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Old 18th December 2011, 11:39   #16
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
The above 2 quotes are the same, right?

Btw, here's what I had to pay :

450 - Power Steering Strainer Hose
126.32 - Steering Fluid

If I paid that for a Corsa, I'm sure he'll have to pay less unless it's another German car we're talking about!
Driving with low PS fluid and no PS fluid are not the same. PS fluid also acts a lubricant. Under a no PS fluid situation, the PS pump and seals within the rack will eventually give away. Overhauling a PS rack isn't exactly a cheap affair. Like in all earthly matters there is an element of providence, sometimes things break at the first opportunity sometimes they wonderfully soldier on.
Given the situation, it would be prudent to keep topping up the PS fluid at regular intervals till a proper fix is made. If you are in the middle of nowhere and it is 30 km to the nearest habitation then it is an informed choice that we make, well aware of the possible consequences. Having said that does a PS pump or PS rack wear out after exactly 30 Km or X km of abuse, well i am not sure if there is a definitive answer for that.
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Old 18th December 2011, 18:34   #17
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

As a recent car owner, a few questions:

(1) How do you detect a minor PS leak?
(2) My Car makes a hssing sound once the steering is near the lock position (it makes the sound always when the steering stops turning, but when I go back a little, the sound stop) - what is that sound? does it indicate trouble?
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Old 18th December 2011, 18:53   #18
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Absolutely no problem driving without the PS fluid.
That is extremely careless advice, Libran. Driving without power steering fluid will in time DESTROY your power steering pump (and other components).

I understand you drove your Corsa without PS fluid, but let me tell you that you were just plain lucky. There are some other people who got away with driving on an empty radiator (no coolant), yet that does not mean its okay to do so.
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Old 18th December 2011, 19:17   #19
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
(1) How do you detect a minor PS leak?
Same as every other leak. Visually, or when the level reduces. Well, I do this.

Quote:
My Car makes a hssing sound once the steering is near the lock position (it makes the sound always when the steering stops turning, but when I go back a little, the sound stop) - what is that sound? does it indicate trouble?
Not to worry. Its the sound from the PS pump, which is there in most cars.

Buutttt.. For a full lock, the PS pump has to work harder, and hence the sound. So, its not advisable to hold it in that position for long. Also, if possible, avoid hitting the end of the turn hard. ie, while nearing the full lock, take it slow.

Last edited by GTO : 19th December 2011 at 11:57. Reason: Fixing QUOTE tag
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Old 18th December 2011, 22:04   #20
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

I believe that driving without power steering (PS) oil is not advisable. In fact, running any pump without working fluid is not recommended. 30km seems to be a bit long distance in such scenario.The concern here, I think, is not of rack-pinion friction due to lack of lubrication. For the steering mechanism, absence of oil is similar to the condition of a normal steering (i.e vehicle without power steering). But the actual concern here should be damage to the PS pump.
Actually, Indica owner's manual cautions against dry running (running with too less or no oil) of PS pump. It warns that dry running can lead to cavitation due to air, resulting in pump failure. As an emergency measure, it recommends driving the car after disconnecting PS pump drive belt.
But then, Indica having a common PS pump and alternator belt, I guess, removing it will put all the electrical load on the battery with the battery not charging either.
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Old 18th December 2011, 22:18   #21
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
...
Not to worry. Its the sound from the PS pump, which is there in most cars.

Buutttt.. For a full lock, the PS pump has to work harder, and hence the sound. So, its not advisable to hold it in that position for long. Also, if possible, avoid hitting the end of the turn hard. ie, while nearing the full lock, take it slow.

That's what I thought too - just to confirm here.

The thing is, the sound comes only when the steering wheel is in lock position - ease it just a little and the sound suddenly disappears.

Now if it is a case of PS pump working harder the sound should go away gradually - that's not the case. Sounds more like some valve opens up once you are in lock position (may to be release the fluid as a safety mechanism so that front wheels don't turn any more, may be something else, may be an actual fault) and hence the sound - pump suddenly has to work LOT LOT harder (though probably it doesn't have to generate any pressure - in case of a leak, intentional or otherwise, pump will be forcing a freely flowing liquid)
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Old 19th December 2011, 00:36   #22
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina

That's what I thought too - just to confirm here.

The thing is, the sound comes only when the steering wheel is in lock position - ease it just a little and the sound suddenly disappears.

Now if it is a case of PS pump working harder the sound should go away gradually - that's not the case. Sounds more like some valve opens up once you are in lock position (may to be release the fluid as a safety mechanism so that front wheels don't turn any more, may be something else, may be an actual fault) and hence the sound - pump suddenly has to work LOT LOT harder (though probably it doesn't have to generate any pressure - in case of a leak, intentional or otherwise, pump will be forcing a freely flowing liquid)
This is exactly how it is supposed to work,Vina. Only at full lock will you hear the hissing sound in HPS units.
The pressure relief valve opens at full lock only because this is when maximum pressure is being exerted on the unit.

edit: this is similar to your guess.

Last edited by sukrit7 : 19th December 2011 at 00:44.
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Old 20th December 2011, 06:52   #23
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

Thanks guys for your help.

The screws are tightened and there is no further noise.

They did not bleed it though.
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Old 20th December 2011, 09:33   #24
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

The steering gets much more stiffer in case of an alternator belt break as compared to loss in power steering fluid.
If there is some fluid left, then the power steering still is quite maneuverable. But with a complete loss in the fluid, there is a danger of the pump conking off.
In case of alternator belt cut, then the steering becomes absolutely rigid and it is very difficult to make drastic turns. With this belt being cutoff, the battery stops recharging.
So the car also wont start if driven long. I once had to drive for about 60kms without alternator belt to reach tata showroom. On the 4 laned highway, I could manage with slight movements in steering, but once in the city it became absolutely unmanageable and had to call for the tow truck to take the car to showroom
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Old 20th December 2011, 10:32   #25
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
The steering gets much more stiffer in case of an alternator belt break as compared to loss in power steering fluid.
If there is some fluid left, then the power steering still is quite maneuverable. But with a complete loss in the fluid, there is a danger of the pump conking off.
In case of alternator belt cut, then the steering becomes absolutely rigid and it is very difficult to make drastic turns. With this belt being cutoff, the battery stops recharging.
So the car also wont start if driven long. I once had to drive for about 60kms without alternator belt to reach tata showroom. On the 4 laned highway, I could manage with slight movements in steering, but once in the city it became absolutely unmanageable and had to call for the tow truck to take the car to showroom
sorry, but why would alternator belt affect PS?
If they are separate belts.
I am assuming you are talking about the indica family, which as per quotes above, has a serpentine belt, and hence it wasn't just alternator that was not working, but the PS as well.
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Old 20th December 2011, 10:37   #26
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Default Re: Driving without power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
sorry, but why would alternator belt affect PS?
If they are separate belts.
I am assuming you are talking about the indica family, which as per quotes above, has a serpentine belt, and hence it wasn't just alternator that was not working, but the PS as well.
Sorry about my previous post. I meant to say PS belt. I should be checking my posts thoroughly going forward. Thanks for pointing it out and sorry for the mistake


What happened in my car was that the Alternator belt broke while on highway and the recoil caused the PS belt to snap as well. All due to one loose bolt on the engine shield. Due to this the engine shield too got damaged. Not to mention the alternator pulley too got bent. All this in my Tata Safari and all this due to incorrect fitting of bolt in one of the Tata Service centers.

Yes they are separate belts and PS belt breaking will make the car steering very very stiff and it will not move at all. Only minor changes in steering inputs can be given. The car cannot be turned.
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