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How to Stop the Squeal on Power Steering Pumps

by Jen Davis

There are several different types of noises you may hear coming from your vehicle's power steering system. A low-grade whine when you turn is the pump itself. It may need fluid added, or it may simply be worn out and getting near the time when it should be replaced.

If you are hearing squealing noises, on the other hand, chances are it is not the power steering pump itself making the noises. Your car's power steering system is connected to a serpentine belt that generates power for the pump. The squealing noises you are hearing are more than likely being caused by a loose or worn-out serpentine belt.

Open your hood and locate your power steering pump. Check its fluid and add more if necessary.

Examine the belt that is connected to the power steering. It should appear to be in good condition and be sitting nice and tight on the pulleys. If the belt appears cracked, glazed, torn, loose or worn out in any way, you will need to have it replaced by your mechanic.

Examine the pulleys and belt tensioners that are holding the belt that is powering the power steering system. If a pulley is wobbly or the belt tensioners are not holding the belt tightly, the belt will squeal. If you notice a loose pulley or belt tensioner, you should have your mechanic replace it and the belt. Once a belt starts squealing, it can develop a glaze, and will probably continue squealing even after the problem that caused the initial squealing is corrected.

Have your mechanic check your power steering pump thoroughly for any other issues if you are unable to find a problem in the belts and pulleys.

Tip

  • Lower-quality belts are more prone to squealing, so if you're having a hard time stopping the squeal, you may need to invest in a higher-quality serpentine belt for your car.

Warning

  • Installation errors can lead to belt squealing. If you don't want your vehicle's belts to squeal, you should have them installed by a professional certified mechanic.

About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.

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