Auto Parts: Buying Guides, Explanations and Money-Saving Tips

3 Signs of Pump Failure in Your Truck's Power Steering System

by Aapo Perala

The power steering system in your truck should make driving easier and safer. However, if part of this system develops a problem, then your power steering will stop working correctly. You might find it hard to steer safely.

While power steering systems have various parts that can fail, problems often happen around the system's pump. If your pump is damaged or broken, then you'll notice changes to the way the system works. What should you look out for?

1. Low Fluid Levels

Your power steering pump needs to circulate a regular supply of fluid to do its job. Sometimes, the system breaks down because your fluid levels are low. In some cases, this is a simple fix — you might simply have forgotten to top up the reservoir.

However, sometimes low fluid levels are a sign of a leak in the pump itself. If your fluid levels drain down a lot more quickly than usual even if you're topping them up, then the pump might have a leak. This can be done by damage, old age or wear.

2. Unusual Noises

Steering pump problems sometimes make noises when you make certain driving actions. Typically, these noises will be new to you.

For example, your truck might start to squeal whenever you start it up. It might then make similar noises when you make sharp turns. These squeals can be caused by a problem with the pump that affects the position of its belt.

Or, you might hear whining sounds whenever you turn your steering wheel. This noise often gets louder at faster speeds. Whining can be a sign that you have a leak in your pump's fluid system. If the whines start to sound like groans, then you have a more serious problem. Your pump might be about to fail completely.

3. Steering Problems

A failing pump can't supply fluid to your steering. So, you might start to notice that your wheel doesn't respond normally.

For example, the wheel might suddenly become stiff and hard to turn. You could lose all the advantages that power steering should give you. Or, you might feel that your steering isn't responsive enough. You turn the wheel, but your truck doesn't follow the movement immediately.

If you think your truck power steering pump needs replacing, then contact your auto parts supplier. This is a problem you should fix quickly. If your current pump no longer works, then you might find it hard to drive safely.