Power steering problems aren’t too rare, so don’t be surprised if it happens to you. It is therefore important to know about these problems, and the cost of their repair. A major overhaul of the entire power steering fluid system can cost around $500-$650, mostly because of the fluid pump’s cost and labor charges. Individual problems linked to the fluid hose, valves, etc. can cost much less.
The problem, if nothing minor, is almost always a fluid leak. The leak can happen slowly, causing you to lose more and more control over the steering. In this case the leak is small and slow. In some rare cases the leak can be much bigger, and you lose a lot of control over the steering over a short period of time.
Before we proceed, a word of caution. Under no circumstances will you touch the parts of the power steering fluid system just after driving around. They are designed to sustain and dissipate all the heat generated while working, which is a lot. So wear protective gloves at all times.
Causes of Power Steering Problems
A power steering system is nothing but a hydraulics-assisted mechanism as opposed to the older, purely mechanical system, which gained its power from the driver’s physical effort. The most common cause of power steering failure is a leak. A fluid is the main working component of a hydraulic system. When the pressure on this fluid is increased or decreased, it causes the system to work. There is a pump that works on the pressure of this fluid and the lines carry the fluids to-and-fro. Any leakage of fluid in the pump or the line can cause the power steering to breakdown. There is another rare possibility that you may be low on power steering fluids.
Power Steering Fluid Leak
There are very high chances that the cause may be a power steering fluid leak. You will feel the power steering getting worse day by day which is a case of your car suffering from slow fluid leak. If the power steering abruptly stops working, the cause may be a fast leak caused by a blown fluid line.
Power Steering Pump Malfunction
The fluid pump is the most vital component of a power steering system. There should be optimum fluid level inside a power steering pump. If it has not been replaced for a long time or the pump itself is leaking, then there will be noise, and so, one can make out that it is time to get the pump replaced.
So, when you think of repairing a power steering, there are two main costs you need to know to estimate the repair price – fluid hose cost and the pump cost.
Power Steering Hose Replacement
If there is a noticeable tear in the hose and you’ve lost quite a bit of fluid already, you’ll have to replace the hose. The hose itself can cost about $60-$150, depending on the car and the quality of the pipe. Labor charges shouldn’t be more than $100, because it doesn’t take much time to replace the equipment.
Power Steering Pump Replacement
If the stop-leak is unable to solve the problem, you may need to check out the transmission fluid pump. If you opt for a dealer to fix the pump problem, power steering pump replacement may cost around $200 – $220. However, if your choose to approach a car mechanic, then it can be done in around $100 – $120. Now, as far as the power steering pump cost is concerned, you may have to shell out somewhere around $100 – $150. Again, the cost of a pump varies from vehicle to vehicle. If you search precisely, there are surely some cheaper deals on the Internet for power steering pumps.
Other Problems and Their Repair Costs
V-belts/serpentine Belt Slipping
The belt can also become an issue, mostly due to regular wear and tear. Although the problem isn’t too small, the repair cost can be. The belt itself shouldn’t cost more than $40-$100, depending on the quality. It shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes for a decent mechanic to replace the belt, so labor charge won’t go above $100. If you know how to do it, the overall cost can be as low as the price of the belt. Just rent out/borrow the necessary tools and spend some time reading up on the belt replacement.
Another problem with minor cost to repair. The pressure valves parts like bolts and seals will be for less than $10 (the bolt can cost around $1), and repairing it takes almost no time, so the labor cost will be low too.
This is another problem that could compound issues for the power steering. The reason can be as small as differing air pressures in the front tires or damaged tires, to non-aligned mechanical components and worn suspension parts. The price will also vary accordingly.
This concludes all you need to know about the repair cost of power steering. It is always advisable to visit an auto mechanic for problems in car parts as complex as a power steering, but if you think you have adequate knowledge you can very well try it yourself.