Most vehicles today are equipped with power steering.
Also known as power-assisted steering, power steering is a system that enables the driver to turn the wheels by using hydraulic and/or electrical power. This makes it easier for the driver to turn the wheel of the vehicle.
The first power steering system dates back to 1876. However, it wasn’t until 1951 that the first car power steering system was made commercially available with the Chrysler Imperial.
Your vehicle’s power steering system is made up of several key components:
A Sensor – Attached to the steering wheel is a sensor that helps detect force/torque. It anticipates when the power steering system needs to provide assistance to the driver (ex: when the driver turns the wheel).
A Pump – A pump raises the pressure of the power steering fluid.
A Collection of Valves – In each power steering system, there are valves that help direct high-pressure fluid through a series of hoses/metal tubes to either side of the power steering system. Where the fluid is directed depends on which direction the steering wheel is turned.
Actuators – Actuators are used to help direct the front wheels to one side or the other, depending on what sort of steering system your vehicle has.
Did you come to this page thinking “maybe I need to fix my power steering.” There are a number of reasons that you need to fix your power steering. Some of the most common signs of power steering failure include:
#1 – Stiff steering wheel
Power steering makes it easy to turn your steering wheel. If you notice that your steering wheel is difficult to turn, it may be a sign that your power steering pump is going bad and needs to be fixed or replaced.
#2 – Whining noise coming from the steering wheel
If you hear a whining or squealing noise coming from your steering wheel while making turns, it could be a sign that there is leaking fluid or low power steering fluid.
#3 – Slow response when making turns
You may need to fix your power steering if you notice that your steering feels sluggish while making turns. This may indicate that your power steering pump is failing.
In the event that your power steering fails, you’ll know it almost immediately because your vehicle will be extremely difficult to control. If this happens while you are driving, safely but calmly attempt to maneuver your vehicle to the side/shoulder of the road before contacting your local mechanic and/or a towing company for help. You should fix your power steering immediately.
However, prevention is better than cure. If you notice any of the above signs for power steering trouble, do not hesitate to make an appointment with us. We can replace or fix your power steering system. At USA Automotive, our auto technicians are highly trained and skilled in power steering maintenance and repair, and we’ll have you back on the road in no time.
Stop in, or give us a call today for a free quote: (919) 249-5295.
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