard

12 years of experience
48 reviews
Richard
12 years of experience
Dodge Durango V8-4.7L - Power Steering Pressure Switch - Tucson, Arizona
My wife and I are very pleased with the experience we had with Richard. He was very professional and understanding about all of our concerns.

Chuck

10 years of experience
271 reviews
Chuck
10 years of experience
Mercury Grand Marquis V8-4.6L - Power Steering Pressure Switch - Fort Worth, Texas
Excellent. Chuck was on time, explained process, and advised on further issue in language that was understandable and concise.

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

Related articles

What Are Rocker Switches and How Are They Used in Cars?
Every Every function inside your vehicle is controlled by a switch in some way. Some switches require a high current capacity, while others are low voltage. Low voltage switches usually control the electrical position of a relay, which directs a...
Can My Car Use Universal Switches?
Each Each system on your car is controlled by a switch. The ignition and starting system are controlled by the ignition switch, your power windows and door locks are operated by switches, your heater controls have buttons and switches, and...
How to Tell If Your Car Switches Are Dying
Since Since every part of your car is controlled or operated by a switch in some fashion, it is to be expected that the switch will eventually fail. Some of the most commonly used switches in your car are: ...

Related questions

My car overheated with smoke coming out, I found antifreeze all over the engine and the temperature gauge was high

This can be caused by a number of things such as low coolant levels, a faulty thermostat, or a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know, the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant temperature by turning...

What can cause intermittent cold starting fault?

This may be related to a cold start enrichment problem which is generally controlled by the coolant temperature sensor. This sensor relays the temperature of the engine coolant to the computer which then makes fuel adjustments based upon the air...

My power steering light came on and I checked the fluid (there was nothing in it). I added fluid and it still was hard to steer. S

Hello, thank you for writing in. If you have two issues with the power steering fluid at once, it would be very unfortunate. The lack of power steering fluid is cause for concern alone. If you are low or out,...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com