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1. Check that the serpentine belt is still intact and still in position over all the pulleys on the engine including the power steering pump.
2. Check the power steering fluid level. If very low or empty you obviously have a significant power steering fluid leak which could be from a ruptured flexible hose, a leaky hose connection, a leak from the power steering pump itself or leaks from the fluid seals in the steering rack. If the PS pump has been run with very low fluid it will have been pumping air and will be damaged.
3. If the PS pump itself has failed you will obviously lose PS assistance and a bad pump would need to be replaced.
4. Since you have not checked anything on the car no one here can tell you the likely source of your particular PS failure.
5. The steering wheel should still turn but if the car is not moving it will be extremely heavy and difficult to move.without PS assistance so don't attempt to drive it in its present condition.
Heavy steering (not caused by neglected low tyre pressures) is usually related to a problem or failure with the power steering pump system.
Items to check on the Power Steering (PS) System
1. Is the serpentine belt slipping on the power steering pump pulley because it is old and worn and needs to be replaced? If it is slipping it will likely be slipping on other pulleys also.
2. You have allowed the power steering fluid to run low and the PS pump is starved and is sucking air. Running the fluid low will damage the PS pump and the steering rack. Low fluid in the PS reservoir is normally a sign of a fluid leak in the system. A leak could be on a system hose, in the PS pump or in the steering rack.
3. The PS pump may have failed, hence cannot produce the required pressure in the PS system, and needs to be replaced.
You will have to change the power steering hoses as they have a split. There is only pressure in the hoses when you are turning the wheel . When the wheel is stationary there is no pressure in the pump so you will not see a leak unless some one is turning the wheel. Be careful that you do not place your finger in the area of the leak as the fluid can penetrate your skin and that is deadly.
Hard to steer, leaking fluid all over the place. Check and make sure the power steering fluid is full before taking it to a mechanics, if the power steering is full and it's still hard to turn or more difficult than before AND is NOT leaking fluid everywhere it could be the PS pump.
YOU HAVE AIR IN THE POWER STEERING SYSTEM.YOU NEED TO BLEED POWER STEERING PUMP FIRST BEFORE DRIVING VECHICLE.CHECK POWER STEERING FLUID LEVEL ADD MORE POWER STEERING UNTIL REACH FULL COLD MARK..RAISE VECHICLE FRONT WHEELS OFF THE GROUND.START ENGINE LET IT IDLE WHILE TURNING STEERING WHEEL LEFT TO RIGHT NON STOP DONT LOCK OR STOP STEERING WHEEL KEEP TURNING IT SEVERAL TIMES CHECK POWER STEERING FLUID IF LOW ADD UNTIL YOU GET COLD MARK ON DIP STICK DONT OVER FILL POWER STEERING PUMP BLOW A SEAL.IF POWER STEERING FLUID LOOK TAN COLOR SYSTEM FULL OF AIR.TURN OFF IGNITION LET CAR SET FOR A WHILE CHECK FLUID LEVEL.IF STEERING WHEEL FEEL STIFF HARD TURNING DONT DRIVE CAR UNTIL YOU HAVE NORMAL STEERING.IF STILL HAVE AIR IN SYSTEM BLEED SYSTEM UNTIL AIR IS OUT.
very possible that the pump has failed (seized ) internally so get it checked out at an accredited power steering specialist shop
if it does not produce pressure then the steering will lock or be extremely heavy to turn
Dear Screech And Whine......What you have described is definitely a power steering concern. And yes the fluid is low.....thanks for the accurate problem description!! You are correct on the filling the fluid part also......but keep in mind that if your power steering fluid is lo that you might very well also have a ps leak too.You can do a visual check and trace all of your ps lines to make sure that no fluid is escaping anywhere.....You ae more tha welcome to get back to me if you have any further questions...HOPE I COULD HELP!!!
The power steering leak is creating bubbles in your power steering pump which gets strained more when turning, which causes it to be louder when turning. If you know where your leak is, then fix that, then try to bleed your ps system by filling up with the cap off the resevoir and turning the steering wheel max left to max left with trans fluid. if the noise is still there then your ps pump needs to be replaced along with the ps vsv located on the side of the pump.