Power steering is standard on nearly every car and truck in Chesapeake, VA these days. Now there are some exotic, new types of power steering systems, but for the most part, the general setup is a pump that’s driven by a belt powered by the engine.
Contact the automotive professionals at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake for questions about your power steering.
The pump generates power that assists motorists as they steer their pickup around Chesapeake, VA. Power steering systems use hoses to move pressurized fluid back and forth. These hoses can develop leaks so it’s a good idea to have your Chesapeake technician inspect them at every oil change.
A check of the power steering fluid level is on the list for every full service oil change at Bells Mill AutoCare because low fluid can damage the power steering pump. And the fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so it’s critical to use the correct type –just ask your service professional at Bells Mill AutoCare.
In addition to providing boost, the fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. Over time, the lubricants and detergents diminish so Chesapeake auto owners need to replace their old fluid with clean, fresh fluid periodically.
Excess moisture can collect in the power steering fluid as well. That can lead to rust and corrosion as well as reduce the effectiveness of the fluid. Many car makers outline power steering service intervals in the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this essential service is sometimes left off the maintenance schedule. For Chesapeake drivers who are not sure, every two years is a good rule of thumb.
At Bells Mill AutoCare, we use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.
Now, if you are experiencing high steering effort, erratic power assist, loud whining coming from the pump you may have a power steering problem. Another sign for Chesapeake car owners is having to frequently top off the fluid.
Holding the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time can wear your pump out real fast. AutoNetTV wants you to be sure to service your power steering system regularly at your service center or Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake to keep you headed in the right direction.
Most Chesapeake auto owners are too young to remember life before power steering – cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let’s look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine – a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.
These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea fir Chesapeake motorists to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owners’ manual for the right type – or just ask your considerate service specialist at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake.
The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so Chesapeake drivers need to replace it from time to time. Many automakers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the car maintenance schedule for many of us in Chesapeake. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your considerate Bells Mill AutoCare service professional will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.
Here are some important warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It’s harder to turn the wheel, there’s erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your power steering pump real fast.
Other critical steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks. Ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear, and off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check at Bells Mill AutoCare in Chesapeake will reveal bent or damaged steering components.
Most SUV’s, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.
The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. The team at Bells Mill AutoCare also recommends the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners’ manual maintenance schedule. It’s usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water in the Chesapeake area, the bearings will need service more often.