Q: Power steering is failing

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For about a week or so my car had given me the power steering message on the dash after I start my car to leave work. I couldn't turn the steering wheel so I had to turn the car off and on again. This only happened once or twice days apart and when I turned my car off and back on it went away and I was able to steer. Yesterday while driving to work it happened again while I was in motion and I had to turn the car off and restart it. On my way home yesterday it happened again and I noticed there has also been jerking of my steering wheel and a grinding sound while I'm idle at a stoplight. I haven't driven since because I'm scared it will happen again while I'm turning and I won't be able to turn my car off and back on. I did some research but I don't know if I need more power steering fluid, a power steering flush, or if the belt needs to be replaced and I don't want to spend money to fix the wrong thing if it's an easy fix. I need it fixed asap!

My car has 140200 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. There are several components you will want to check. First, make sure your power steering fluid is full. If it is low, then there is a leak in the system that will need to be repaired. You will want to turn your attention to finding the leak, and the component that is damaged. Then make sure your belt that powers the power steering pump is intact and is tight (when you push down on it, it should move very little). If the belt is your issue, you will likely be experiencing issues with other systems as well. With the power steering light on, you can also have your vehicle scanned for diagnostic codes. When the light turns on, the computer has detected an issue. Finding out what triggered the light will help direct you to the problem. This is often a technician’s first step. For more help, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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