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What is power steering?

Power Assisted Steering, or ‘PAS' as it is also known, is a mechanism that helps you to steer your car. In most vehicles, the PAS relies on a hydraulic system to aid turning the vehicle's wheels. If you have ever driven a car with no Power Steering you will have most certainly noticed the difference between having PAS and not. Power Steering used to be a luxury in certain vehicles, but nowadays it is almost standard in every type of vehicle.

Why is power steering important?

In the early days of the automotive industry, power-assisted steering was a luxury and was only available in high-end vehicles. Most new cars now have it as standard. That’s because they’ve become heavier, with wider tyres and front wheel drive, and would be extremely difficult to drive without PAS. This makes a car not only more pleasant to drive, but safer to drive too.

How does power steering work?

Hydraulic power-assisted steering

There are two types of hydraulic power-assisted steering: rack & pinion and the recirculating ball. Rack & pinion is the most common. The recirculating ball is far less common and only really exists in vans and trucks. Both have high-pressure hoses that connect the steering rack to the two sides of the centre seal. One hose sends hydraulic fluid from the power-steering pump to the steering mechanism, while the other directs fluid back to the pump. When turned left or right, the steering wheel’s steering mechanism allows the hydraulic fluid to pass to respective side of the steering rack, pushing the seal and rack in the necessary direction.

Electric power-assisted steering

Electric power-assisted steering is fully electric. The wheels of the car receive direct assistance from an electric motor which is mounted on either the steering rack or steering column or directly to the steering rack. Sensors decide how much assistance to apply at any time.

What causes power steering problems?

Hydraulic power-assisted steering

When hydraulic fluid lubricates and seals the power-steering pump and hoses to prevent corrosion it can leak or gradually become less effective, making it harder to turn the steering wheel. Typically, a mechanic will check hydraulic fluid levels during an annual service.

Electric power-assisted steering

If the electric motor fails, power-assisted steering will stop working, so the motor would need replacing. As with any electrical system, software problems can occur, necessitating an update.

What are the signs that a car needs power-steering repairs?

  • When you see a transparent fluid patch under the car.
  • If the car’s steering wheel feels harder to turn than normal.
  • When there’s a squeaking or groaning noise when turning the wheel of the car.

How long does a power-steering repair take?

  • 1 - 2 hours.

How much does a repair to power steering cost?

  • Up to £1,000, but could be much less depending on your type of car and the labour rate of the garage you select.

About Subaru

Japanese firm Subaru’s heritage comes from the skies: the company developed out of the Nakajima Aircraft Company (1917-1945), which in its day was the largest aircraft manufacturer in Asia. In 1954 the company debuted its first automobile with the Subaru 500, Japan’s first mini, but Subaru’s story really started in 1972 with the launch of its symmetrical all wheel drive. It’s this factor above all which makes Subaru stand out from the crowd - 4x4 is standard on every car that Subaru sells in the UK (apart from the Justy city car).

Subaru currently sells seven models into the UK including the popular Outback, the original ‘crossover’ and a trusty and tough SUV. Other much loved models include the Forester, a slightly smaller SUV ideally suited to rural driving, and the Impreza - a rally champion turned practical family car.

Subaru owners display impressive brand loyalty, and for good reason. These cars are known for their longevity - it’s not unusual to see Foresters and Outbacks on the used car sales boards with over 200,000 miles on the clock. Part of the reason for this is Subaru’s unique flat-lying ‘boxer’ engines, with pistons which punch horizontally, like a boxer, rather than up and down as in a traditional engine. This means less vibration and friction, and better lubrication, particularly on start-up. In some ways, Subaru build cars which are seemingly almost indestructible! For safety and reliability across the board they consistently score very highly indeed with drivers and independent reviewers.

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See garages for Power Steering Repairs for your Subaru

Westmoreland Garage Logo
Westmoreland Garage
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249 Southlands Road, BROMLEY, BR1 2EG
I G Collins Logo
I G Collins
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Springfields, Maidstone Road, Matfield, Tonbridge, TN12 7HA
BLENHEIM MOTORS LTD OFFERS Logo
BLENHEIM MOTORS LTD OFFERS
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50 BLENHEIM GROVE, PECKHAM, LONDON, SE15 4QL
Perrys Mazda Preston-Kia-Vauxhall Logo
Perrys Mazda Preston-Kia-Vauxhall
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Blackpool Road, Preston, PR2 6BX
Londesborough Motor Services Logo
Londesborough Motor Services
1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars3 Reviews
66 Londesborough Road, Scarborough, YO12 5AF
1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars5 Reviews
CRESCENT ROAD, FELIXSTOWE, IP11 7PD

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