The power steering system is designed to allow easier turning and improved responsiveness for the driver. This is achieved through a series of pumps and valves containing a special hydraulic fluid. When working properly, only about 20% of the necessary force to steer the vehicle is required of the driver.
The power steering pump is a ‘rotary-vane’ design and is driven by a belt that is powered by the engine. This pump pulls fluid from the return line and forces it into a high-pressure line. This line is connected to a spool-valve assembly which controls the direction of the hydraulic power assist (left or right). If the wheels are pointed directly ahead, the hydraulic lines on each side are evenly pressurized. When the steering wheel is turned left/right, the spool valve likewise turns and forces higher pressure into one line or the other.
Power steering fluid is specially formulated to withstand hydraulic pressures, lubricate components, and condition seals within the system. As time progresses, this fluid breaks down and gets dirty…thereby losing its effectiveness. Old/dirty fluid can cause noise, pulsations, increase the effort to steer, cause blockages in the lines/valves, reduce steering effectiveness, and can harden seals. These problems lead to leakage and wear, contributing to expensive repairs of various power steering components.
Power Steering Fluid Flush
Archer’s Action Auto provides a comprehensive Power Steering Fluid Flush Service. Our technicians use a specific pressurized machine which pumps new fluid through the system along with a proprietary additive. This service removes the old fluid along with 95% of all contaminants and built-up sludge. All fluids wear out at different rates based on driving conditions. We recommend checking the fluid periodically to best determine when this service may be necessary (rather than a predetermined mileage).