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Power Steering Pump Reservoir

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Power Steering Pump Reservoir

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What is a power steering pump reservoir and where is it located?

The power steering pump reservoir (also referred to as a power steering tank) is an important part of a power steering system, which is a steering system that eases drivability by applying hydraulic pressure to the steering gear. Most vehicles today have hydraulic power steering.

The power steering pump reservoir holds the hydraulic fluid that the power steering pump moves around to assist you in steering. Without this fluid the system wouldn’t function. Often the reservoir is directly connected to the power steering pump, which can be found on the front of the engine near the other engine accessories; the exact location of the pump however will vary from one engine to another. Occasionally, the power steering pump reservoir is mounted remotely. In either case, there will be a pair of fluid lines to carry fluid to and from the pump.

How do I know if my power steering pump reservoir needs to be replaced?

Over time, the power steering pump reservoir can develop cracks and leaks, leading to lost fluid. If you have a power steering fluid leak, you may notice a red, oily discharge where you park. Parking over a piece of cardboard or butcher paper may make the leak easier to identify. You may also find that the power steering fluid level is frequently low. Be sure to check the fluid level with the vehicle parked on a flat surface. 

The appearance of the fluid itself can indicate leaks in the power steering system. If the fluid has turned from a reddish color to grey, then the fluid is oxidizing. If there are bubbles in the fluid, then air has gotten into the system. Either of these things could be signs of cracks, which could also lead to leaks. A power steering fluid leak could also come from the hoses, so be sure to check them first. 

Low power steering fluid can making steering difficult, transporting you back to a time before power steering (only worse since vehicles with power steering have tighter steering ratios than manual steering vehicles), at least as far as your handling is concerned. You may find the vehicle hard to steer, especially at lower speeds. Rolling tires offer less resistance than slow-moving or stationary ones. 

Can I replace a power steering pump reservoir myself?

A failed power steering pump tank should be replaced immediately to ensure that your vehicle’s power steering system continues to operate properly. Replacing a power steering reservoir can range in difficulty from fairly easy to quite arduous depending on your vehicle. You may be able to simply disconnect the fluid lines (with the help of a fuel line wrench) and unbolt the old part, and connect the new one. In other cases, you may have to pull the belt off of the power steering pump pulley, remove the pump from the engine, and disconnect the reservoir from the pump. This will, necessarily, take significantly more time and effort. In either case you’ll want to drain the fluid before the job and refill the fluid afterwards. 

Need a power steering pump reservoir replacement?

Power steering works because of the hydraulic fluid in the system, and this fluid is contained in the power steering tank. If it has failed and fluid is leaking out, the low level can make steering difficult, and unpleasant. Therefore, you should seek out a power steering pump reservoir replacement as soon as possible. Luckily, we carry a large selection of power steering pump reservoirs for many makes and models, and at great prices.

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement power steering pump reservoir for your car, truck, SUV, or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our aftermarket power steering reservoirs, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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