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The Warning Signs of Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms!

If you’re experiencing strange noises like a high-pitched squealing or groaning when turning your car’s steering wheel, it could be a sign of bad power steering pump symptoms. Additionally, if your steering feels stiff and unresponsive, this could also indicate a failing power steering pump.

In this article, we’ll delve into the common symptoms of a bad power steering pump, the causes behind its failure, and the potential consequences of driving with a faulty pump. We’ll also discuss the average lifespan of a power steering pump and the costs associated with its replacement. So, keep reading to learn more about what to look out for when it comes to bad power steering pump symptoms and how to address them.

How to Tell If Your Power Steering Pump Is Bad?

Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms (2)
Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms (2)

Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect that your power steering pump is bad:

  • Squealing noise when starting the car or turning the steering wheel
  • Groaning noise when turning the steering wheel
  • Stiff or unresponsive steering wheel
  • Low power steering fluid level
  • The power steering fluid is grey

1. Squealing noise when starting the car or turning the steering wheel

If you hear a high-pitched squealing noise when starting your car or turning the steering wheel, it’s possible that you have a faulty power steering pump. Although a loose or worn accessory belt could be the culprit, if the noise continues to persist consistently, it’s likely that the power steering pump is the root cause of the problem.

2. Groaning noise when turning the steering wheel

A groaning noise when turning the steering wheel is another symptom of a faulty power steering pump. It suggests that there is an issue with the internal components of the pump, resulting in inadequate fluid flow to the steering system. In essence, the groaning noise indicates that the steering system is not receiving sufficient fluid to function properly.

3. The steering wheel is slow to respond

If your car’s power steering pump is damaged or not working properly, you may notice difficulty turning the steering wheel and a delayed response from the wheels.

This is not only frustrating, but it can also be a serious safety issue on the road. Without a functioning power steering pump, your car won’t respond as quickly as it should, potentially causing accidents.

4. Low power steering fluid level

Consistently observing a low level of power steering fluid in your car is often a sign of a leak, which may be originating from the power steering pump. To confirm this, you can check the ground beneath your car’s parking spot for any red or pink fluid that may have leaked out.

Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms (1)
Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms (1)

Related: What Is The Color Of Power Steering Fluid?

5. The power steering fluid is grey

Typically, power steering fluid has a pink or red hue, but if the pump is damaged, it may allow excess air in and cause the fluid to oxidize, resulting in a gray color. This is a clear indication that the fluid isn’t functioning as intended and shouldn’t be ignored. Moreover, if you notice metal flakes in the fluid, this might suggest that there’s an issue with the steering system that needs to be addressed.

How Long Does a Power Steering Pump Last?

If you’re wondering how long a power steering pump lasts, the answer is typically between 100,000 to 150,000 miles. However, in some cases, they may need to be replaced sooner if the system is not regularly serviced and maintained.

What to Do When Your Power Steering Fluid Leaks?

One solution is to apply power steering stop leak. It’s a quick and easy fix that involves pouring a portion of it into the reservoir and then driving for an hour or two to let it circulate. While it may not be a permanent fix, it can provide a temporary solution to your power steering problems.

What Causes A Failing Power Steering Pump?

There are several factors that could contribute to the problem, the most common being internal wear and tear, or air in the system. Over time, worn parts like seals, gaskets, or o-rings can cause fluid to leak out, which can lead to multiple problems down the line.

Alternatively, if the filter becomes clogged with dirt or debris, it can prevent proper fluid flow and cause the pump to fail. It’s also worth considering issues like a seized pump, low pressure, or high pressure, all of which could be causing your power steering to go out.

How Much To Replace Power Steering Pump?

On average, you can expect to pay between $500 and $800 to replace a power steering pump. Of course, this cost can vary depending on the make and model of your car. To ensure you get an accurate quote, it’s best to speak with the service advisors at your local repair shop.

How to Replace a Power Steering Pump

What happens if you drive with a bad steering pump?

Driving with a bad power steering pump is not recommended, as it can lead to unsafe driving conditions due to the lack of control you have over the car. Without a functioning power steering pump, your car won’t respond as quickly when turning the wheel and could cause accidents on the road.

FAQs about Bad Power Steering Pump Symptoms

Is my power steering pump bad?

There are a few obvious signs that your power steering pump is bad. These include a groaning noise when turning the wheel, difficulty turning the steering wheel, and low fluid in the system. Additionally, if you notice grayish-colored fluid leaking out of the reservoir, this could indicate an issue with the pump as well.

What does a power steering pump sound like when it is bad?

If your power steering pump is failing, you’re likely to hear a loud squealing or groaning noise when starting up the car or turning the wheel. This noise indicates that there is an issue with the internal components of the pump and it’s not functioning as intended.

Can bad power steering fluid cause noise?

Yes, bad power steering fluid can cause a range of noises, including a high-pitched squeal or groan when starting up the car or turning the wheel. In addition to these noises, you may also experience difficulty turning the wheel and slow response times from your car’s wheels. All of these symptoms point towards a faulty power steering pump.

Why is my power steering leaking so fast?

As your vehicle ages and accrues more mileage, the power steering system starts to wear down. O-rings and seals within the system lose their flexibility over time, allowing tiny bits of the seals to end up in the fluid itself.

As these particles accumulate, they can cause further damage to the power steering system and contribute to greater leaks.


In conclusion, it’s important to pay attention to any signs of trouble with your car’s power steering system. Symptoms such as groaning noises, slow response times, grayish power steering fluid, and low fluid levels may indicate a bad power steering pump. To avoid further complications, it’s recommended to have the pump serviced promptly by a professional. Repairs could involve replacing the pump, using stop leak, or flushing out the entire system.

Additionally, be sure to keep an eye out for any evidence of leaking fluid beneath your car. By taking action early, you can prevent a bad power steering pump from becoming a more serious issue that could compromise your safety on the road.

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