How to Replace the Power Steering Pump on a Chevrolet Silverado

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A bad power steering pump on your Chevrolet Silverado will often lead to the power steering fluid leaking out of the system, especially as the engine idles. This will lead to poor steering and handling on the truck and even bigger steering problems if the pump is not replaced soon. As is often the case, you should consult with your mechanic or other expert before you take on a project like this. The exact replacement procedure can also vary depending on the exact year of your Silverado.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Drive tool
  • Drain pan
  • Power steering pump pulley remover
  • Power steering pump
  • Power steering pump installation remover
  • Power steering fluid

Removal

  • Disconnect the negative cable from the truck's battery.

  • Remove the radiator's upper fan shroud by detaching any hoses connected to it and detaching its retaining clips and bolts.

  • Remove the serpentine drive belt. Rotate the tensioner with a 3/8-inch drive tool to relieve the tension and slip the belt off the pulleys. Make sure you know exactly how the belt was routed as it must be replaced in the same way.

  • Place a drain pan under the power steering pump to catch any fluid that comes out.

  • Detach and remove the power steering pressure line and the return hose from the hard lines that are coming out of the pump. Loosen the fitting for the pressure line with a wrench. Loosen the clamp for the return hose--this may require pliers.

  • Disconnect the pulley from the power steering pump using a special power steering pump pulley remover to pull the pulley off the pump's shaft.

  • Remove the fasteners for the pump--this will be four bolts on trucks with V8 engines and two nuts in the back of the pump on V6 engines. Lift the pump off and away from the vehicle, making sure you don't spill fluid onto any truck paint.

Installation

  • Position the new power steering pump within the mounting bracket on the engine. Connect the mounting fasteners.

  • Connect the pressure line and return hose to the pump. Tighten the fittings securely.

  • Press the pulley onto the pump's shaft with a power steering pump pulley installation tool. You can make a tool with a long bolt, a nut, a washer and a socket that is the same diameter as the pulley hub. Push the pulley until the front of the hub is flush with the shaft and don't push it any further.

  • Re-install the drive belt and the shroud.

  • Fill the power steering reservoir with fresh fluid until it reaches the cold mark on the dipstick. Make sure the front wheels are facing forward, then start the engine and let it run at fast idle. Check the fluid level and add more fluid to the cold mark if needed.

  • Turn the wheels from side to side to bleed air from the system, keeping the reservoir full as you do this. Turn the wheels back to the straight ahead position afterward and let the truck run for several more minutes.

  • Check the fluid level one last time after road-testing the truck to make sure the steering functions normally without any noise. The fluid level needs to hit the hot mark when the truck runs at operating temperature.

References

  • "Chilton General Motors Full Size Trucks Automotive Guide;" 2006
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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