Changing the servo pump – how it works! | ATP Auto Parts

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What does a servo pump do and how do I know that it is defective? Can I replace them myself?

Here you will find all information about changing a power steering pump!

Your parents and grandparents may remember it – driving a car without power steering. Other than that it was a good workout for your arms, I guess there’s nothing really positive about it. Fortunately, hydraulic power steering has been around for a long time, and more recently electric power steering.

Thanks to the power steering, less effort is required when steering while stationary, when maneuvering and when driving at low speeds, because a hydraulic system amplifies the force applied by the driver. This happens thanks to the servo pump, also known as the hydraulic pump, which pumps hydraulic oil into the steering system during steering movements. The pressure that builds up in the lines and steering gear makes steering easier.

If the servo pump fails, the oil can no longer be pumped into the system and there is no longer any pressure and therefore no power steering.

How do I recognize that the servo pump is defective?

Typical signs that indicate a defective hydraulic pump are:

  • Suddenly stiff steering
  • Lots of oil around the power steering pump
  • noise when steering
  • When you turn the steering wheel fully, you will hear a whistling noise
  • The steering wheel suddenly vibrates while driving
  • Foam or bubbles form in the servo oil reservoir
  • Steering one way is easier than the other
  • Despite refilling, your servo oil level is quickly low again

Can I continue driving with a defective power steering?

It is good that even if this hydraulic power steering fails, the vehicle can continue to be driven; albeit with significantly more effort. You can’t drive around with it all the time; You will notice the defect at the latest when parking or a quick evasive maneuver. Worse, should something happen, an insurance company can refuse to pay.

That’s why here are the step-by-step instructions on how to change the power steering pump.

You need:

  • A new power steering pump
  • A new serpentine belt
  • Servo oil (depending on the model you can count on up to approx. 2 liters)

Attention: Changing a power steering pump differs from vehicle to vehicle; Furthermore, these replacement instructions relate purely to hydraulic pumps and not electric ones. In most cases, the power steering pump is located at the front right of the vehicle; If you are not sure, you can find this information in your car’s operating instructions, or even more safely, in the repair manual.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In the first step, raise your car with the help of a jack at the front right
  2. After you have removed the engine cover and the paneling of the front right wheelhouse liner, the next step is to remove the associated wheel.
  3. Now the belt is relaxed and taken off the drive pulley.
  4. Now you can drain the servo oil. Don’t forget to collect and dispose of the oil in an environmentally friendly manner.
  5. When you have drained the oil completely, you can next loosen the fastening screws and remove the power steering pump.
  6. Grab the new power steering pump, install it, and then reassemble the other components in reverse order.
  7. As a last step, refill servo oil and bleed the system. Then check the oil level again.

Tip: If you replace the power steering pump, you should also replace the V-ribbed belt at the same time!

A job that you can definitely do yourself with a little skill. And you save a lot of money! The best thing to do is to look around for a cheap new power steering pump in the ATP auto parts online shop. If you buy them yourself, you will definitely get away cheaper than in the workshop.

Good ride!

Your ATP team


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