The power steering input shaft seal prevents power steering fluid from leaking out of the input shaft seal. There are two seals on the input shaft, one is a dust cover and the second one actually keeps the fluid from leaking out. Over time, both are subject to wear and tear because they are exposed to high heat and used on a regular basis. Watch for the following symptoms for signs that your power steering input shaft seal needs to be replaced:
1. Low power steering fluid
If you do not see any power steering fluid leaks on the floor of your garage or leaks around the hoses, and you still have low power steering fluid, then your input shaft seal may be to blame. The seal can leak fluid over time and can be difficult to diagnose as the leaks do not show signs on the outside of your vehicle. If this problem is left too long, it can damage the pump and other parts in the steering assembly. If you are constantly replenishing your power steering fluid, have your power steering input shaft seal looked at and replaced by a mechanic.
2. Difficulty steering
Since the fluid may be low, the power steering may not respond appropriately. This can manifest itself as difficulty turning corners, or the vehicle does not handle like it used to. Difficulty steering is from the lack of power assist and it can require pulling hard on the wheel to turn. The vehicle will still be able to function, but it will be extremely difficult and can be dangerous in emergency situations since the power steering will not respond appropriately.
3. Whining noises when turning the wheel
When you turn the steering wheel, it should not make any noises. In fact, the vehicle should glide smoothly around the corner. If you notice a whining noise while turning the wheel, there is a good chance something is wrong with the power steering system. The whining noise can even occur at idle of the system is damaged. It could be the input shaft seal, the hose, or the fluid reservoir. It is best to have a mechanic diagnose this issue so all of the problems can be resolved at once.
As soon as your notice your power steering fluid is constantly low, you have difficulty steering, or you hear whining noises when you turn, have your power steering input shaft seal looked at and/or replaced. This should be done as soon as you notice problems as it is a safety issue. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your steering input shaft seal easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Input Shaft Seal and was authored by Spencer Clayton.