Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Stacie asks: My Saturn Aura has a leaking power steering pump. The reason I know is it squeals – and stops after I add fluid. What do you think I should do?
My reply: If the power steering is leaking it is either a hose – there are two – or the pump itself. If the leak is minor – just a few drops per day – you can check/add/top off the reservoir until it gets worse or the hose bursts or the pump fails, which may take a long time and will be much cheaper than getting a new power steering pump, which may cost a couple hundred bucks in parts and labor if you’re not able to do the job yourself.
If the power steering does fail while you are driving you will still be able to steer the car but it will take much more physical effort. If you are pretty strong this won’t be an issue but if you aren’t, it could be dangerous. In the latter case, it might be smart to just get the thing fixed since a couple hundred bucks in repair costs beats a few thousand bucks in damaged car costs.
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