What is power steering?
The purpose of power steering is to make it much easier for the driver to turn their steering wheel. If you don’t have power steering assistance, then the steering wheel tends to feel heavy and it is much harder to turn, and this will be much more noticeable when you are attempting lower speed manoeuvres in your car, like turning into a side street, parking into a bay, or doing a three-point-turn.
To reduce the amount of effort and exertion needed to move and turn your vehicle, the power steering is the preferred system and one which is used to improve the driving comfort.
So how exactly does a power steering system work? Well, the mechanics behind a power steering system rely on hydraulic or electrical assistance to lessen the exertion needed for steering your wheel. This is not present in non-power steering systems.
Power steering repair average costs and prices
The average cost of a power steering repair booked via WhoCanFixMyCar is £97.11.
The table below gives you a general idea of the costs for some of the most popular car makes.
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Find power steering repair specialists near you
If you have identified that your power steering unit is indeed faulty, the next step is to find a trustworthy garage or power steering specialist to carry out the repair or replacement.
WhoCanFixMyCar’s large network of garages and mobile mechanics is complete with trusted power steering repair specialists. We can help you find local power steering repair specialist garages so they can diagnose and repair any faults, to keep you safe whilst driving.
Looking for a power steering repair specialist near you? Simply:
Select the power steering service you need
Let us know if your car is still driveable
Request an instant quote
Compare quotes and book your job with a trusted mechanic nearby
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Top warning signs your power steering needs to be repaired
If the power steering of your car has a failure, this will manifest itself through various symptoms. In particular, you will notice negative effects to the driving behaviour. Failure may be due to mechanical damage or leakage. Signs of damage to the power steering components include these symptoms:
The power steering wheel feels stiff and is extremely difficult to use
Steering wheel doesn’t respond
Your need almost five times the power you normally would to make simple turns
Hammering or cracking noise when steering
Visible puddle under your car can indicate power steering fluid leak
It is difficult to drive in a straight line
Steering may feel loose or wobbly
Vibrating felt through the steering wheel
Any of the above symptoms indicate that you need to have a power steering specialist take a look and inspect the problem so that it can be repaired.
Power steering repairs
The average cost of a power steering repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £97.11.
Power steering fluid helps with smooth and safe steering. After a while, the fluid can become contaminated or start to leak. A leak will need to be repaired and dirty fluid replaced to keep your car’s power steering working correctly.Can include
- Power steering repair
- Power steering fluid flush
- Power steering fluid change
Power steering fluid change
The average cost of a power steering fluid change booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £111.
A car’s power steering system includes a network of pumps and fluid that makes steering almost effortless. Over time, your power steering fluid may need to be changed to keep functioning with full effect.Can include
- Power steering fluid removal
- Power steering fluid change
The average cost of a mobile mechanic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £62.54.
A mobile mechanic will visit you at your home or workplace and can carry out a wide range of different repairs. If the repair is more complex, the mechanic will collect your car, take it to a garage to be repaired, and drop it off when it's finished. The exact cost of a mobile mechanic will depend on the repair you need.Can include
- Home visit
- Tyre change
- Oil change
- Recommended repairs
Which power steering repair service do you need?
Over time, your power steering system might need a repair due to general wear and tear. You might find that it is not just the power steering at fault, but other components related to the system that might need an inspectional, such as the seals or the o rings.
The problem with ignoring a power steering issue, is that the longer you leave it, the bigger the chance of you encountering more damage and more costs. Here are some common power steering services that garage technicians work on:
Repairing unresponsive electric power steering
If a non-hydraulic steering wheel is failing then it involves the power steering system’s electrical components. Whenever steering becomes extremely stiff, the electric assist mechanism isn’t responding. A garage technician can repair the electric power steering.
Loss of hydraulic power in power steering
If your steering wheel feels extremely stiff and it takes a lot of strength to do a simple manoeuvre then it is probable that the power steering hydraulic assist is losing power. The technician will check your power steering fluid reservoir first. There may be a chance that a repair is necessary.
Power steering belt repair
Unusual sounds from your power steering often indicate a power steering belt problem. A garage technician will check to see if the steering belt is loose or worn out.
Power steering fluid leak
Power steering fluid leaks are often caused by a cracked or worn-out hose that feeds the power steering pump. The technician will inspect the hose clamps and other connections, but will also look at the entire power steering rack, as it might be the pump itself leaking fluid.
Power steering pump replacement
If you are needing a power steering replacement then the cost of this will depend on the make and model of your car.
I don’t know
Unsure of whether your car needs a power steering repair? Book your car for a diagnostic and the mechanic will be able to tell you whether the power steering unit is damaged and what needs to be repaired to get it working optimally again.
Common power steering problems
Here are some of the more common problems that can happen with power steering:
Loss of fluid
Air in the system
Clog in the system
What impacts the cost of power steering repairs?
Most repairs to the power steering unit will vary, depending on which part is at fault. Repairs to power steering hoses, power steering pump will cost less that a complete replacement of the unit.
Therefore the exact price comes down to what exactly went wrong with the system. For example, if you just need to replace the hose, you only need to spend between £60 and £160 for parts and a little on top for labour.
You can compare average prices for power steering repairs or replacements by car using the table above.
Is a power steering repair necessary?
It is recommended that you book your vehicle in with a trusted garage should you notice any warning signs that your power steering system is faulty. It is not advisable to continue driving with a failing power steering system, because it limits your control over the vehicle, and increases chances of an accident. Therefore, at the first sign of a problem, visit a garage as soon as possible.
How does power steering compare to manual or ‘normal’ steering?
As a driver, you will notice that a power steering wheel ‘feels’ different to a normal steering wheel. You will know whether you are dealing with a power steering or normal steering simply through the amount of effort needed to turn the steering wheel when power assistance is not present. When we think of a power steering in technical or mechanical terms, the systems differ because a power steering wheel needs hydraulic or electric assistance to work. Whereas normal steering wheels do not need this.
What is a power steering pump?
A power steering pump’s job is to ensure fluid gets to a car’s power steering system. It comprises a fitted rotor that rotates and lets fluid enter the pump; once fluid enters the rotor, it continues to rotate and moves the fluid to discharge ports.
Can you continue to drive if your power steering is failing?
You are still able to drive without a power steering, but it’s better not to risk it. If you continue to drive without it, then it can damage your pump which is much more expensive to repair. Driving without power steering will also make parking and steering extremely difficult.
What is the main cause of power steering failure?
Power steering systems need hydraulic fluid to run. Hydraulic power steering fluid can leak from damaged hoses and failing seals. When plenty of fluid is lost, the power steering pump can overheat or wear out early, causing a loss of hydraulic pressure and failure of the power steering system.