The gearbox is an integral part of your vehicle's power steering that allows you to control the car smoothly. While it's often built to last, it may wear out over time. When this happens, you will start noticing signs such as leaks, strange noises when making turns, vibrations in your steering wheel, stiffness in your steering wheel, etc. It is essential to take the car for a checkup as soon as you notice such signs. Knowing the reason behind your failing power steering gearbox will help you understand what you need to do in terms of repairs. Therefore, here are the primary culprits behind your power steering gearbox failure.
Loose connections in the gearbox will affect the performance of your power steering system. Generally, loose connections allow the power steering fluid to leak out, which reduces the hydraulic pressure that's needed to provide a smooth turning. If you hear any knocking sounds when making a turn, it's usually because of the contact of loose metal connections. Tightening the loose connections should do the trick here but remember to ask your mechanic for the cause of the loose fittings.
The steering gearbox is also fitted with seals, whose function is to prevent the power steering fluid from leaking. Over time, these seals may wear out or become damaged. They may shrink, dry out, crack, and even dislodge, allowing the power steering fluid to leak. Repairing the seals is sometimes doable, and it depends on the severity of the damage. If you are on a budget and the seals are only slightly damaged, you can have them repaired as a temporary solution. However, where the seals have completely shrunk, dried out, or cracked, you will need to replace them.
Steering Fluid Contamination
If you are not running low on the power steering fluid, but the fluid has been contaminated, it may also contribute to the power steering gearbox's failure. Generally, contaminated fluid loses the ability to provide the right amount of hydraulic pressure needed for the system's optimum functioning. Therefore, have your mechanic inspect the fluid for contamination if you experience steering problems. Flushing is usually the remedy to a contaminated power steering fluid.
A faulty gasket is also another culprit behind a failing power steering rack. Just like damaged seals, a damaged or worn gasket will allow the power steering fluid to leak. Replacement is usually the ideal solution to damaged gaskets.
To learn more about hydraulic power steering gear repair, contact an auto shop near you.