Symptoms of a Bad or Failing 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.


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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.
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - Oil Pressure Sensor - Spring, Texas
Dustin completed the work and made sure the issue was resolved before leaving. I also appreciated the communication on arrival time. Thanks! Well done.

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.

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.

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

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