If you pop the hood and look on the drivers side of the car, you’ll find a rotary-vane pump. It’s called the power steering pump, and its job is to pump hydraulic fluid into the power steering system.
The Power Steering Pump’s Role
Modern power steering systems use hydraulics to apply force to the steering gear and subsequently the wheels on the road. The power steering pump produces the necessary amount of hydraulic pressure.
The steering pump draws hydraulic fluid from the return line with its vanes, which spin fast enough to pull out the fluid. The pump then pushes the fluid into the pressure tube, creating hydraulic pressure to help the steering gear turn the wheels smoothly and effortlessly.
The power steering system is an intricate system that requires each component to have a fast response time in order to work smoothly. The pump, however, is arguably the most important part in the power steering system. Once it fails, the entire system won't work.
What Happens When Your Power Steering Pump Fails
Image Credit: NutzAboutBolts
You’ll start to notice symptoms while turning the steering wheel like a stiff feeling, a whining noise, and/or a groaning noise. The symptoms will get worse and worse until the pump fails completely. In the event that this happens, you might not even be able to steer your car anymore. That’s why it’s important to address a failing power steering pump as soon as you notice the symptoms.
What to Do When Your Power Steering Pump Fails
When your power steering pump starts to go, it’s time to replace it. This is something you want to do sooner than later to prevent your power steering system from failing completely.
There are times when we’d recommend getting an aftermarket part. Usually when you're looking to accessorize your car. But this is not one of these times. The power steering pump is such an important component of the power steering system that you want to go the safest route, which is OEM.
Compared to aftermarket pump assemblies, OEM power steering pump assemblies are made of higher quality materials. And they’re more reliable because they’re specifically designed with your exact Honda in mind. For example, this power steering pump assembly is made just for 2003-2007 Honda Accords. It wouldn’t fit right in another Honda model because it’s built to the Accord’s specs to ensure optimal performance. This power steering pump assembly is made just for 2005-2008 Honda Pilots, and this one is for 2012-2015 Pilots and Ridgelines. The point is, Honda has a power steering pump assembly for each model, and they’re all different from each other.
So you know it’s a bad thing when you find an aftermarket power steering pump assembly that has a universal design. It’s a dead giveaway that it’s going to fit poorly and provide subpar performance.
Please contact us if you have any questions about replacing your power steering pump. It's a relatively easy project (with the right tools) that should take no more than two hours.