MINI’s are known for their sport design and fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, they are also known for power steering pump issues. Without efficient power steering, you are unable to steer your car and safely turn it as needed. Not only does this put your safety at risk, it also puts other drivers on the road in harm’s way.
Let’s discuss the purpose of a power steering pump, the signs your power steering pump is failing, causes of power steering pump failure, and where to go to get yours fixed.
Purpose of a Power Steering Pump
Your MINI’s power steering pump is driven by an electrical motor that pressurizes fluid into the power steering gearbox. It is the fluid that powers the steering wheel, giving you the control over which way your wheels turn. The fluid is aided by the pump, which circulates the fluid into the power steering system. When you turn the steering wheel of your MINI, tiny ports open up in the steering shaft, allowing the pressurized fluid to assist in turning the wheels. Your power steering is unable to perform efficiently without a working power steering pump.
Signs of Power Steering Pump Failure
Here are some of the main indications your power steering pump is failing. Should you encounter any of these signs, you’ll want to take your vehicle in to see your trusted MINI mechanic expert as soon as possible:
Your steering wheel becomes hard to turn
If you notice your steering wheel becoming harder to turn or find the wheel to be stiff, you may be dealing with power steering pump failure. Your steering wheel may even lock up entirely. Your MINI’s response time will be delayed and could cause your vehicle to stall at intersections.
A grinding or whining noise
Any unusual sounds should be investigated. Whining sounds mean that fluid levels may be low and affecting the functionality of your power steering. Your power steering depends on the fluid in order to work correctly, so without it, troubles will arise. Grinding sounds could mean your steering is already beginning to fail, and your vehicle should be seen by your trusted service and repair center as soon as possible.
Rust-colored fluid beneath your car
Should you find rust-colored fluid pooling beneath your car, it is likely from a leak in the pump reservoir. You may need your power steering pump system replaced if this is the case.
Common Reasons Behind Power Steering Pump Failure
Your power steering pump relies on power steering fluid to do its job correctly. If the fluid is contaminated, it can clog the steering system, increase friction, and cause failures in other components of your power steering system. Your vehicle’s power steering fluid should be changed according to your vehicle’s manufacturer owner’s manual for optimum efficiency.
Improper Fluid Levels
Your power steering system needs the exact amount of power steering fluid to work as it should. Too much fluid could cause your valves and seals to collapse under pressure. On the other hand, not having enough fluid prevents your power steering from exerting the force needed to turn the wheel of your car. A preventative measure against this is to get your fluid changed as necessary and watch for leaks.
Belts that have been stretched, frayed, or corroded can cause the failure of your power steering system. Have your power steering belt checked at maintenance service appointments to prevent this from happening.
Damaged Steering Pump
Like any other car part, sometimes steering pumps just wear out over time. Unusual noises, such as grinding, could be an indication of this.
Rough Road Conditions
Most vehicles experience poor road conditions at one time or another, but they should be avoided when possible. Too many rough roads, potholes, hard bumps and jolts can damage the components of your power steering system.
Bavarium Autoworks Will Help
If you suspect your MINI is in power steering pump failure, Bavarium Autoworks can help. We have been serving customers in the Cupertino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, and Mountain View California areas for years. Our highly-skilled technicians are knowledgeable and experienced in all things MINI and can replace your power steering pump. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today.