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When you've had simply enough of that belt squealing whenever you turn a corner; when you are just completely tired of giving your arms an intense upper arm workout every time you have to parallel park; and when you've absolutely cleaned up your last puddle of dirty power steering fluid from your garage floor - it's time to replace your power steering pump. Over time, a power steering pump can start to leak and the bearing around the pulley shaft can seize. This will greatly reduce your ability to steer. Ideally, you will want to be able to make adjustments to the direction of your vehicle without breaking a sweat. The power steering system uses hydraulic compression and a system of pinion gears to allow you to steer while turning your wheel relatively little. The power steering pump is the most crucial part of this system, and if it is not working properly you could possibly fail to dodge a road hazard if necessary, not make a turn completely and cause a collision, or just give yourself way too much work to do.
Power steering has been around for close to a century, and has been continuously evolving since its creation. The most common power steering systems utilize the hydraulic pressure created by a power steering pump driven by a belt wrapped around a pulley and the crankshaft. This pressure created inside the pump is transmitted using a mineral oil based hydraulic fluid through a system of hoses, and it applies force to the steering gearbox allowing the driver to make relatively large steering adjustments with minimal effort. Without a properly functioning power steering pump, we would have to use all our effort to turn the wheels. Solving that problem became a loud call to action for early car builders, and the result has been an efficient and effective system that relies on the power steering pump to make it happen. It is essentially the heart of the whole system.
Power steering pumps, while big and bulky, are not incredibly expensive or difficult to replace. They are almost always located at the front and top of the engine bay, just above the crankshaft. In those instances, the power steering fluid reservoir is typically attached directly to the pump. Sometimes, the power steering pump may be located out of sight, nearer the bottom of the engine compartment. It would still be located up front near the crankshaft; however there would be a hose from the reservoir to the pump that feeds it fluid. Here's what you have to do to replace your power steering pump.