One of the major components of your power steering is the pump. Although this pump is quite durable, heavy usage of your vehicle will eventually lead to wear and tear. One of the more common issues that it could develop is a leak. A malfunctioning power steering can make it quite difficult for you to navigate corners and will impede on your overall driving. That's why it is important to know how to spot the signs of trouble and have them fixed by a mechanic at the onset before they get worse. Below are some of the signs that your power steering pump may be heading toward malfunction.
Low fluid levels in the vehicle
One of the surefire symptoms that your power steering has been compromised is if you begin to notice the signs of fluid leaking. Most motorists will have a schedule for topping off the fluid levels in their vehicle. If you begin to notice that your car is unable to retain this fluid for the normal duration between refills, then the power steering pump could be damaged. It should be noted that low fluid levels could be caused by other reasons such as a reservoir that is broken. It is, therefore, essential to have an auto mechanic give the vehicle a once-over to determine the culprit of the low fluid levels and fix it.
Constant staining on your driveway
You may not notice, in some cases, that your fluid levels are low in good time. For instance, the dashboard indicator may not have alerted you of low fluid levels, so you keep driving your car as usual. However, if you notice that the spot you park your vehicle is always stained, this is a telltale sign of an undetected fluid leak. The fluid that is used in your power steering is characterised by a dark colour, and the stains will typically appear underneath the front part of your vehicle, closer to the driver's side. It would be prudent to have the power steering pump inspected to ensure that any damage that it has acquired is not exacerbated with regular driving.
Squealing noises from the vehicle
If your power steering pump is not functioning at optimum, you may begin noticing squealing noises coming from your vehicle. These sounds will be especially audible when you are driving around sharp bends, but they can also happen when you are slowing down your vehicle to make a turn. Since there are a number of reasons why your car may begin to make unusual noises, it is best to have a mechanic check the cause.