Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Pump

Schedule Steering Inspection
Service Area

$0.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 139,009 customers who received a Steering Inspection.

A power steering pump is used to apply the correct amount of pressure to the wheels for smooth turning. An accessory drive belt turns the power steering pump to create pressure in the high side of the power steering hose and push that pressure to the input side of the control valve. This pressure comes in the form of power steering fluid, which gets pumped from the reservoir into the steering gear as needed. There are up to 5 symptoms of a bad or failing power steering pump, so if you notice the following, have the pump inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible:

1. Whining Noise While Turning the Wheel

A whining noise while turning the wheel of your vehicle indicates something wrong with your power steering system. It could be a leak in the power steering pump or the fluid level could be low. If the power steering fluid level remains this way for too long it can damage the whole power steering system. Either way, the power steering pump needs to be looked at and potentially replaced by a professional.

2. Steering Wheel Slow to Respond or Stiff

While turning a corner, if your steering feels slow to respond to the steering wheel inputs you are making, chances are your power steering pump is failing, especially if accompanied by a whining noise. The steering wheel may also feel stiff when turning — another indication of a power steering pump failure. Steering issues frequently require a replacement power steering pump.

3. Squealing Noises When the Vehicle Starts

A faulty power steering pump can also contribute to squealing noises when starting the vehicle. Though they may also occur during sharp turns, you are more likely to hear them for a minute when your car first starts. If it seems like it’s coming from the hood of your vehicle, it’s a sign of a failing power steering pump causing the belt to slip.

4. Groaning Noises

Groaning noises are a sign of a lack of fluid in the power steering system and can eventually damage the whole system, including the steering rack and lines. They will get increasingly worse as your power steering pump continues to fail and could lead to a complete power steering system replacement.

5. Reddish-Brown Puddle Under Car

Though it could also be from the lines, hoses, and other steering gears, the power steering pump could be leaking from a crack in the pump housing or reservoir. A red or red-brown puddle beneath your car points toward the power steering pump. The pump will need diagnosis by a mechanic and most-likely replacement.

As soon as you notice unusual noises coming from your vehicle or the steering is stiff or slow to respond, have your power steering pump inspected, and if needed replaced. Power steering is an essential part of your vehicle and is a safety issue, so it should be taken care of by a professional as soon as possible.


Next Step

Schedule Steering Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Steering Inspection. 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 10k 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


YourMechanic Steering Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

139,009

Rating Summary
130,024
4,978
995
702
2,310
130,024
4,978
995
702
2,310

Nathaniel

9 years of experience
207 reviews
Nathaniel
9 years of experience
Kia Sorento - Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Detailed overview and helpful diagnosis
Honda Element - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Nate did an awesome job on my pre-purchase inspection. I made my desicion based on his recommendations saving me lots of money!!!!

Damian

10 years of experience
451 reviews
Damian
10 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Radiator - Hyattsville, Maryland
Damian was very professional, showed up on time and cleaned up when he was finished with the job.
Honda Fit - Battery - Washington, District of Columbia
Damian provided excellent service and was very knowledgeable. He was friendly, helpful, professional and did a great job!

Richard

10 years of experience
450 reviews
Richard
10 years of experience
Toyota T100 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - College Park, Maryland
Richard was very professional. Arrived right on time. Completed work in well and efficiently. told me everything that I needed to know.

Lucas

20 years of experience
863 reviews
Lucas
20 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Car is hard to start - Simi Valley, California
He was extremely helpful and trustworthy

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