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What Is a Power Steering Pump?

Driving cars, trucks, and any vehicle for that matter used to entail too much strength because you need to manually steer your vehicle to your intended direction. But ever since the power steering pumps and hoses were invented, having a vehicle to drive has truly become more of a luxury than mere necessity with all the ease and comfort the power steering pump provides. Spending lots of money just to have one's vehicle car equipped with a power steering pump is a thing of the past because nowadays, power steering pump is already a standard car equipment that goes with every brand-new car purchased.

How Does a Power Steering Pump Work?

The power of a steering pump is provided by a rotary-vane pump, which is driven by the car's engine through a belt and pulley. It basically contains a set of vanes that spin inside an oval chamber and are designed to retract. While the vanes are spinning, they are also pulling hydraulic fluid from the return line at low pressure and force it towards the outlet at high pressure. The amount of flow delivered by the power steering pump depends on the engine's speed.

The power steering pump also contains a pressure-relief valve to ensure that the engine's pressure does not exceed its tolerable level. Nowadays, most power steering pumps found on cars run constantly and pump fluid all the time, which results to a large waste of horsepower. A waste of horsepower means a waste of fuel, which is why automotive engineers are on the process of developing ways to resolve this power steering pump issue.

The Power Steering Pump and Its Function

Aside from providing ease in maneuvering, a power steering pump has other significant functions such as providing hydraulic boost to the steering gear to lessen the driver's effort in maneuvering the steering wheel. This driving comfort is attained through the pump's release of intense pressure to the engine.

Power Steering Pump
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Where Is a Power Steering Pump Located?

In some cars, the power steering pump is located at the front of the engine together with other accessories. Sometimes it is located behind the radiator, but generally, the location of the power steering pump depends on several factors such as the following:

  • The kind of engine your vehicle have like if it is inline or V
  • The way your engine is mounted, if it is longitudinally or transversely
  • How the fluid is mounted, if it is independent or a part of the pump

Tips in Maintaining a Functional Power Steering Pump

To ensure that you would not perspire while driving your fully air-conditioned vehicle, you should apply the following tips:

  • When doing some turns, avoid holding your steering wheel to the extreme left or extreme right for longer than a few seconds because this can damage the pump.
  • When changing your vehicle's oil, check the tightness of the power steering belt including the amount of fluid inside the power steering pump. Insufficient amount of fluid in the pump can cause it to break and lead to further expense and damage.
  • Check for leaks in the hose.
  • Be sensitive of unusual noises in your car.

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