around fittings. in hoses. at the gearbox seals, or at the
To check for leaks. wipe the fluid-soaked area(s)
with a clean rag. Then have another person start and
idle the engine. While watching for leaks, have the
steering wheel turned to the right and left. This action
will pressurize all components of the system that might
be leaking. After locating the leaking component.
remove and repair or replace it.
POWER STEERING PRESSURE TEST.A
power steering pressure test checks the operation of the
power steering pump, the pressure relief valve, the
control valve. the hoses. and the power piston. Basic
procedures for performing a power steering pressure
test are as follows:
Using a steering system pressure tester, connect
the pressure gauge and shutoff valve to the power
steering pump outlet and hose. Torque the hose fitting
With the system full of fluid, start and idle the
engine (with the shutoff valve open) while turning the
steering wheel back and forth. This will bring the fluid
up to temperature.
Close the shutoff valve to check system pressure.
Note and compare the pressure reading with
Do NOT close the shutoff valve for more than 5
seconds. If the shutoff value is closed longer, damage
will occur to the power steering pump from
To check the action of the power piston. control
valve. and hoses, measure the system pressure while
turning the steering wheel right and left (stop to stop)
with the shutoff valve open. Note and compare the
readings to the manufacturers specifications. If the
system is not within specifications, use the
manufacturers service manual to determine the source
of the problem.
B L E E D I N G A P O W E R S T E E R I N G
SYSTEM.Any time you replace or repair a
hydraulic component (pump. hoses, and power
piston), you should bleed the system. Bleeding the
system assures that all of the air is out of the hoses, the
pump, and the gearbox. Air can cause the power
steering system to make a BUZZING sound. The
sound will occur as the steering wheel is turned right or
To bleed out any air, start the engine and turn the
steering wheel fully from side to side. Keep checking
the fluid and add as needed. This will force the air into
the reservoir and out of the system.
The most common problems of a steering system
are as follows:
Steering wheel play
Abnormal noises when turning the steering
These problems normally point to component
wear, lack of lubrication. or an incorrect adjustment.
You must inspect and test the steering system to locate
the source of the trouble.
Steering Wheel Play
The most common of all problems in a steering
system is excessive steering wheel play. Steering
wheel play is normally caused by worn ball sockets,
worn idler arm, or too much clearance in the steering
gearbox. Typically, you shou Id not be able to turn the
steering wheel more than 1 1/2 inches without causing
the front wheels to move. If the steering wheel rotates
excessively, a serious steering problem exists.
An effective way to check for play in the steering
linkage or rack-and-pinion mechanism is by the
dry-park test. With the full weight of the vehicle on the
front wheels, have someone move the steering wheel
from side to side while you examine the steering
system for looseness. Start your inspection at the
steering column shaft and work your way to the tie-rod
ends. Ensure that the movement of one component
causes an equal amount of movement of the adjoining
Watch for ball studs that wiggle in their sockets.
With a rack-and-pinion steering system, squeeze the
rubber boots and feel the inner tie rod to detect wear. If
the tie rod moves sideways in relation to the rack, the
socket is worn and should be replaced.
Another way of inspecting the steering system
involves moving the steering components and front
wheel BY HAND. With the steering wheel locked,
raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands. Then force
the front wheels right and left while checking for