Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My power steering isn't working

asked by on

I was told by that it may be the pump. I was also told that it may be the rack and pinion. I was also told to trade it because the repairs would cost a lot. What do you suggest?

My car has 76540 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: You problem suggests that your power steeri...

You problem suggests that your power steering pump may be failing or you have a leak elsewhere in one of the power steering lines. Understanding how this system works is helpful to understanding the problem. The power steering pump supplies pressure as it is turned by your engine, and driver control is supplied by either the rack and pinion or a steering gear box. Fluid pressure from the pump is used to push against a piston. When the wheel is turned, pressure flows to one side and this piston moves. The piston is attached to the steering gears. As the hydraulic pressure does the work, the driver controls the direction by turning the steering wheel. The rack and pinion gear set does two things: It converts the rotational motion of the steering wheel into the linear motion needed to turn the wheels, and it also provides a gear reduction, making it easier to turn the wheels by using reduction gears where the steering shaft connects. This system uses a torsion bar–driven valve to direct and relieve pressure in a cylinder. When the steering wheel is not being turned, the steering valve is at rest.

Power steering leaks are fairly common but should be looked at immediately by a qualified technician as power steering fluid can be flammable, especially when under extreme pressure. I would recommend having an expert, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose your power steering system.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: New engine stalling.

After a new engine is installed there are often times where small steps are looked over. My best recommendation would be to take your car back to the place that installed your engine and have them take a look at...

Q: My steering wheel stays to the right when I drive straight.

The power steering gear is held to the frame using two large bolts going through the rack and pinion mount bushings. The bushings will get worn or oil soaked and will allow the entire rack and pinion to shift to...

Q: I HAVE A 2009 SRX V6

Between the drive shaft and the yoke into the differential is a u-joint. Based on your description that joint may be faulty and in need of replacement. To have that component inspected, and replaced if necessary, please request universal joint...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.