Useful Tips

Power Steering

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Most cars, with the exception of electric and hybrid vehicles, have a hydraulic hydraulic booster system that allows the driver to rotate the steering wheel without applying much effort. The power steering system consists of a gear and a rack connected to the front wheels, the piston inside the rack, under pressure from the hydraulic pump, moves the toothed bar along which the gear goes, which contributes to an easier rotation of the wheels, there is also an expansion tank with liquid inside pump or installed separately for easy access to it. (If there is a lack of fluid, it is difficult to steer the car and the pump or the rack mechanism may be damaged, as there will be insufficient lubrication of these mechanisms.) Therefore, you should constantly check the fluid level in the hydraulic booster and add it if there is a shortage.

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Power Steering and its system is carried out when replacing the working fluid, airing, which may be the result of a malfunction or repair work. The air that got inside not only reduces the efficiency of the hydraulic booster, but can also cause serious breakdowns, in particular, failure of the power steering pump. therefore power steering must be carried out in strict accordance with existing technology.

Symptoms in the power steering system

There are several signs of airing the power steering system, in which it is necessary to pump it. Among them:

  • loud noise in the area of ​​installation of power steering or its pump,
  • steering wheel pressure increasedifficulties turning it,
  • fluid leakage from the power steering system.

In addition, there are still some signs of system airingoccurrence of foam on the surface of the working fluid in the expansion tank, spontaneous steering to one side. If you are faced with at least one of the described signs - then you need to pump the power steering.

How to pump power steering

How to add oil and pump power steering

The fluid replacement and power steering pumping procedure is carried out in strict accordance with the existing algorithm. Some car manufacturers may add features to it. If you have a manual for your car, we recommend that you read the appropriate section. In general terms, the steps must be performed in the following sequence:

  • Raise the vehicle completely on the lift or hang out its front wheels.
  • If necessary, drain the old fluid from the expansion tank. To do this, remove the return hose (going into the power steering system) from the expansion tank and put a plug on it so that fluid from the hose does not spill out. A hose going to an empty bottle is connected to an empty tap on the tank, where it is supposed to drain the old hydraulic fluid.
  • The main volume of liquid is most conveniently pumped out with a syringe and drained into a separate bottle. When there is very little liquid left, go to the next item.
  • Fill the working fluid into the expansion tank to the top.
  • Next, turn the steering wheel from side to side (from lock to lock) several times so that the old fluid remaining in the system flows through the hose. Since the new fluid displaces the old one, do not forget to monitor the oil level in the tank so that air does not enter the hose.
  • When the liquid level drops, add it again.
  • Start the engine for 2-3 seconds and shut off. This is done so that the fluid begins to spread throughout the system.

Syringe oil pumping

  • Next, add the working fluid to the tank to the level of the MAX mark and repeat the procedure with starting the engine. Repeat this cycle 3-5 times.
  • A signal to stop pumping is the fact that air from the return hose stops entering the drain bottle. This means that there is no more air left in the hydraulic system, and a fresh clean liquid enters the tank.
  • After that, you need to reinstall the return hose (connect to the expansion tank where it was originally installed).
  • Refill the tank to the MAX level, and then start the engine.
  • To pump the hydraulic booster, it is necessary to slowly turn the steering wheel from left to right stop 4-5 times. In places of emphasis to pause for 2-3 seconds. If air remains, it must exit into the expansion tank. During the verification process, make sure that the pump does not emit extraneous noise.
  • The signaling that the pumping is over will be the absence of air bubbles on the surface of the liquid in the tank.
  • Then tightly close the expansion tank.

Power steering system bleeding

System boost can also be carried out without starting the engine, "To the cold." For this just rotate the steering wheel from left to right stops. In this case, the old liquid and air exit the system. However, most automakers are still advised to pump the system with the engine running.

The fluid level in the tank must be between the MIN and MAX marks. Remember that when heated, the fluid expands, so you should not pour it over the existing mark.

Typical malfunctions of the power steering

Malfunctions in the operation of the hydraulic booster are easy to identify by characteristic signs. Among them:

  • Steering wheel turns tight. Likely causes are failure of the power steering pump, use of unsuitable working fluid, sticking of the spool mechanism channels.
  • When the steering wheel is turned up to the stop (in any direction) during driving, you can hear high frequency sound (like a whistle). The likely cause is a loose belt.
  • Steering wheel jerks. The probable causes of the malfunction are non-compliance of the working fluid with the specifications declared by the manufacturer, malfunction of the fluid distribution mechanism, malfunction of the pump.
  • The presence of intense foaming in the expansion tank. Likely causes are mixing different types of liquids, a malfunction of the power steering pump.
  • When the engine is running spontaneous rotation of the steering wheel in any direction. The probable cause is the malfunctioning of the spool mechanism, most often, clogging of its working channels, incorrect assembly (for example, after installing the repair kit).

Recommendations for the operation and maintenance of power steering

In order for the power steering and its system to work in the normal mode, as well as to extend their life, it is necessary to adhere to several simple rules:

  • use working fluids, recommended by the car manufacturer, as well as carry out their timely replacement (most automakers recommend replacing the power steering fluid through every 60. 120 thousand kilometers, or once every 2 years, it depends on the driving style and the intensity of the car)
  • carry out pumping the power steering system in strict accordance with the algorithm described above (or observing individual requirements, if any, is made by the car manufacturer),
  • monitor the status steering rack boot, because if it is torn, then dust and dirt will get into the system, which leads to the power steering pump leaving the pump. A sign of a problem that has already happened is the booster of the hydraulic booster, which cannot be eliminated even by replacing the fluid.

The cost of replacing fluid and pumping GUR

If you plan to carry out work on replacing the fluid and pumping the power steering yourself, you will only need to buy oil in a volume of 1 to 3 liters (taking into account flushing, while the volume of the power steering system of a passenger car is up to 1 liter). The price of liquid depends on the brand and store. She is in the range of 4. 15 $ per liter. If you don’t want or cannot do this kind of work yourself, seek help from a service station. Approximate prices for January 2017 make up:

  • liquid replacement work - 1200 rubles,
  • GUR pumping - 600 rubles.

Conclusion

Power booster pumping is a simple procedure that even an inexperienced car owner can handle. The main thing is to adhere to the sequence of actions discussed above. You must also use manufacturer recommended fluid. When the slightest signs of a failure of the power steering system appear, it is necessary to carry out preventive procedures. Otherwise, the system may fail, which threatens not only repair but also loss of car control on the road.

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