The power steering of a car is a convenience, performance and safety feature. When it seizes to work, you loose the benefits of these features.
In addition to those benefits, continuing to drive a car that has a failed power steering can cause other steering components to fail.
Common causes of power steering fault
1. Fluid leak
2. Bad power steering pump
3. Bad power steering drive belt
4. Bad steering rack
5. Wrong or degraded power steering fluid
6. Air in the hydraulic system
7. Electrical fault of electrical power steering
Symptoms of a failed power steering
1. Hard steering
2. Wining noise from power steering pump
3. Huming or knocks when you just started the car
How far can you drive without power steering?
Of course, depending on whether the driver can cope with the discomfort of hard steering and his or her consciousness of safety, a car with power steering fault can be driven but it is not advisable because of the risks and effects.
Disadvantages of driving with a bad power steering
1. Safety issues
Driving with a bad power steering reduces the level of control that you have on the car. Stiff steering can lead to slow response/reaction and can also lead to fatigue.
2. Increased bump steer
A faulty steering increases the feedback of the road to the steering. Bump steer causes the steering wheel to turn on its own when you climb over a bump, curb, e.t.c. This can also lead to safety issues.
3. It might be illegal
Driving a car with a faulty steering is illegal in some states and this can put you in trouble.
4. Drivability and performance is negatively impacted
The performance and driving pleasure that you use to get from the car will be greatly reduced.
5. Further damage to steering components
If the initial problem is a leak, the oil leak can increase. If it is a dying power steering pump, it can become completely bad. Also, a power steering pump that knocks will cause destruction of the drive belt of the pump.
6. It causes steering play
A car with a bad power steering allows load to be transmitted to every part of the steering. This affects joints and bushes of the steering which causes it to develop play. Even after the faulty power steering is fixed, you notice that the steering has gap.