How do you install a power steering pump when the old one fails? Our guide gives you step by step instructions for how to replace a power steering pump easily.
Your parents and grandparents may remember driving a car without power steering. Other than that it was a good workout for your arms, there probably isn’t anything really positive about it. Fortunately, hydraulic power steering has been around for a long time, and more recently also electric.
Thanks to the power steering, you need less power to steer while standing, maneuvering and driving at low speed, as a hydraulic system increases the power that the driver uses. This happens thanks to the servo pump, also known as the hydraulic pump, which pumps hydraulic oil into the steering system when the steering is turned. The pressure built up in the lines and steering gear makes steering easier.
If the servo pump fails, the oil can no longer be pumped into the system and there is no more pressure and thus no steering force boost. This is when you need to know how to replace a power steering pump!
How can I tell if the servo pump is defective?
Typical signs that indicate a defective hydraulic pump are:
- Suddenly stiff steering
- Lots of oil around the servo pump
- Noise when steering
- When you turn the steering wheel completely, you can hear whistling noises
- The steering wheel suddenly vibrates while driving
- Foam or bubbles form in the servo oil expansion tank
- Steering in one direction is easier than the other
- Despite refilling, your servo oil level is quickly low again
Can I continue driving with a defective power steering pump?
It is good that, even if this hydraulic steering assistance fails, the vehicle can continue to be driven; even if only with significantly more effort. You can’t drive around with it permanently; You will notice the defect at the latest when parking or taking a quick evasive maneuver. Worse still, should something happen, insurance may refuse to pay.
How to replace a power steering pump
- A new servo pump
- A new ribbed belt
- Servo oil (depending on the model you can expect up to approx. 2 liters)
Caution: Changing a servo pump differs from vehicle to vehicle; Furthermore, these changing instructions only refer to hydraulic pumps and not electric ones. In most cases the power steering pump is located on the right front of the vehicle; if you are not sure, you can find this information in the operating instructions of your car, or more safely, in the repair manual.
- In the first step, lift your car with the help of a jack at the front right
- After you have removed the engine cover and the lining of the front right wheel arch liner, the next step is to remove the associated wheel.
- The belt is now relaxed and removed from the drive pulley.
- Now you can drain the servo oil. Don’t forget to collect and dispose of the oil in an environmentally friendly way.
- When you have completely drained the oil, you can next loosen the fastening screws and remove the servo pump.
- Grab the new servo pump, install it, and then assemble the other components in reverse order.
- As the last step, top up the servo oil and bleed the system. Then check the oil level again.
Tip: If you replace the servo pump, you should also replace the ribbed belt at the same time!
A job that you can definitely do yourself with a little skill. And you save a lot of money! The best thing to do is to look around for a cheap new servo pump in the auto parts online shop . If you buy them yourself, you can definitely get away cheaper than in the workshop.
Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.