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Power steering is a technology that typically uses pressurized hydraulic fluid to exert force on the mechanical steering gear, so you can turn the steering wheel with less effort. If you drive a newer model, your vehicle is likely equipped with electric power steering instead of hydraulic power steering. Power steering systems that are purely electric do not have a belt.

Power steering systems are generally very reliable. However, problems can arise if parts like the power steering belt wear out prematurely.

Here’s what you need to know about replacing your power steering belt.

What Is A Power Steering Belt?

old and new serpentine belt
A power steering belt can either be a serpentine belt or a V-belt.

A power steering belt can either be a serpentine belt or a V-belt. It transfers power from the engine’s primary pulley to the power steering pump. In some cases, the same belt may also drive additional components, such as the air conditioning compressor, water pump, and alternator.

How Do I Know If My Power Steering Belt Is Bad?

If your car’s power steering belt is bad, you might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

Sporadic Loss of  Power Steering

Sporadic or intermittent power steering loss can point to a stretched and slipping power steering belt.

Loss of Power Steering

A failed power steering pump belt can result in a total loss of power steering. If the belt drives other accessories, such as the air conditioning compressor and the alternator, those items may also cease to function, and you might see one or more warning lights illuminate on the dash.

Squealing Noises

A stretched or loose power steering pump can result in a squealing noise that coincides with engine speed. In some cases, the noise might be loudest when the vehicle is first started and the engine and belt are still cold.

Visible Damage

The easiest way to tell if your power steering belt is in bad shape is if it has visible damage. Experts generally recommend that if you see cracks in any of the ribs of your power steering belt, then it’s time to replace it.

When Should You Replace Your Power Steering Belt?

As soon as your mechanic recommends its replacement, you should get a new power steering belt installed in your vehicle right away. A professional will be able to distinguish between the signs of a faulty power steering belt and the symptoms of a bad power steering pump.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Power Steering Belt?

A new power steering belt can cost you anywhere from $10 to $75 for parts alone. Prices can vary depending on the brand and quantity. Labor, on the other hand, might cost you another $75 to $100, depending on a variety of factors. Keep in mind that these are only estimates and can change depending on your location and your vehicle’s make and model.

What to Consider When Looking for A New Power Steering Belt

serpentine belt for car
It can quickly become overwhelming to shop for a new power steering belt for your vehicle.

It can quickly become overwhelming to shop for a new power steering belt for your vehicle. To help you narrow down your options, here are some factors to consider when shopping for a new power steering belt:

Application

Before buying a new power steering belt for your vehicle, don’t forget to check for fitment. Getting a replacement designed for your vehicle’s year, make, and model guarantees a perfect fit and hassle-free installation.

Quality

Choose a brand you trust when looking for a new power steering belt for your ride. A power steering belt is crucial to the overall operation of your vehicle, so the replacement should be durable and made of high-quality materials.

Finding the perfect replacement power steering belt for your vehicle should be easy if you follow the tips listed above and look through credible product reviews. Don’t forget to check your vehicle specifications or consult a certified mechanic.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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