Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Control Valve

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Control Valve

power steering control valve

The power steering control valve directs fluid where to go when you turn the steering wheel. For example, when you turn the wheel to the right, the power steering control valve rotates so pressure is applied to the correct side of the cylinder, so your vehicle goes in the right direction. Loose steering is not normally a problem with a power steering control valve, so if you are experiencing this, it is a sign of another issue. The following are symptoms of a bad or failing power steering control valve.

1. Leaking power steering fluid

One of the most common problems with the valve is it will start leaking. If you notice a puddle of power steering fluid underneath your vehicle, it is time to contact a professional mechanic to have your power steering control valve looked at and/or replaced. Power steering fluid smells like burnt marshmallow and it is normally clear to amber in color. It is also flammable, so clean up any power steering fluid you find right away.

2. Difficulty steering

Is it hard to turn a corner or difficult to park? This may be the fault of the steering control valve. If the valve is not working properly, the fluid will not be able to flow to the correct side of the cylinder. Normally, this creates a drop in fluid pressure and the vehicle will not steer as readily as it would before and can cause problems driving safely.

3. Whining noise while turning the wheel

A whining noise may also be present if your power steering control valve is failing. This noise is usually heard while you are turning a corner, or turning the wheel in general. Whining may also be heard at idle. No whining noises should be heard while the vehicle is turning, so this is a red flag and should be looked at as soon as possible. The power steering control valve is not normally inspected unless there is a problem. If the valve needs to be replaced, chances are the power steering pump will need to be replaced as well, so this is something you should be prepared for.

If you notice leaking, hard steering, or a whining noise while you are turning corners, have your power steering control valve looked at and/or repaired. This is an important part of your power steering system so it should be repaired as soon as you notice a problem. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your power steering control valve 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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

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

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

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: When driving my car straight the steering wheel is still got play in it but what causes this?

Hi there. There are several things that can cause: tie rods, control arm bushings, tire balance, out of round tires, bent wheels, worn axles, failing wheel bearings. However, it seems like this could be a potential tire problem that I...

Q: Power steering problems after changing the line to the pump.

The control valve in the power steering system maybe stuck causing the system to not push the fluid to the rack and pinion. Check the fluid to the power steering pump and see if the fluid has bubbles in it....

Q: My steering wheel is shaking

Just because the wheel has weights attached to it doesn't mean it is balanced correctly. My guess is that the wheels/tires are out of balance. However, the problem could also be worn steering/suspension parts or tires. A bent rim...