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

(4)

Rating Summary
3
1
0
0
0
3
1
0
0
0

John

36 years of experience
434 reviews
John
36 years of experience
Honda Accord L4-2.4L - Steering Inspection - Sacramento, California
John was very professional, knowledgeable. We drove around the block and he pen pointed the problem after hearing and a few questions. Definitely want John back for follow ups and and car issues.

Jay

37 years of experience
947 reviews
Jay
37 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-1.8L - Steering - Corona, California
He was very nice, He explained to me all that was wrong with my car. He recommended that I take my car in to the dealership.

Dustin

8 years of experience
65 reviews
Dustin
8 years of experience
Lexus IS250 V6-2.5L - 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

9 years of experience
28 reviews
Michael
9 years of experience
Ford F-150 V8-5.4L - Steering Inspection - Tehachapi, California
Michael showed up on time. Was very knowledgeable, courteous, and thorough. He pin pointed the problem and shared his recommendations. I would definitely call him again

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

How Long Does a Power Steering Pressure Switch Last?
In In order to operate properly, your car’s power steering system needs to maintain the right amount of pressure at all times. The pressure control valve (also called a flow control valve) creates the pressure, but the system needs a...
How Long Does a Water Pump Belt Last?
There There are a variety of components that make up the cooling system of a car. Most people fail to realize just how much heat their engine produces. Having the components of a car’s cooling system running at peak condition...
How to Replace a Steering Damper
Steering dampers, also known as steering stabilizers or spirit dampers, prevent movement from traveling to the steering wheel.

Related questions

Traction control alarm goes off, brakes grab sometimes
Hello there. A few different faults could cause the traction control system to alarm. The most common would be a wheel speed sensor (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/wheel-speed-sensor-replacement), wiring fault, or a failing traction control module. If you would like to have this checked,...
Loose steering column - 1993 Saab 9000
There are 2 or more bolts which keep the steering column attached to the body structure under the dash. Possibly, these are loose, or worse, might have fallen out. This should be checked by a professional mechanic, like YourMechanic, before...
Power steering, leak, and groaning noise.
Hi, thanks for writing in. This is a sign of a failing power steering pump (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or-failing-power-steering-pump) which is what the groaning sound and stiff steering will come from. It also sounds like you have a major leak (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/oil-fluid-leak-inspection) coming from...

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