If steering your car becoming noisier and more difficult, it may be a problem with your power steering [source: Mobil]. The problem may simply be an air pocket that's trapped in the power steering pump.
The power steering pump operates by hydraulics, and anything that operates by hydraulics can easily be affected if air gets into the system. Any air that gets into the power-steering system will be compressed by the pump and will result in noise and difficulty steering.
The newer your car, the more likely it is that the manufacturer has a particular way that it recommends for bleeding the system. Be sure to check the owner's manual for guidance specific to your vehicle [source: Axle Addict]. But in general, here's how to remove the air from your power-steering pump.
- Make sure the engine is off and cool.
- Remove the power steering reservoir cap and check the power steering fluid level.
- Add as much fluid as needed to fill it up.
- Replace the cap.
- Locate the power steering bleed valve on the steering box. If you have difficulty finding it, just follow the high pressure line from the power steering pump to the other end, which will be in the power steering box.
- Push a hose on the end of the bleeding valve. The hose should be long enough to reach outside the front of the car.
- Place a drain pan on the floor in front of the car and place the other end of the hose into it.
- Turn on the engine.
- Loosen the bleed valve slightly.
- Turn the steering wheel to the right and left, from lock to lock, as much as you can.
- Shut off the engine.
- Close the bleed valve.
- Add power steering fluid to the reservoir until it's full.
- Check the fluid that came out into the drain pan. If you notice air bubbles, repeat the procedure.
You must repeat the procedure until the fluid in the pan is bubble free. When there are no bubbles in the fluid, you know the system is bled [source: Axle Addict].
Originally Published: May 19, 2011