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How to Change the Power Steering Pump on a Jeep Cherokee

by Christian Killian; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • SAE and metric wrench set

  • SAE and metric socket set with extension bars

  • Flare nut wrenches (optional)

  • Drip pan

  • Torque wrench

Changing the power steering pump on a Jeep Cherokee is a simple project for the home mechanic or automotive enthusiast. The power steering pump is located on the front of the engine on the driver's side of the vehicle. A pump that is making noise, leaking or functioning intermittently can fail when you least expect it and cause you to not be able to properly control your vehicle. You can get a new or rebuilt power steering pump at your local auto parts store or at the Jeep dealership.

Remove the negative battery cable from the battery using a wrench or socket and ratchet. Lay it out of the way where it will not get damaged or fall back against the battery terminal.

Remove the serpentine belt from the engine. You must release the tension on the belt by putting a wrench on the bolt located at the front of the tensioner. Turn the tensioner bolt counterclockwise until the belt is loose and remove it.

Remove the two fluid lines that run from the back of the power steering pump to the steering box down on the frame using a flare nut or open end wrench. Some fluid will seep out when you remove the lines so put a drain pan under the vehicle before you loosen these lines.

Remove the three mounting bolts that hold the power steering pump onto the engine. These bolts can only be accessed through the pulley access holes. You will need a ratchet and socket with an extension to reach them. Turn the pulley to line up the hole and remove the bolt through it.

Remove the pump from the front of the engine by leaning it forward as you pull it out. Position the new pump and install the mounting bolts through the pulley just as you did when you removed them. Torque the bolts to 20 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Install the new fluid lines into the steering box from the pump. The lines use two different sizes of threaded fittings so you can only install them one way.

Reinstall the serpentine belt, following the path that is shown on the sticker on the radiator support. Do not install the belt any other way than the diagram shows. An incorrectly installed belt will turn the accessories backward causing damage to them.

Fill the power steering pump with power steering fluid. Reinstall the negative battery cable onto the battery.

Tips

Place a drip pan or similar container under the steering box when you remove the pressure and return lines. This will catch any fluid that may drip from the box or lines.

Warnings

When routing the pressure and return lines from the new pump to the steering box, pay careful attention to the lines so that they do not run anywhere that they may get damaged or melted.

About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.

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Photo Credits

  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images