Power Steering Problems or Issues
If you are having problems with your vehicle's power steering, you more than likely have a leak. Be it a slow or fast leak, it should be fixed as soon as possible. You may, however just be low on power steering fluid. You should check all the fluids in your vehicle regularly.
If your notice one day that your power steering starts whining and slowly get worse over a few days or weeks, you most likely have a slow leak. If all of the sudden your power steering goes out, then you may have a blown seal. Or you may have a leaky power steering pump.
You can visually inspect the power steering lines. Follow the line(s) from the point where you fill the power steering fluid(under hood) all the way down, look for any signs of a cut or split in the line or any fluid on the outside of the line or underneath the line. Also inspect your driveway to see if a puddle of fluid accumulates and how quickly.
- Identifying and Fixing A Power Steering Fluid Leak
If you need more help finding your leak click on this link to view my other hub.
If you determine that you have a slow power steering leak you may be able to do a quick fix. Visit your local automotive parts store they should have a power steering stop-leak. Add the stop-leak to your power steering and fill any remainder with power steering fluid until the fluid level reaches the "full" point, do not overfill! Sometimes a seal can begin to deteriorate and some stop-leak can fix it. Eventually you will probably need the problem professionally fixed. Like I said this would be a quick fix. If you have a very slow leak adding the stop-leak and topping off the fluid may last you a while.
If you determine that you have a fast leak you should have a mechanic take a look. As I stated above you can visually inspect the lines yourself and you may find that you just need to replace the line. You can get a replacement line at an auto parts store, replacing the line should be self explanatory or you may want to have a pro do it.
Now if you have a slow leak and have done the quick fix I stated then you should be able to drive around fine, but the problem will most likely return maybe the next day or the next month it all depends on what the main problem is. If you have a fast leak that can not be cured with a quick fix and the power steering unit will not hold fluid you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. The vehicle should be find to drive without power steering, however it will be difficult to turn.
Either way you should have the problem professional inspected and fixed as soon as you can. You may be able to solve it temporarily, but eventually you may find yourself turning right, losing the power steering, and side swiping another vehicle. Depending on the size of your vehicle you may or may not be able to control it without power steering. Power steering issues are certainly not something you want wait to get fixed.
Driving without power steering is possible, but difficult. It should not be considered "safe" but it will get you to the garage.
And a slow leak can have a quick fix, but should be serviced soon.
If you are having power steering problems, you can do without temporarily, but you should get it serviced as soon as you can!
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