A few decades ago, the only vehicles on the market were those that operated on a manual steering system. Apart from the complications of using the clutch, manual steering was difficult to use because you have to exert all your energy to turn the car. Thanks to the power steering in modern vehicles, now the pump pressurises the power steering fluid, so turning your car is easy. However, do you know that your power steering can turn difficult pretty fast? Here are a few ways to avoid that.
Every year or so, you should take your car to the shop for a full service. If you drive long distance, you can take the car in every 40,000 kilometres if there is no problem with the car before that. During the service, your mechanic will flush out all the fluids in your vehicle including the power steering fluid that makes steering smooth, clean the pump and put in some fresh oil that is not contaminated. It is also during this time that the mechanic can see if there is a leak in the pump or any other problem and fix it.
The power steering system is made up of many components that all work together to make your job as a driver relaxed and comfortable. If one or two elements are not functioning correctly, they will affect the rest of the system, and that is what happens when you have misaligned wheels. Ideally, you must get your wheels aligned and balanced every year to avoid uneven tyre wear, too much fuel consumption and wearing out the power steering system. While you are at it you should also have the bearings cleaned, inspected and repacked with new grease.
Be on the Lookout
There are simple symptoms that can alert you there is a problem with the steering system. Always be alert when driving so you can notice things like vibrating steering wheel, a whining or groaning sound coming from the pump or a steering wheel that is very hard to steer. You can also check if your hydraulic oil is at the right level and refill it.
Use the Right Products
If you use the wrong type of fuel or oil in your car, the engine will resist. It's crucial to use the right steering fluid for your vehicle by following the owner's manual because mineral based fluid will damage the system's components of a car that is meant for synthetic-based fluid. If you are not sure, you can ask an expert before making the purchase.
If you notice your car is getting too hard or too easy to steer, you should stop the car as soon as possible and call your mechanic. Most issues with power steering are not hard to fix, and they can be sorted within a short period.