Like any other system on your car, the power steering operates by means of a pressurized fluid. The power for delivering that fluid comes from the engine itself by way of a pump. On the other hand, the power transmission between the pump and the engine is done by means of the belt and the pulley (also known as the power steering pump pulley).
The power steering pulley and the pump should be checked and maintained regularly to assure a smooth operation and spare you from costly repair when the problem got uncontrollably serious. With this article, you may know how to remove and replace a power steering pump pulley in less than 3 hours.
Common symptoms your power steering pump pulley needs replacement
Grinding or whining sound while engine is running
Power steering pump pulley won’t turn or locked
Serpentine belt is worn out as a result of bearing failure of the pulley
MATERIALS AND TOOLS NEEDED
What you will do to replace power steering pulley
Before you commence doing this job, be sure to wear your personal protective equipment (PPE), such as the safety gloves and goggles.
Step 1: Disconnecting battery and lifting the vehicle
Remove the connections to your battery to prevent you from electrical shocks while you do this activity. Then, lift the front side of your car using a hydraulic lift and support the vehicle with jack stands. To make the car more stable and does not roll, put wheel chocks on both sides of the back wheels that remain to the ground.
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Step 2: Removing ancillary parts and covers
Some vehicles may require you to remove the engine cover and other ancillary parts to gain access to the pulley. These parts may be the radiator fan shroud and radiator fan, the alternator or the air conditioning unit (A/C). Refer to your car’s service manual on what parts or covers you need to remove.
Step 3: Removal of the drive or serpentine belt
As you look towards the engine, you can remove the serpentine belt by loosening up the tensioner pulley located on the left side of the engine. You can use your wrench set to do this. When the tensioner pulley is loose, you can now remove the belt.
If your car has a power steering driven by the drive belt, you have to remove this belt also.
Step 4: Removing the hydraulic lines
The hydraulic line running towards the pump should be disconnected using your wrench set or socket wrench. This is the supply that runs from the gearbox and could be found at the bottom of the pump. Make sure you have your drain pan ready as the hydraulic fluid will ooze from this line. Remove also the hydraulic lines at the top of the pump.
Step 5: Removing bracket’s mounting bolts
There are commonly 2 or 3 mounting bolts that hold the pump onto the bracket or the engine block which you have to remove. By using your socket or ratchet wrench, remove these bolts slowly but surely. Once these bolts are removed, disconnect the old pump and bring it over on your workbench (the power steering pump pulley is still mounted on this unit) and do the next step.
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Step 6: Remove the old power steering pump pulley
Using the pulley removal tool, which is available online Pulley Removal and Installation Tool Kit, if you don’t have one right now, you can remove the old pulley from the pump. Initially, put the power steering pump in a vice on your workbench. Then, attach the pulley removal tool to the pulley. You can use a ratchet or socket wrench to loosen the pulley.
Make sure that you hold the pulley attachment nut by using an end ratchet that corresponds to the size of the nut being loosen. While this process is laborious and slow, continue loosening the pulley until it is detached to the pump’s shaft.
Step 7: Lubricating the pump shaft
Using an extreme pressure lube, lubricate the input shaft and the pulley’s bore (the Goodson brand is a terrific product to use).
Step 8: Mounting the new pulley
After you have lubricated well the shaft and the pulley, you can now install the new pulley onto the input shaft. Consult the tool manufacturer’s instructions on the right procedure of installing the pulley. Basically, you have to put the pulley’s bore into the shaft and secure it by tightening the pulley installation nut.
You can use your workbench’s vice to secure the pulley installation bolt. Make sure the pulley remains straight and balance while you tighten the installation nut using the right size end wrench.
Step 9: Testing the new pulley
Once you are sure that the new pulley is tightly secured onto the shaft, test it by spinning the pulley freely using your hand. The pulley should be aligned and spins without the whining or grinding sound just like before you disassembled the unit. But be sure that you don’t over tighten the pulley as it may damage the plate of the pump when in operation.
Step 10: Reinstall the power steering pump (with the new pulley) and the belt
Once you are sure that everything is in the proper place, you can now reinstall the new assembly in reverse order when to disassemble the power steering pump unit. You must also replace the old serpentine belt with a new one. Always remember that once you install new power steering pump and pulley, it is advised that you also replace the belt with a new one.
Make sure that what you have dismantled before (like the hydraulic lines, mounting bolts, belts, and covers) should be reinstalled properly and tightly to avoid another problem once in operation.
Step 11: Reconnecting battery cables and refilling with new fluid
Reconnect the battery back to its original connection once everything is securely installed and tightened. Then, fill the reservoir with your car’s power steering fluid into the proper level.
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Step 12: Test driving your car
When the battery is tightly connected and there is enough fluid in the reservoir, you may now lower the vehicle. Then, test the engine by running around for about 10 to 15 minutes on a road test. If everything sounds good, you have successfully replaced your bad power steering pulley.
We hope you find this tutorial interesting and informational to you. As we have found out about the average cost of replacing power steering pulley which ranges from $70 to $120 in labor cost (not including replacement parts), you can save a lot of money if you DIY. Nonetheless, you are also bound to save a lot from future labor cost as this maintenance activity may be done some other time while your car come to age.
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