2 Signs Your Car's Power Steering Hose Is Leaking Fluid
While looking under your car, you may have noticed a few drops of a pinkish-red liquid. If so, this liquid is your car's power steering fluid. Since the steering system is a closed one, even a few drops indicate a leak somewhere. Look for the signs below that the leaks are coming from the power steering hose.
1. Your Steering Wheel Becomes Harder to Turn
One indication that your power steering hose is leaking fluid is when you start to have problems with turning the steering wheel. At first, you may notice only a slight difference in the amount of force required to turn it. However, it may start to feel as if your car has manual steering instead of power.
When there is a leak in the hose, the pressure within it decreases. Since power steering relies on hydraulics to send the message from the steering wheel to the axles, any reduction of pressure will result in less maneuverability.
Since the power steering fluid is what maintains the pressure within the hose, a leak causing a reduction in its level will also reduce the hose's ability to function properly. Eventually, if you do not replace the hose, you will not be able to steer your car.
2. You Continue to Have Difficulty Even after Filling the Fluid Level
After discovering that your power steering system has a leak in it, you may decide to try maintaining the fluid's level by refilling it every few days. However, even if you have just topped off the level, you discover that you still have difficulty turning your steering wheel.
If the leak is located in the hose, any demand on the hydraulic system will momentarily increase the pressure within the hose. When this happens, the fluid will be ejected out of the hole or crack. This ejection then makes it impossible for the hydraulic steering hose to maintain the pressure required for your steering system to work properly. It will also result in you having to refill the steering fluid more often.
If your power steering fluid keeps dropping and your steering wheel is hard to turn, there is a good chance that the power steer hose is damaged and has sprung a leak. If this is the case, the hose will need to be replaced. Visit an auto parts store that offers hydraulic hoses and give them your car's year, make, and model so that they can help you select the correct one for your vehicle.