Can Power Steering Cause Car Not To Start

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Can Power Steering Cause Car Not To Start

Power steering is an essential component of modern cars. It helps drivers steer the vehicle easily and smoothly, making driving a much more comfortable experience. However, there are instances where a malfunctioning power steering system can cause the car not to start. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why this could happen and what you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

Understanding the Power Steering System

Before diving into why power steering can cause a car not to start, let’s first understand how the power steering system works. The power steering system uses hydraulic pressure generated by a pump to assist the driver in turning the wheels. This pump is typically driven by the engine, relying on a belt connected to the crankshaft.

When the engine is turned on, it creates rotational energy that is transferred to the power steering pump via the belt. The pump then pressurizes the power steering fluid, which flows through various hoses and into the steering rack or gearbox. As the driver turns the steering wheel, a valve in the steering rack or gearbox adjusts the flow of pressurized fluid, making it easier to turn the wheels.

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Can Power Steering Cause a Car Not to Start?

Now that we have a basic understanding of how the power steering system works, let’s address the main question: can power steering cause a car not to start? The short answer is yes, but the problem lies more with the engine and the serpentine belt that drives the power steering pump.

1. Problem with the Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt, also known as the drive belt or accessory belt, is responsible for transferring rotational energy from the engine to various components, including the power steering pump. If the serpentine belt is worn out, damaged, or broken, the power steering pump will not receive the necessary input from the engine to function. Without a functioning power steering pump, the car may have difficulty starting.

Points to consider:

  1. Inspect the serpentine belt for any signs of wear, damage, or breakage.
  2. Check the tension of the serpentine belt. It should have the right amount of tension to properly transfer energy.
  3. If the serpentine belt is damaged, replace it with a new one.
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2. Low Power Steering Fluid Level

Another potential cause of a car not starting is a low power steering fluid level. The power steering system requires an adequate amount of fluid to operate smoothly. If the fluid level is too low, it can cause air to enter the system, leading to impaired functionality.

Points to consider:

  1. Check the power steering fluid reservoir and ensure that the fluid level is within the recommended range.
  2. If the fluid level is low, top it up with the recommended power steering fluid.
  3. Inspect the power steering system for any signs of leakage and address it accordingly.

3. Faulty Power Steering Pump

A faulty power steering pump can also prevent a car from starting. The pump may be damaged, worn out, or seized, causing it to fail in generating the necessary hydraulic pressure. This can result in the power steering system not functioning correctly and affecting the overall performance of the car.

Points to consider:

  1. Listen for any unusual noise coming from the power steering pump when starting the car. A whining or grinding noise could indicate a problem.
  2. If the power steering pump is faulty, it may need to be replaced or repaired by a professional mechanic.
  3. Regularly maintain the power steering system by flushing the fluid and replacing it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
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4. Electrical Issues

In some cases, electrical issues within the power steering system can cause the car not to start. If there is a problem with the power steering control module or any associated electrical components, it can disrupt the flow of electricity and prevent the car from starting.

Points to consider:

  1. Check for any blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers related to the power steering system.
  2. Inspect the wiring and connectors for any signs of damage or loose connections.
  3. If any electrical issues are identified, consult a professional mechanic or an auto electrician to diagnose and fix the problem.


In summary, while power steering itself does not directly cause a car not to start, it can be impacted by various factors that can affect the overall functionality of the vehicle. Problems with the serpentine belt, low power steering fluid level, a faulty power steering pump, or electrical issues can all contribute to the car not starting.

When experiencing difficulty starting your car, it is crucial to inspect and troubleshoot the power steering system in addition to other potential causes. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs are essential to ensure the proper functioning of the power steering system and overall performance of the car.



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