Power steering is a great advancement of technology that so many drivers are thankful for. It makes maneuvering safer, more comfortable, and far more convenient. In fact, many people prefer cars with power steering instead of the traditional, manual means.

The Power of the Power Steering

Avoiding unexpected road obstacles and even other vehicles, animals, or pedestrians can be done through swerving. A vehicle’s overall agility and safety will rely heavily on power steering. Luckily, it’s usually dependable.

It’s not immune to damage or breakage, however. Unfortunately, system damage when it comes to power steering can lead to losing control of the car.

Read on to learn more about the top common reasons for power steering system damage:

1. Belts and Hoses Having Issues

The power steering belt takes the place of your car’s alternator belt and is used to transmit power from the engine to the power steering gearbox. There are two belts with a power steering belt: one for the rear of your car and one for the front.

A power steering hose is used to carry pressurized fluid to the power steering gearbox. If your power steering belt is torn, worn out, or frayed, it will cause a loss of power steering fluid. The belt could also snap, sending the attached gearbox flying through the front of your vehicle. On the other hand, the hose can also cause issues if it’s leaking or was damaged during a recent repair.

2. Not Replacing Power Steering Fluid

As part of regular automotive maintenance, your mechanic should check the power steering fluid in your car on a semi-regular basis. They should also tell you when it’s time to replace your power steering fluid, as it wears out over time. Most vehicles require you to replace the power steering fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles, and some vehicles require you to do it as often as every 10,000 miles.

The power steering fluid lubricates the steering system, so if you allow the fluid to wear down, your steering system won’t perform as it should. This can lead to unpredictable handling, which is never a good thing when you’re driving around town.

3. Salt

Salt tends to be a common cause of power steering damage, especially in states such as Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. That’s because they regularly use salt on the roads during the winter months. While that may be ideal for driving conditions road-wise, it can really create issues for the system.

4. Water Accumulation

If your vehicle sits in the rain or snow with its engine running, water can build up in your power steering system. As this water heats up, it can damage your power steering system. 


Technology has advanced in several ways over the years, particularly when it comes to driving. Power steering is a great system that makes maneuvering safer, more convenient, and more comfortable. However, no matter how “powerful” and reliable this system is, it’s not immune to damage. The top common reasons for damage to this system include salt, water accumulation, and issues with the belts and hoses.

Looking for a mechanic in Hoover, AL that can handle power steering system damage? Reach out to Hoover Automotive! We offer a wide range of car services and repairs, including engine repair, brake service, new tires, auto repair, and more.

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