Q: Power steering stiff when cold

asked by on September 29, 2016

On cold days, my power steering is extremely stiff if the engine is cold. On top of this, it feels like the steering wheel is jolting trough a cold turn. However, this stops after completing a turn all the way to the left and to the right and after the engine has warmed up completely. Referring back to the jolting of the steering wheel, you can hear the belt squeak on each jolt as it's being turned. There's no issue after the engine has warmed up and made a couple turns on the steering wheel. Would this be a sign of a bad power steering pump? I notice a jolting steering wheel when going slow trough a puddle of water and water gets on the belt system.

My car has 161859 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. This can be a sign of a bad pump, but most of the time it is caused by contaminated fluid. If the fluid is old or has any moisture in it then this will occur. I usually flush out the power steering fluid first. I also check the belt. Once it has new fluid and if the belt is fine, then I double check the symptoms. If it continues, then I replace the pump. If you need to have this done, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose the steering and move forward with the proper repairs.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What should i do the light came on of the electric power steering indicator

Hello there. A few common faults will cause the electronic power steering warning light to be displayed. The most common are the power steering module, steering angle sensor, or wiring harness fault. If you need to have this checked, a...

Engine making weird noises.

Seeking a mechanics advice when car issues come up is always a good idea. Especially when it comes to engine noises. Since I don't know what kind of noise you are hearing, I will try to explain what is important...

Parking sensor causing false beeps

Is the sensor totally pushed in and hanging by the wires or pushed in a little? Either way you have to determine which parts are damaged: the sensor itself, the bezel for it or the bumper. The sensor and bezel...

Related articles

How Long Does a Steering Rack Mounting Bushings Last?
Your Your car is equipped with a steering rack. Essentially, this is what translates the rotational movement of the steering wheel into lateral movement to control the front wheels. The rack is mounted under your car, behind the engine, but...
3 Essential Things to Know About Steering Wheels and Covers
The The steering wheel on your vehicle is used to control the movement of the car. For example, when you turn the wheel left, the car will turn left and vice versa. The steering wheel is connected to the vehicle...
How Long Should the Belts in My Car Last?
Automotive Automotive belts these days last quite a bit longer than they once did, thanks to better materials used in the manufacturing process. Just the same, they’re not going to last forever. So if you’re wondering, “How long should belts...