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How Much Does Fixing a Power Steering Pump Cost?

How Much Does Fixing a Power Steering Pump Cost?
Austin Kilham
Austin KilhamUpdated September 8, 2023
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Your power steering pump is a component of your steering system that helps you maintain the ability to steer smoothly. If it’s worn out or damaged, you may need to replace it, which typically costs $500-$800.  Here’s a closer look at factors that affect the cost to replace and repair a power steering pump.

What Is a Power Steering Pump?

The power steering pump in your car keeps the hydraulic fluid in the power steering system pressurized. This, in turn, helps you turn your steering wheel easily and smoothly. The power steering pump is located at the front of the engine. It’s usually powered by the drive belt, which provides power to a number of important engine components, including the alternator and water pump. When the power steering pump turns, hydraulic fluid is pressurized and delivered to the steering gear. This process happens continuously while the car is running.Most vehicles use hydraulic steering, though some use an electric pump or electric power assist. 

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Power Steering Pump?

The average cost of replacing a power steering pump ranges from $500 to $800. That said, cost can depend on several factors and could run as high as $1,000. Recommended: The Costs of a Replacement Engine

What Impacts the Cost of Power Steering Pump Replacement? 

The cost of replacing a power steering pump can depend on a variety of factors. Consider the following: 

Labor Cost

In general, it takes about four hours to replace a steering pump. You can expect to pay between $149 and $188 on labor costs, but keep in mind these costs can vary depending on how long it takes to replace the steering pump and where you live geographically. 

Cost of Parts

The other major factor is the cost of parts, which depends on the seller, the quality of the part, and the complexity of the assembly. On average, you can expect parts to be priced between $366 and $533.

What Causes Power Steering Pump Failure?

Power steering pump failure can be a result of several factors, including:

Low Power Steering Fluid

Adequate power steering fluid helps keep the hydraulic pressure at the correct levels, it lubricates the moving pieces of the steering pump, and it helps keep the system cool. If power steering fluid is too low and the steering pump isn’t lubricated or cooled properly, the system may wear out more quickly. 

Fluid Leak

A leak in the power steering pump could cause lower fluid, which could in turn lead to pump failure.

Broken Belt

The power steering pump relies on a functioning drive belt. If the drive belt snaps, the power steering pump will fail as it will no longer receive power. 

Contaminated Fluid

The hydraulic fluid in the steering pump could become contaminated with water or other impurities that keep the pump from working correctly. 

Wear and Tear

The power steering pump is a moving component that will experience wear and tear as you drive your car. Eventually, this will cause the pump to wear out and it will need to be replaced. Recommended: 11 Most Expensive Car Repairs

Signs of a Bad Power Steering Pump

Keep an eye out for the following signs that your power steering pump is beginning to fail:

Puddle on the Ground Under Your Car

A dark red or brown puddle under your vehicle can indicate that your steering pump is leaking hydraulic fluid. 

Car Is Harder to Steer

If your power steering pump begins to fail, you may notice that your car is harder to steer. That’s because the pump isn’t delivering hydraulic fluid as effectively, which means that it will take more effort to turn your wheel than usual. 

Unusual Noises When Turning the Wheel

It’s always a good idea to be mindful of the noises that your car is making and take special note of any that are out of the ordinary. Your power steering pump may make groaning or screeching noises when you turn the wheel. These noises may increase in volume as you accelerate your vehicle. If you notice these noises, it could mean your power steering pump isn’t working as it should.Recommended: Auto Loan Refinance Calculator

The Takeaway: Paying for a New Power Steering Pump

It is possible that a vehicle can be driven temporarily with a leaking pump, as long as there is enough hydraulic fluid for the system to function. However, you should have the pump repaired as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to continue driving safely. If you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for a repair, you may consider ways to finance the repair, such as a personal loan or cash-out auto loan refinanceA personal loan for car repairs is usually an unsecured loan that allows individuals to borrow money to fix their car. In return, the borrower agrees to pay back the loan in monthly installments with interest. Refinancing your auto loan involves paying off your old loan with a new loan, preferably one with a lower interest rate or better terms. A lower interest rate reduces the cost of your loan, which saves you money in the long run. You can put this savings toward other expenses, including auto repair. You can also consider a cash-out auto loan refinance and put the money from the loan toward your auto repair.If refinancing feels like the right option to you, be sure to shop around to get the best deal on interest rates and terms. Lantern’s refinancing tool allows you to compare rates and terms from top lenders, all with no obligation to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace a power steering pump myself?
Will my car insurance cover the cost of fixing a power steering pump?
How long does it take to fix a power steering pump?
What are the consequences of not fixing a faulty power steering pump?
How often should I have my power steering pump checked?
Can a faulty power steering pump affect my car’s performance?
How can I prevent my power steering pump from failing?
Photo credit: iStock/gradyreese

About the Author

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham

Austin Kilham is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. He focuses on personal finance, retirement, business, and health care with an eye toward helping others understand complex topics.
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