Most cars have power steering these days, and with all the fancy technology that we drive around in, it is usually quite clear when the power steering is starting to fail. It usually happens gradually, and the car normally gives warning signs before it completely fails. Saying this, it is still possible for the power steering to fail suddenly, and most cars should allow you to keep driving slowly in manual to get you to the nearest power steering workshop.
There are a couple of warning signs that you can look out for, that will tell you there is a problem with the power steering:
- The most obvious is strange noises that you have not heard before. Normally whining sounds mean the power steering pump is low on fuel.
- The second most obvious warning would be the actual steering… when you feel it is just not turning as smoothly as normal. When the steering starts to become an effort to turn, take it immediately to your nearest power steering workshop.
- If you find any leaks underneath your car (and it is not your air conditioner), you need to figure out where the leak is coming from. Placing a white sheet of paper under the car for a few hours will show up the colour of the fluid that is leaking. If the fluid is a pink or reddish colour, this could be your power steering fluid that is leaking.
- If you have electrical power steering (EPS) then a light will become visible on the dash – usually a picture of a steering wheel is used. Please be very careful as electrical steering when not operational is extremely hard to use and is dangerous to drive. Have the vehicle towed to your local steering shop to have computer diagnosis done on the steering to determine the fault.
In the event that your steering does fail while you are driving, warn other drivers by putting on your hazards and hooting. Very slowly, drive the car to the side of the road, remembering that it will be much harder to steer.
With the car engine running, turn the steering wheel to see how well it turns. If you can tell that the power steering has definitely failed, either drive very slowly to your local power steering workshop, or if you are unable to steer the car manually, then call a tow truck to tow your car to the workshop.
It is much better to be forewarned and forearmed…. call us today for a FREE steering check up!