What Causes A Power Steering Pulley To Break

What causes a power steering pulley to break? In this article, we will look at this common problem and suggest the reasons why it occurs.

Earlier cars used to have manual steering, but in the past few decades, cars are produced with power steering. Having a car with power steering is a huge improvement. 

It helps in reducing the workload of the driver while turning the vehicle. Along with this, power steering prevents transferring of load from the wheel to the steering column.

Sometimes it happens that the power steering pulley might break. It may give rise to minor to major issues with your car. If you have been looking for the causes and solutions for a broken power steering pulley, this article will give you all the answers. 

You will also get to know the symptoms by which you can understand that your power steering pulley has broken.


What Causes A Power Steering Pulley To Break

How to know that your power steering pulley has broken?

The power steering pulley doesn’t work on its own. Instead, it is connected using one or two belts with the power steering. By turning the pulley, the belt provides power to the power steering pump

If one part of the belt breaks, then the pulley needs to be replaced along with the belt as it will not have the grip as earlier. Before this, you need to know the symptoms of a broken power steering pulley.

  • Burning smell: If you notice a burning smell, you must check your engine as the pump pulley might have become loose or stopped working.
  • Jumpy steering: As you are driving your car, if you sense jumpy steering, you should consider it a sign of the car’s power steering pulley not functioning properly. The belt might be slippery, causing too much heat. You cannot rely on the belt unless you replace it.
  • Steering not working: If you find that your steering is not working, then this might cause a serious issue that needs to be identified by a proper mechanic to fix the problem immediately.

Cause of broken power steering pulley

The power steering is a flexible and most important part of your car, among others. Therefore, any issue with your power steering pulley needs to be noted as early as possible to prevent further upcoming problems. 

To fix your power steering pulley, you need to know the root cause of the problem. This list will help you to identify and take the required steps.

  • The work of the power steering pulley takes place in an environment of heat and friction continuously. So, with passing time, the pulley wears out. If the pulley is used further without replacement, then it may cause the breaking of the pulley.
  • The belt of the pulley pump might slip or become tight. At times it also breaks from the drive train.
  • Sometimes excessive heat can damage the seals and bearings of the power steering pump. It causes the pulley to stop functioning as earlier.
  • The pulley might get loose from the pump shaft or develop cracks in it. It causes a rattling sound. First, check the position of the belt and pulley.


What Causes A Power Steering Pulley To Break

How to fix your broken power steering pulley

The purpose of the power steering pump pulley is to help you turn your car easily. But if your car’s power steering pulley has broken, it needs immediate replacement to prevent other problems. So, after knowing the roots of the problem, take the steps required to replace the pulley.

  • The first step before removing any part is to disconnect the battery. Then using a hydraulic lift or jack stand, lift the vehicle.
  • Then you need to remove the engine covers and the other parts that are nearby.
  • By loosening the tension pulley, remove the serpentine belt.
  • Locate the supply line connected to the gearbox. Then remove hydraulic lines connected to the bottom of the power steering pump.
  • After that, transfer the two or three bolts of the power steering pump bracket.
  • Then you get to remove the old power steering pump pulley.
  •  After lubricating the pump and inner part of the new pulley, place the new pulley into the input shaft.
  • Then tighten the newly installed pulley and run a test on it.
  • After the test is successful, install a new power steering pump, pulley, and belt.
  • Reconnect the battery wires.
  • Load the engine with power steering fluid.
  • Your car is now ready for a test drive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if your power steering pulley is bad?

If your car’s power steering pulley is running nicely, then it is well and good. But in case there is an issue with the pulley, then it will surely give rise to noticeable symptoms. Firstly you will get a burning smell while driving. Sometimes a rattling sound is also heard from a slipping pulley. The power steering might jump while you are going. It makes you aware that there is a problem with your car’s pump pulley.


What Causes A Power Steering Pulley To Break

Can you drive with a bad power steering pulley?

When you notice issues with your power steering pump pulley, you must not try to ride any further without fixing the problem by professional mechanics. Your steering may get completely seized, or further driving might give rise to other technical issues.

How do you fix a power steering pulley?

If you know the root of the cause of your broken power steering pulley, then you can fix it on your own by using tools from the toolbox. However, if you are still facing problems, it is better to take your car to a professional mechanic. The best thing you can do to solve this issue is to replace the power steering pulley and the belt and pump.

How do you know if your power steering pump bearing is bad?

A bad power steering pump bearing will give rise to an irritating sound. Furthermore, it can also provide you a burning smell with the overproduction of friction between worn parts. With the symptoms, you can easily distinguish between a good and a bad power steering pump bearing.



What Causes A Power Steering Pulley To Break


As everyone loves their cars, a minor problem gives rise to tension. This article has been created to remove all the stress from your head as a broken power steering pulley is a common problem in almost every car. Therefore the solution for this is readily available. Sometimes your car can get fixed at your home also.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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