How to Repair a Power Steering Pump


Repairs to the power steering pump are limited to replacing exterior accessories such as hoses and the pump reservoir. Only certain pumps have a removable reservoir. Those that do not need to have the entire pump replaced. These relate only to leaks as opposed to a failure. Replacing the pump is the only practical answer for a failed or failing pump.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrenches
  • Power steering pump remover and installer
  • Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets
  • 3-inch 3/8-inch drive extension
  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet
  • Common screwdriver
  • Set of line wrenches
  • Drip pan
  • Rags
  • Remove anything interfering with the removal of the power steering pump. There is normally little that would interfere, although it varies from vehicle to vehicle. Usually, the radiator reservoir or the fan shroud needs to be loosened and moved to install the power steering pump remover. Use the common screwdriver or sockets to loosen these items and move them aside.

  • Remove the accessory belt by using a wrench or a ratchet, whichever fits, and relieving the tension on the belt by moving the belt tensioner away from the belt. The tensioner will either have a square hole for a ratchet or a square protrusion for a wrench. Some tensioners on foreign vehicles use an adjustable tensioner, which utilizes a bolt attached to the back of the tensioner that pushes on a bracket, which, when tightened, tightens the belt. Conversely, when the bolt is loosened, the tensioner accommodates by loosening the tension. A ratchet and socket are used in this scenario. It will be obvious which is needed when inspected.

  • Put the power steering pump remover on the center of the pulley (see Tips). Install the tool by backing the large nut out and then threading the small-diameter threaded end into the shaft in the center of the pulley. Thread it in by hand until it stops, then back it out one turn so it does not get so tight that it creates a problem in removal. Thread the large nut in enough to install both clips over both the large nut recess and the pulley snout. Install the ring over the clips to hold them in place.

  • Hold the shaft of the tool with a wrench and use a large wrench to turn the large nut with the clips counter-clockwise to pull the pulley from the pump. If you are replacing the pulley to repair the pulley on the pump, discard the old pulley after matching it up with the new pulley to make sure you were given the correct pulley at the auto parts store.

  • Place the drip pan under the low-pressure hose attachment position on the rear of the pump. Use a common screwdriver to loosen the clamp on this hose. Pull the hose off and allow the fluid to drain into the drip pan.

  • Remove the high-pressure line from the rear of the pump using a line wrench. Remove the pump by removing the three bolts securing it to the mounting bracket.

  • Install the new pump in reverse order of removal down to the installation of the pulley. If you are repairing a leak at the hose connections on the pump, be sure the new lines are the correct line before reinstalling the pump.

  • Install the pulley on the pump output shaft using the same tool used to extract it. This time, the clips and holding ring will not be used. Thread the tool in as before, then run the large nut down until it contacts the snout of the pulley. Hold the tool's shaft with a wrench and use another large wrench for the large nut. Run the nut in clockwise, and the pulley will be pushed on.

  • Put the belt back on and fill the power steering pump reservoir with power steering fluid. Start the vehicle and turn the steering wheel all the way in both directions several times until the air is evacuated from the system and the pump no longer makes noise.

Tips & Warnings

  • The power steering pump remover tool is a large, six-sided nut threaded onto a threaded shaft with a six-sided head allowing the use of a wench or socket to turn it. The opposite end of the shaft has a smaller-diameter threaded shaft used to thread into the power steering pump shaft. It will also come with two clamps shaped like an elongated U. These clamps are used in the removal process. They are designed so that one end clips on a bottom groove of the large nut, and the other end clips onto the snout on the center of the pulley. To hold them in place, there is a metal ring that should be inserted over the tool to surround the clips so they can't come off. These clamps will pull the pulley off when the large nut is unscrewed on its shaft.

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