Steering is one of the things we take for granted in our vehicles. So, what are some of the things you should know about taking better care of your steering system?
I like to think of steering in two areas. First, the power assist, and second, the actual parts that steer the vehicle.
I’ll bet most people under forty have never driven a car or truck without power steering. Most vehicles today have a hydraulic power steering pump that provides boost to help you steer. The pump is usually driven by the serpentine belt, but some newer vehicles have an electric pump.
The important thing to keep in mind is these pumps and motors will eventually wear out, and the hoses will start to leak. We can postpone that day by having the power steering serviced from time to time.
During this service we drain the old fluid and replace it with fresh fluid. This removes water and contaminants that can corrode power steering parts. Ask your Elite Service Advisor for your particular recommended change interval.
Now, what about the mechanical steering parts?
Is there anything you can do to maintain them?
If any of the steering parts can be lubed, your technician will take care of that with a lube, oil and filter service. Other than that, just watch for signs the parts are wearing out. Things like loose steering and uneven tire wear, for example.
Worn parts can be replaced to get you back on the road. Sometimes parts can be bent or damaged from hitting potholes, curbs or rocks.
I think the important thing to remember is to take care of these problems early on. If you neglect them, the damaged parts stress other attached components. It can start a chain reaction of damage.
Steering maintenance is pretty straightforward. Replace your power steering fluid as recommended, fix worn or damaged parts right away. This simple regimen will save you money in the long run.
Is it time to have your fluids checked and steering parts inspected?
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