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How Much does a Power Steering Pump Replacement Cost?
Your power steering system makes it easy to control your cars direction when you turn the steering wheel, and the power steering pump is a key component to make it work.
The power steering pump circulates fluid throughout the system, but can fail due to internal problems, fluid leaks, or bearing and pulley issues.
The power steering pump may never need to be changed on your car because it’s not a typical wear component.
However, if the power steering pump develops a leak or loses its ability to circulate fluid properly, it will need to be replaced.
On average, power steering pump replacement is $400 to $800, depending on the car you drive, and sometimes it’s occasionally much more.
Power Steering Pump Replacement
What is a Power Steering Pump?
The reason your cars steering turns so easily is due to the power steering pump.
High-pressure fluid circulates through the steering system, adding assist at the power steering gear to reduce the effort of your steering input.
The high-pressure fluid originates at the power steering pump. The power steering pump is driven by a belt on your engine, typically a serpentine belt.
The rotational force from the belt spins a shaft which turns a rotor in the pump housing that draws fluid in from the fluid reservoir.
The rotor pushes fluid into the high-pressure line that leaves the pump. As a looping system, the fluid always circulates back to the power steering fluid reservoir.
In the power steering pump, excessive wear can occur when the fluid is contaminated or gritty, or if the pump runs out of fluid.
As well, the pump’s input shaft seal or the pump cover can develop a leak. The input shaft bearing may show signs of wear and develop a whining noise, or the bearing can seize.
Any of these concerns mean you’ll need your power steering pump replaced.
Symptoms you need Power Steering Pump Replacement
- Difficulty turning the steering wheel, especially at idle
- Choppy feeling or binding when turning
- Fluid leaking from the power steering pump
- Whining noise from the power steering pump, with pitch changing relative to engine speed
How is the Power Steering Pump Replaced?
- The power steering pump is located, and access is created based on its position. Some cars’ power steering pump must be accessed from under the engine while others are from the top side
- The power steering belt is removed
- The technician disconnects the wiring connector (if equipped), and the power steering pressure and return hoses are disconnected and the fluid drained
- The pump’s mounting bolts are undone, the old pump is removed, and a new pump bolted into place
- Power steering lines are reattached, along with the wiring and the power steering drive belt
- The power steering fluid is refilled at the reservoir and air bled from the power steering system
- The car is road tested to ensure the repair is complete
Tips to Remember
- The complete power steering system should be flushed and new fluid used when power steering pump replacement is performed
- Unless it’s in perfect condition, it’s a good time to replace the serpentine belt on your engine
- Always use the correct fluid for your car’s power steering, according to manufacturer’s specs.
How Important is Replacing Your Power Steering Pump?
It’s extremely difficult to drive your car when the power steering isn’t working correctly, especially at low speeds.
Replacing a failing power steering pump will reduce driver fatigue and give you peace of mind when you drive. Operating a car with unreliable power steering can be dangerous, adding
Operating a car with unreliable power steering can be dangerous, adding the potential for an accident due to loss of control.
When your power steering pump shows signs of failure, have it replaced expediently.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
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Image credit - Josef Hanning