Power steering has been a standard in all newly manufactured cars for years, regardless of their size and equipment. In addition, more and more vehicles have electric assistance, which is gradually displacing the commonly used hydraulic systems. The latter, however, is still installed in larger and heavier cars. It is therefore worth getting acquainted with the operation of the hydraulic power assisted steering, including first of all its most important element, which is a hydraulic pump.
Removal and filling
The hydraulic power steering consists of six basic components. As has been said before, the most important of them is the hydraulic pump, the rest of the equipment is completed by the expansion tank, steering gear and three pipes: inlet, return and pressure. Before replacing the hydraulic pump, the used oil must be removed from the system. Attention! This is done before the pump is dismantled. To remove old oil, raise the front of the vehicle so that you can turn the wheels freely. The next step is to remove the pump drive belt and unscrew the inlet and pressure hoses. After 12-15 full steering movements, all used oil should be outside the power steering.
Beware of dirt!
It is time for a new hydraulic pump, which should be filled with fresh oil before installation. The latter is poured into the hole, into which the inlet pipe will then be screwed, while turning the pump drive wheel. However, before the correct assembly can be carried out, it is necessary to check the cleanliness of the expansion tank. Any deposits in it should be removed. In the case of very heavy dirt, experts advise replacing the tank with a new one. Also, do not forget to change the oil filter (if the hydraulic system is equipped with it). Now it’s time to assemble the pump, i.e. connect the inlet and pressure hoses to it, and install the drive belt (experts advise not to use the old one). Then fill the expansion tank with fresh oil. After starting the engine at idle, we check the oil level in the expansion tank. If the level drops too much, add the right amount. The last step is to check the oil level in the expansion tank after switching off the power unit.
With final venting
We are slowly approaching the end of the assembly of a new hydraulic pump in the power steering system. The final task is to vent the entire installation. How to do them properly? First of all, start the engine and let it run at idle. Then we check for any disturbing leaks from the system and the oil level in the expansion tank. When everything is fine, we start to move the steering wheel from left to right – until the stop. How many times should we repeat this action? Experts advise to do this 10 to 15 times, while making sure that the wheels in their extreme position do not remain idle for more than 5 seconds. At the same time, check the oil level in the entire system, including in the expansion tank. After the steering wheel rotation mentioned above, the engine must be turned off for about 10 minutes. After this time, the entire steering wheel turning procedure should be repeated. The end of venting the entire system is not the end of the entire hydraulic pump replacement procedure. The correct functioning of the support system should be verified during the test drive, after which the oil level in the hydraulic system (expansion tank) should be checked again and any leaks from the system should be checked.