6 Signs Of A Bad Power Steering Pump (& Replacement Cost)

A steering wheel is used to move a vehicle left or right, as you may already be aware.

Think about how much force it would take to lift a heavy vehicle. Then imagine what force you'd have to use to do the same thing with your hands. Sounds extremely difficult, doesn’t it?

That’s exactly why the power steering technology was developed. The task of steering was made more challenging as vehicles got larger.

Depending on the car you have, power steering pumps may be either electrical or powered by an engine. Both functions work almost exactly the same. Let’s take a quick look at the signs to look for:

Squealing sounds when the steering wheel is turned while being turned is the most obvious sign of a defective power steering pump. Another sign is heavy, jerky steering or the presence of metal flakes or in the power-steering fluid.

This is a detailed listing of 6 symptoms that indicate a poor power steering pump.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms
    1. 1. Making a loud noise while steering
    2. 2. Heavy Steering
    3. 3. Jerky Steering
    4. 4. Knocking Noise
    5. 5. Power steering fluid has metal flakes
    6. 6. Power Steering Symbol
  2. How a power steering pump works
  3. Power Steering Pump Location
  4. Power Steering Pump Replacement Cost

Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms

1. Making a loud noise while steering

Turning Up Stereo

A fluid is required to operate the power steering pump. The fluid must be at the correct level to allow the pump to function properly. This can cause unpleasant whining sounds when the steering wheel is being operated.

If the power steering pump is not working properly, this can also happen. You should check your power steering fluid levels if there is a loud clicking noise coming from the pump.

You should check for leaks if the level is too low.

RELATED : How often should the power steering fluid be replaced?

2. Heavy Steering

Jerky Steering

If there are problems with the functionality of your steering wheel, it will not respond to you gestures. The steering pump may be faulty if the steering suddenly feels heavy, or even permanently.

If you drive fast or need to perform lightning-fast maneuvers, this can make it dangerous. To avoid any life-threatening situations, it is best to get your power steering pump serviced by a professional as soon as possible.

RELATED: 6 Causes of a Steering Wheel That’s Hard to Turn

3. Jerky Steering

Jittery Steering Wheel E1609864087633

The power steering pump can fail at any time. You may notice a loose steering wheel while driving the vehicle.

Low power steering fluid levels can cause this, so make sure it is high.

4. Knocking Noise

Turn Stereo Up E1609864069913

It is more likely to happen with a mechanical power steering pump, but can also occur with an electric one.

When the power steering pump is nearing its end, it will produce a loud knocking sound.

The noise can be a sign of more destruction. If your power steering pump doesn't get fixed after it makes this sound, it could get locked up and cause the serpentine belt to break. You will then become stranded. If you own an electric power steering motor, however, this problem isn't likely to occur.

5. Power steering fluid has metal flakes

Power Steering Fluid Check

If you check the power steering fluid level and you notice that there are some metal flakes in the power steering pump – there is a big chance that your power steering pump is about to fail hard.

If you have metal flakes, you have to replace the power steering pump and flush the whole power steering system before refilling it again – otherwise, the new pump might also get destroyed.

6. Power Steering Symbol

Power Steering Warning Light

You may have an electric power steering motor. The power steering control module controls the steering. If it notices something faulty with the power steering pump, it will light up the dashboard’s power steering light.

You must check your power steering control module for trouble codes if you notice a light at the dashboard.

How a power steering pump works

Power Steering Pump

A power steering pump is what makes power steering possible. There are two types of power steering pump – an electrical and one powered by the serpentine belt.

Both operate on the same principle and both use power steering liquid. Sometimes, an electrical power steering pump may be concealed behind the engine. This makes it difficult to find and replenish power steering fluid.

It is sealed, so the fluid will not leak.

Power Steering Pump Location

Power Steering Pump Location

The serpentine belt is the location of a mechanical power steering motor.

It's usually located in the highest position of the engine. However, it may be found lower down in certain situations.

It is more challenging to locate an electric power steering pump. An electric power steering motor is usually located at the top of a power steering rack. You will find the power steering rack behind your engine.

Power Steering Pump Replacement Cost

Power steering pumps can be replaced for an average cost of $200 to $700. This includes power steering fluid. The price of a mechanical power steering pump is $100-$400, while labor costs typically run $50-$300.

A power steering pump with electric motor costs between $200 and $600. Costs for labor range from $100 to $400. For a complete replacement of an electric power steering motor, you can expect to pay $300-$1000.

These factors can all vary depending on what car you drive.

An electric power steering pumps will require you to reprogram it and then recalculate its values. Only a reliable diagnostic tool can do this.

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