Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Belt

The power steering belt is an important part of the power steering system in your vehicle. The belt can either be a V-belt style or more commonly a serpentine belt. The belt supplies power to the steering, and in some cases the air conditioning compressor and alternator. Over time, the power steering belt may crack, break, become loose, or worn due to constant use. There are a few symptoms to watch out for before the power steering belt completely fails, and renders your vehicle without power steering:

1. Noises coming from the belt

While you are driving, if you notice a squealing, grinding, or chirping noise coming from the front of your car, it could be the power steering belt wearing down. The belt can wear down in many different ways, and a noise coming from the belt is one sign that you should have your power steering belt inspected and replaced by a professional mechanic.

2. Inspect the belt for damages

If you feel comfortable inspecting your power steering belt, you can do so at home. Check for a broken belt, oil contamination, a damaged belt, gravel in the belt, uneven rib wear, rib separation, pilling, and random cracking across the ribs. These are all signs that your power steering belt is failing and needs to be replaced right away. Do not wait because steering is a safety issue and without it, your vehicle will be dangerous to drive.

3. Slipping belt

In addition to making noise, the belt may be slipping. This may cause intermittent power steering especially under demand. This is seen when the belt has stretched and is almost to its failure point. Most commonly this occurs when turning tightly or placing high demands on the power steering system. A slipping belt can cause serious issues since your power steering will intermittently not function causing strange steering problems.

Best left to the professionals

Replacing the power steering belt requires a certain level of mechanical tools and skills. If you are uncertain then this is a job best left to professionals. Furthermore, the tension has to be just right so it is not too tight or too loose on V-belt systems. If the belt is too loose, the power steering will not be as responsive. If the belt is too tight, the steering will be difficult.

If you hear strange noises coming from the front of your vehicle or the power steering belt looks worn, you may need your power steering belt replaced by a trained professional. At the same time, the mechanics will inspect all the components it powers to ensure everything is working correctly.

YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your power steering belt easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.


Next Step

Schedule Steering Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Steering Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. 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 Steering Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(152,053)

Rating Summary
142,430
5,243
1,067
757
2,556
142,430
5,243
1,067
757
2,556

Tien

23 years of experience
903 reviews
Tien
23 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Check Engine Light is on - Hayward, California
All services we have received have been excellent!!
GMC K1500 Suburban - Spark Plugs - Alamo, California
Tien showed up on time and even though it was about 100 degrees in the driveway he immediately got to work on the car. He was very professional and I felt like I was in good hands. I would not hesitate using Tien and YourMechanic on my next service.

Dustin

8 years of experience
21 reviews
Dustin
8 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Steering Inspection - Spring, Texas
Highly knowledgeable and very professional. Dustin had dealer-quality diagnostic equipment and I'm confident of his assessment. Will request him again when needed.

Michael

25 years of experience
199 reviews
Michael
25 years of experience
Ford E-150 Econoline Club Wagon - Car is not starting - Charlotte, North Carolina
Great mechanic

Ruben

35 years of experience
83 reviews
Ruben
35 years of experience
Nissan Frontier - Car is not starting - Apollo Beach, Florida
Very profesional!

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

10 Biggest Car-Related Headaches and What to Do About Them
You You don’t want to, but if you're a car owner it's inevitable that at some point you will experience car troubles. It's also fairly certain that the machine you rely on will cause you grief when you least expect...
What Does the Power Steering System Warning Light Mean?
The steering system warning light lets you know when there is an issue with the power steering system and will be disabled until fixed.
How Does Power Steering Impact a Vehicle’s Handling?
Many cars today, and almost all trucks and utility vehicles, feature power steering. Power steering (also known as...

Related questions

Power steering pump whining and leaking

Hello. If the system is losing fluid then there must be a leak somewhere. Most of the time the leak is at the rack and pinion so it tends to leak further back on the vehicle. If the pump only...

My car belt keeps cutting out every time I put on a new one

Hi there: In most cases when the serpentine or drive belt keeps breaking it's due to one of three issues. First, the belt is either too tight or too loose when it's installed; which is typically caused by a drive...

How can I get my car to start? - 2007 Nissan Altima

Hello there, many common problems will prevent your 2007 Nissan Altima from starting properly. The steering wheel lock and brake switch are both common failure points but if these did not fix the issue the car will need further diagnosis....

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