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Checking and Bleeding Your Power Steering Sytem

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Most modern cars come fitted with power steering. The power steering system in your vehicle uses hydraulic pressure to multiply the forces you create when you turn the steering wheel, reducing the amount of energy you need to use when driving the car. However, you may notice that your power steering becomes noisy or unresponsive. This problem is often caused when air enters the hydraulic system. Below is a guide which will help you to check the power steering system and bleed any air which is present.

Check for low fluid levels and leaks

The first step you should take is to inspect the level of the hydraulic fluid in the power steering system. If the fluid level is low, you should top it up. Once topped up, your power steering should begin to work normally again. If you notice that the problems return, you should check the fluid level again. If the fluid is low, this suggests that there is a leak within the hydraulic system which is allowing fluid to escape and air to enter.

Repair or replace the pressure hose

The most likely cause of a leak is the pressure hose within the power steering system. You should inspect the pressure hose for signs of damage, and if you find any, it should be replaced. If you cannot find any damage to the pressure hose, you should have the car inspected by a mechanic. 

Bleed the system of air

Once you have changed the pressure hose, you will need to bleed the hydraulic system of air. To do this, you should follow the steps outlined below.

1) You should begin by turning the steering wheel to the left until it reaches full lock, and then turn the wheel to the right until you reach the opposite lock position. Repeat this process several times. Performing this action will exercise the hydraulic systems. You should then check the level of the hydraulic fluid; if the fluid is low or foamy, this is a sign that air is still present in the system.

2) Next, you should add fluid to the hydraulic system, and repeat the actions outlined in step 1. Doing so will help to push any remaining air out of the system. Repeat your check of the fluid levels, and add more fluid if required. When the fluid level is no longer dropping or the fluid does not appear foamy, you have successfully removed all of the air from your power steering system.

If you have any concerns about your vehicle's power steering system, you should contact an auto repair shop today.