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The power steering system in your vehicle enables you to steer your vehicle in the direction you would like it to proceed. Power steering is really “power assisted”
steering. “Power assisted” steering will allow you to steer your vehicle manually when the engine is not running or if you have a failure in the power steering system which disables it.
Power steering utilizes a hydraulic pump running off a belt driven by the engine, this pump enables a small amount of fluid to be under pressure. This pressure in turn assists the steering mechanism in directing the tires as you turn the steering wheel. The power steering system typically includes a pump, power steering fluid, a pressure hose assembly, a control valve and a return line.
There are two basic types of power steering systems used on vehicles. The rack and pinion steering system and the conventional/integral steering gear system, which is also known as a recirculating ball steering system. The rack and pinion steering system is the most commonly used power steering system on todays’ vehicles. The steering shaft turns a gear that moves the rack side to side, utilizing a power unit built directly onto the rack assembly. The steering gear system is generally used most often on trucks, it has a series of steel balls that act as rolling threads between the steering shaft and the rack piston. The steering wheel shaft connects to a gear assembly and a series of links and/or arms that turn the wheels to the left or right.
The best way to maintain the power steering system of your vehicle is to regularly check the power steering fluid level and condition. A low fluid runs level can cause damage to some of the components of the steering system. It is recommended to have leaks repaired if they arise, and to have the fluid flushed about every 50,000 miles to keep it clean from contaminants. This fluid is key to keeping the power steering pump, steering gear or rack and pinion assembly lubricated and is the hydraulic element of the power steering system.
Watch for, heavy or unresponsive steering, unusual noise while turning, a shimmy or shake of the steering wheel, the steering wheel not being able to return to the "center", and fluids leaking from under car.
Struts are the main component of a modern independent
suspension system; they are what suspend the body and frame of your vehicle
above the wheels. All the weight of your vehicle rests on your struts, which
transfer the weight, via several other components. Struts need to be replaced
if any of the three components wear out. Struts are not often thought of as a
normal replacement item. Since struts are in continual use as you drive,
bearing the whole weight of your vehicle, it should not be surprising that
their components wear out over time. Struts have at least two components: a
spring and a shock absorber – and many have a third: the swivel mount. strut
failure is usually very gradual you may never notice it at all. But certainly
if you are experiencing any of the symptoms your struts are due for
Failed mounts are the easiest to recognize of the three because
they usually make the most noise. Failed mounts often cause a popping or
clicking noise while you’re turning the steering wheel, because the bearing
inside is bad. Especially if you can put the vehicle in park and the noise
remains while turning the wheel, strut mounts are your number one suspect.
Failed shock absorbers can be harder to notice. With oil-filled struts, external leaks
are easy to spot, especially if the leak is rapid. But if it is a very slow leak,
it may never be noticed, and with gas-filled struts, external leaks are not
identifiable at all. But usually struts don’t fail completely, and usually not
all at once. Shock absorber wear creeps up as the internal seals lose their
sealing capacity slowly. You won’t notice the difference from one day to the
next, but there is probably a minute daily decline in the performance of your
shock absorbers as they age. If the failure progresses to a severe stage,
drivers may notice several kinds of problems: too much “trampoline effect”,
tire noise and vibration from cupping caused by excessive up/down movement,
excessively harsh riding over bumps, or noise on every bump from too much
suspension travel. If you car is experiencing these problems, you’ve really gone
New shocks and struts can make you stop up
to 10 feet sooner, while providing increased vehicle stability
and better driver control
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