A power steering mechanism allows you to steer your vehicle more easily to your desired direction. With this mechanism, you can effortlessly steer and control your vehicle regardless of the road condition. Minimal effort is required when driving, so your energy is saved while you enjoy quicker steering response and
road feel. Most power steering mechanisms are hydraulically powered, so you need a good power steering pump to push a sufficient amount of fluid into your steering gear box. This high-pressure fluid is required to turn your vehicle's wheels. Without it, the hydraulic power steering mechanism is useless.
What should you look for in a power steering pump?
A pressure-resistant power steering pump is highly recommended, as it requires a great amount of pressure to force the fluid out into the gear box. You also have to consider the design of the pump's fins to determine if it can move the steering fluid inside efficiently. All pumps contain a spinning rotor inside the housing, but you have to check if this rotor is made of durable materials first, as it could easily break down when subjected to extreme pressure.
There are three types of power steering pumps: vane, roller, and slipper. Among the three, vane is the most commonly used type. Vanes trap the power steering fluid before subsequent pressure increase forces the fluid out of the housing. Rollers use centrifugal force to trap the pressurized fluid before it is pushed out through the pump's outlets. The slipper type, on the other hand, needs the assistance of springs to pressurize and release the fluid.
These types may or may not work well with your vehicle's power steering system. Check your owner's manual first to know which type fits your car's OEM requirements.
How much will a power steering pump replacement cost?
Power steering pumps generally cost around $80 to $150. Second-hand, reconditioned pumps are a lot cheaper, but don't get one unless you're working on a really, really tight budget. You can't expect these pre-owned pumps to work better than your old one, so don't waste your money on them. Add around $100 to $150 on top of the pump cost if a mechanic will do the replacement for you. If you're planning to take your vehicle to a dealer for pump installation, then labor cost will skyrocket to around $200 to $225. To save more money, it will be better if you'll just purchase a replacement and do the installation yourself.