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How to Handle Power Steering Failure

Don't be a victim of power steering failure. Learn to catch the early warning signs and what to do if it happens while you're driving.

We're lucky to live in a time when power steering is around! It makes driving easier, safer, and much less of an arm workout. But when your power steering goes out, you'll need to know how to react. Let’s talk about what to look for/do if your power steering fails when you’re driving.

If you’re turning your wheel and you hear noises, such as a whining sound, your power steering system pump could be seeeriously low on fluid.

How to Check for Power Steering Failure

Here’s how you can check for leaks: Let your car sit for a while, maybe overnight, on a cleanish area (as clean as a driveway/street can be). When you go to drive it again, check and see if there’s a leak underneath it. If the color of it is amber, pink, or red, it could be a power steering fluid leak. Your car might also have a vehicle warning light for when you have a power steering issue, so be sure to check your dashboards for any irregular lights.

What to do:

So what do you do if your power steering goes out while you’re driving? Don't panic.

Listen up. If you’re in a busy area, warn other drivers you’re having driving difficulties by turning on your flashers and (if you feel like it’s necessary) honking your horn. Even though it might be difficult to do without power steering, use those muscles and move your car over to the side of the road.

When you get to the side of the road, stop completely and try to turn your wheel. Does it move freely? It’s probably not your power steering. Is it difficult to turn? It’s probably your power steering. You either drive slowly (flashers on) to the mechanic or stay there and wait for a tow truck.

Ripping off steering wheel will not fix power steering failure issue Ripping off steering wheel will not fix power steering issue