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Troubleshooting

Troubleshoot your power steering problems with our DIGITAL MECHANIC

Troubleshooting Ross
Normal Noises:

  • Hissing noise from the relief valve when it is actuating during a steering maneuver.

  • Fluid bypassing through the poppets at full turn.

  • System relief valve noise when required to actuate.

  • Growl from some types of steering gears.

Abnormal Noises:

  • If the power steering pump is belt driven, a squealing noise may indicate that the belts should be tightened or replaced.

  • A clicking noise heard during a turn, or when changing directions, may indicate some component is loose and shifting under load.

  • A change in the normal noise of the pump may indicate that air has been induced into the system or that the fluid level is low.

Ross: Possible Steering Problems and Causes

Road Wander

  • Tire pressure incorrect or unequal left to right

  • Components in steering linkage loose or worn

  • Wheel bearings improperly adjusted or worn

  • Front end alignment out of specification

  • Dry fifth wheel or poor finish on fifth wheel or trailer plate

  • Steering gear mounting plates loose on frame

  • Steering gear improperly adjusted Looseness in rear axle assemblies or trailer bogies

No Recovery

  • Tire pressure low

  • Front end components binding

  • Front end alignment incorrect

  • Tight front axle king pins

  • Dry fifth wheel or poor finish on fifth wheel trailer plate

  • Steering column binding

  • Pump flow insufficient

  • Steering gear improperly adjusted

  • Steering gear control valve spool sticking

Shimmy

  • Badly worn or uneven worn tires

  • Improperly mounted tire or wheel

  • Components in steering linkage loose or worn

  • Wheels or brake drums out of balance

  • Front end alignment incorrect

  • Air in the hydraulic system

External Oil Leakage

  • Finding the location of a leak may be difficult, since oil may run away from the leak source, the fittings, hoses, pump, or gear to a low point on the gear or chassis

  • A leak from the vent plug at the side cover indicates failure of the sector shaft oil seal inside the side cover

Oversteering or Darting

  • Dry fifth wheel or poor finish on fifth wheel or trailer plate

  • Front end components binding or loose

  • Steering column binding

  • Steering gear improperly adjusted

  • Rear axle mounts (rear steer)

High Steering Effort in One Direction

  • Unequal tire pressure

  • Vehicle overloaded

  • Inadequate hydraulic system pressure

  • Excessive internal leakage in one direction of turn only (verify with internal leakage test)

High Steering Effort in Both Directions

  • Low tire pressure

  • Vehicle overloaded

  • Low hydraulic fluid level

  • Components of steering system binding

  • Restriction in return line, or line diameter too small

  • Excessive internal leakage (verify with internal leakage test)

  • Oversize tires (Check manufacturer's specifications)

Lost motion (lash) at the steering wheel

  • Steering wheel loose on the shaft

  • Loose connection between the steering gear, intermediate column, and steering column

Excessive heat

  • Excessive pump flow

  • Vehicle overloaded

  • Undersized replacement hose or link

  • Restricted hose or line that is kinked or severely bent or internally blocked

  • Restricted recentering of gear valve caused by column bind or side load on the input

If the hydraulic system fluid becomes overheated, it can cause the seals in the steering gear and pump to shrink, harden, or crack and lose their sealing ability.

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