oil leaks in cars - finding the cause solution

Signs That Your Steering Pump Assembly Needs Service Or Repair

by Konsta Latt

Power steering systems have come a long way since the first trucks started to haul freight for businesses around the country. Modern Navistar power steering pumps are extremely reliable, but like any mechanical part, can wear and require service or repair over time.

Understanding Power Steering

Power steering systems use a pump, steering box or rack, and use hydraulic pressure to make it easier for the driver to turn the wheels on a truck. The Navistar power steering pumps used on many large trucks are mounted to the engine on a bracket and powered through a belt drive system that spins the pump when the engine is running. 

Power steering fluid or hydraulic oil is forced through high-pressure hydraulic lines from the pump to the steering box or rack. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the system uses that pressurized oil to move the rack or box and through a series of tie rods and drag links in the front suspension, the tires turn right or left. 

This system has been in use for years and has been refined and improved over time to make it more efficient. The basic operation remains the same though, and there are typically only a few things that can cause the system to stop working. 

Sluggish Steering

One of the most common issues with power steering systems is a slow response and feeling like it is stiff when turning. In most cases, this is caused by a lack of power steering fluid in the system, but it can also happen if the pump is not putting out enough pressure on the steering box or rack. If the steering feels like it is not responding correctly when you turn the steering wheel, it is vital to have a technician look over the system. Navistar power steering pumps are used in many trucks and are serviceable at nearly any truck repair shop or through the dealership where you purchased your truck. 

Slipping drive belts can also contribute to steering issues, and the technician working on your truck should check them as well. If the system is low on steering fluid, refilling the system is easy to do, but it is essential to monitor it for leaks going forward. Report any drips or leaks to your truck service technician so that they can address them and make the appropriate repairs to the power steering system for you. 

If the leak is coming from the pump, you may need to replace it with a new one to resolve the issue. Navistar power steering pumps are readily available through dealers, parts suppliers, and resellers, so getting the correct replacement power steering pump for your truck should not be overly challenging for any truck repair shop. Talk to a Navistar steering pump seller to learn more.