Does my power steering pump need to be replaced?

I filled the power steering reservoir with new fluid 4 days ago but when I turn the steering wheel, my car is still making a whining sound.

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
This may be related to a failing power steering pump or low power steering fluid levels. As you may know, the power steering system uses a pump, normally driven by a belt. The pump supplies pressure as it is turned by your engine, and driver control is supplied by either the rack and pinion or a steering gear box. Fluid pressure from the pump is used to push against a piston. When the wheel is turned, pressure flows to one side and this piston moves. The piston is attached to the steering gears. As the hydraulic pressure does the work, the driver controls the direction by turning the steering wheel. The operation of this is accomplished with a very sensitive valve system called a rack and pinion. When the pump is beginning to fail or is low on fluid, you may hear this type of whining sound. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your power steering system.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If your car squeals when you turn the ignition, it may be a sign that your steering pump needs to be replaced. It could also be a loose or worn accessory belt, so check that first. However, if the noise continues every time you turn the ignition, a faulty pump may be the cause.
How often does a power steering pump need to be replaced? Most vehicle`s power steering system will last for 100,000 to 150,000 miles before a pump replacement is warranted.
One of the most common sounds that occur with a faulty power steering pump is a groaning sound. You may also hear whining, especially when you crank the wheel tightly. Either way, your steering shouldn`t make any noises while you are navigating your vehicle.
While pumps are quite durable, they can and will eventually wear out. Too much strain on a pump can cause them to fail prematurely (i.e. strain from being pushed to operational limits like turning your steering wheel all the way to the right or left).
Most vehicle components have an expected lifespan, and power steering pumps are no different. A pump typically lasts up to 100,000 miles or better before experiencing any significant issues. However, much of that longevity has to do with maintaining a proper maintenance schedule.
One of the most common problems power steering systems have is leaks. The high pressure of the system combined with the soft hoses carrying the fluid makes it relatively susceptible to leaks. A low fluid level can cause a whining power steering pump and even a loss of fluid pressure and a loss of steering assistance.
Your car`s power steering pump operates at all times if the engine is running, but it is put under an additional load when you turn the steering wheel (when it forces high-pressure fluid into the lines to the rack in order to provide the steering assist you need).
Damaged hoses and old, degraded seals are the biggest reasons for power steering leaks. An inadequate amount of fluid can cause the pump to wear out very quickly or even overheat.
It takes two to three hours for a competent mechanic to switch over a power steering pump. Power steering pump replacement costs vary across the country according to each garage and dealership.
Having power steering is essential for driving. Not only can driving without it damage your car, but it can also endanger other drivers on the road. For this reason, it`s illegal in all 50 states to drive without power steering. Power steering enables you to turn your steering wheel easily and quickens reaction time.
Usually, the low levels of engine oil can stop your vehicle`s engine resulting in loss of power steering. So yes, having low engine oil in your car can affect power steering.
The power steering pump should not cause the battery to go dead.
Pressure capacity simply refers to the maximum pressure the power steering pump is allowed to build. Most factory pumps have a pressure capacity set to around 1200 psi.
Power steering will set you back more like 2-4bhp depending on the amount of steering input. For the water pump, things aren`t so simple. Since it shares a relationship with engine speed, the power needed to spin the impeller of the pump forms a cubic relationship with the powertrain`s reciprocation.
Two types of hose are used in power steering applications, a low pressure hose for the return (to reservoir) fluid and a high pressure hose for pump discharge. Low pressure hose is generally rated at 400 PSI and operates at a fraction of that pressure.
While the price of this repair can vary, expect to pay between $500 and $800 to get your power steering pump replaced. Depending on your car, the cost could exceed that price, or fall below it. The best way to know for sure is to talk with the service advisors are your repair shop.
And it`s much easier and cleaner. Use a fluid extractor or turkey baster to remove the old power steering fluid from the reservoir. Top it off with new fluid, start the vehicle and turn the wheel from lock to lock a few times. Repeat the process until most of the old fluid is removed.
Pump malfunctions, fluid leaks, blocked hoses, contamination of power steering fluid, or worn power steering belts are some specific factors that can contribute to steering system failure.
How Long Should My Power Steering Pump Last? A. There`s no set expiration date for your power steering pump. That said, you should count on having to replace the pump after 100,000 miles or so.
Manual steering is less effective than power steering in terms of absorbing shocks on uneven surfaces. Vehicle drivers can easily control the steering wheel. Vehicle drivers feel difficulty in controlling the manual system of steering as compared to a power steering system.
Tyre pressure – often, if your tyres are not pumped up to the recommended air pressure, this can cause heavy steering. This is especially common in underinflated tyres, as it can mean the grip between the tyre and the road surface is compromised due to incorrect tyre pressure, and steering becomes more difficult.
Since power steering fluid usually only leaks while your engine is running, the drips can often land on the road or be blown back under the engine of your car not leaving any puddles or spots on your driveway or in your parking spots.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Power steering pump on 2012 Acura TL needs to be replaced. Due to location a power bar also needs to be replaced. Cost over $3,000. Is this a good price?
ANSWER : Question sent to CS for a quote on replacing the power steering motor, programming, and replacing an electrical component attached to the motor. This is in comparison to a quote that was given for the parts and labor.

The power steering pump seal keeps breaking when pump is replaced.
ANSWER : There may be a restriction in the power steering high pressure line causing an excessively high amount of pressure in the line and the pump. If the belt tensioner for the power steering belt is a manual tensioner that can be adjusted, the tension may be too tight causing a high load on the bearings at the power steering pump drive shaft. You can try having the power steering system flushed to see if this will clear any blockages and be sure to use an OEM quality power steering pump as some aftermarket components are not manufactured as well as the originals. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic who can come out for a closer inspection of the vehicle in order to offer a more personal diagnosis if your power steering concerns.

had power steering pump replaced but power steering fluid is leaking
ANSWER : This suggests that you may have a leak somewhere else in your power steering system such as one of the hoses or the rack and pinion system. As you may know, the power steering system is a highly pressurized system that can have as much as 300+psi of pressure in the system at times, so it is not uncommon for these types of leaks to happen. If you’d like to get this fixed, I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose the leak in your power steering system and make the the necessary repairs to fix it.

Chrysler 3.8 L. T&C power steering rack and pump replacement.
ANSWER : As you may know, the power steering rack pumps power steering fluid through a series of small reed valves that help to produce hydraulic pressure as the system is pressurized by the pump. This is what allows the power steering system to assist you in steering your car. When either the pump or the rack is not working properly, one or the other can sometimes over compensate for the other to a certain degree, but will eventually be overworked and fail. It sounds like this may have been the case in your situation. I would suggest having a second opinion on the previous mechanic’s work. If you’d like a professional from YourMechanic can come to your home or place of business to properly diagnose and repair your power steering system.

Gm I need a power steering pump or should I get power steering fluid? I have leaks coming out what should I do
ANSWER : If the power steering pump is leaking then you should replace the pump since it is under pressure and no stop leak will stop it from leaking.

I need to replace my serpentine belt, it with the power steering pump deleted. What size belt would I need? 2007 Mercury Milan
ANSWER : Hi there – this may or may not be possible. Bypassing the power steering pump may route the serpentine belt in conflict with other rotating components on the engine. Using a "soft measuring tape" (like a tailor uses), measure the distance around all but the PS pump, following the same path the original serpentine belt follows, minus the PS pump. Do this with the belt tensioner in the "full tension" position. Take this measurement (in millimeters) to your auto parts store, and ask for a belt with this length, and the same number of grooves as the stock belt. This may require trying several belts (assuming no conflicts) to get one the length you require. Will likely be simpler, and not that much more expensive, to replace the PS pump. Good luck!

Why no brakes
ANSWER : I would first recommend checking the brake fluid level. There needs to be ample brake fluid in the system to so that there is not a lack of hydraulic pressure. Secondly, check to be sure you do not have vacuum leak in the brake booster. As you may know, the brake booster operates off of vacuum pressure and when there is a vacuum leak, this can cause a loss of braking power from little to nothing at all. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose your braking system and possibly repair the vacuum break booster.

Does the whole steering column need to be replaced in order to replace a fried steering column module?
ANSWER : I would ask the mechanic for the exact part number of the electronic component that he believes has failed. Or, at least have him "name" the part and indicate where in the column assembly the part resides. The steering column is made up of many parts, most of which are separately serviceable. As discussed below, limp mode (reduced power) has many, many causes. Consequently I would also ask the mechanic to explain to you EXACTLY how he arrived at his diagnosis and ALSO have him show you the exact test results, on a diagnostic tool, multi-meter, or scope, that has led him to conclude that the particular "module" has to be replaced. With no evidence and no intelligible confirmation you would be taking a risk.

YourMechanic does offer a reduced power (limp mode) diagnostic. If you request a reduced engine power diagnostic the responding certified mechanic will give you confirmation of the cause of the issue in your case. Typically, a vehicle’s powertrain control module (PCM) will have stored one or more diagnostic trouble codes that will identify the "general area" in which the fault lies in the engine management controls. Although the throttle control system is a common trouble area with reduced power, there are quite a few other components and systems that could come into play and, of course, there is always the possibility of multiple, or "coincident", faults. Here are some of the possibilities that YourMechanic dispatched technicians would consider:

Defective throttle position (TP) sensor
Defective oxygen sensor
Defective accelerator pedal position (APP) sensor
Loose or damaged wiring
Defective throttle body
Defective powertrain control module (PCM) (not typical; ONLY if a long, long list of other possibilities is ruled out)
Any fault/error that will affect drivability function
Any fault/error that will affect vehicle performance
A fault/error in the emissions system
A fault/error in the throttle control system
A fault/error in the transmission control system

If you request the recommended diagnostic the mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.