If You Expect Great Performance, Protect Your Power Steering

Driving enthusiasts should keep a strict eye on their power steering if they want to continue enjoying their driving adventures.  To keep power steering working properly, you and your mechanic should partner to monitor the situation. It’s possible that with timely maintenance, your power steering will last longer than your engine.

Keep the Fluids Flowing

A hydraulic system controls the power steering in our cars.  This means that the fluid in your system is critical to its success.  Although it is a closed system, the fluid will break down over time. It simply can’t remain in perfect condition forever.  Dirt and debris creep in.  The transparent fluid turns slowly brown.

When it is dark and sludge-like, it has become a hazard and needs to be replaced.  Different manufacturers have different recommendations for when this should be changed.  Speedy driving habits can contribute to a faster decline in the fluid’s viscosity.  Furthermore, extreme heat is also part of the equation.  This means that Phoenix car service for brake fluid might be needed much faster than the same car in London.

The temptation to simply add fluid should be resisted.  It is possible that too much fluid will collapse the seals and valves.  On the other hand, if there isn’t enough fluid, the necessary flow will slow down.  It may become difficult to turn your car.  Your mechanic should monitor the car for leaks that might deplete fluid levels.

Pay Attention to the Belts

The steering pump is connected to your engine by a belt.  This is how power is communicated to the steering system.  If the belt frays, rots, or breaks, the system fails.  Like fluid replacement, replacing the belt is an inexpensive preventative measure. It can save your car from expensive damage.  A broken belt, on the other hand, can cause a breakdown and a potentiall accident situation.

Prevent Stress on the System

Even if the fluids and belts are cared for properly, certain road conditions and driving habits can stress the system. When encountering potholes and rough roads, you should go slowly and then return to solid pavement as soon as possible.  Only a vehicle designed for off-roading can withstand big bumps and jolts. Steering pump components on a regular SUV or car are vulnerable to breakage. If you have encountered poor road conditions, it may be worth it to have your mechanic check for premature damage.

How Can You Preserve Your Power Steering?

Maintenance is key. Your mechanic will check your steering fluid for signs that it is too old or too low.  They will recommend replacing the fluid if it is too dirty.  They will check your hoses for leaks and for proper pressure. Your steering pump will be examined for damage.

A familiar warning sign that your power steering needs servicing is a whining noise when you are turning. If steering becomes difficult, requiring much more physical effort to turn the steering wheel, this is a big red flag.

Beyond this, avoiding rough roads is important. Your performance driving experiences should be on well-paved roads.

Finally, you should be careful how you steer.  Some drivers are so excited about performance that they strain the steering by throwing it too far to the left or the right.

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