Cheapskate insurance company!

My 2000 Saab 9-5 suffered a minor side impact to the left front wheel, fender, and bumper. Immediately (the second time driven) after we noticed a noise and the power steering fluid was gone. Yeah, the pump got cooked. The insurance company says the impact would not have caused the power steering line to rupture, like it did, and that it was just coincidence that the line failed then. My Saab man says the impact caused a spike in pressure which did it. Does anyone know of cases of impact which blew out a power steering line?

If the impact bent a line
If the impact created a rub that resulted in a leak.
Easily, the impact could have caused the p/s problem.

Cheap insurance equals cheap service.
Sometimes the same insurance company…and different insurance PEOPLE… results in vastly different sevice too.

I can see where an impact might tear the line, but not cause a pressure spike that would rupture it. Unless you drove very far without any fluid, the pump should not be cooked. a minute or two should not do any damage.

Well, the impact would have turned the wheels while stationary which takes a bit of force and I probably drove about 35 miles before realizing anything was wrong. Darn radio! And who would have thought? The lady who hit me was nice but her insurance company…is a different story.

Cars bumpsteer all the time. It could be that you had a hose on the verge of going and this was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. That hose would have broken soon anyway, but I’d still try to get the insurance company to pony up.

Most insurance companies will offer a settlement that is above actual repairs if you agree that it will be a final settlement and there won’t be any future claims, typically about $1000 for each passenger in the car at the time. That should cover the PS pump and line.

All you need to say is “I think I’ll talk to a lawyer”.

Call your insurance company. Her insurance company is trying to wriggle out of a claim they know they’re supposed to pay. They’re hoping they can browbeat you into submission, since you’re just this one person.

Your insurance company will call her insurance company and disabuse them of that notion.


You should never deal directly with the other dirver’s insurance company. That’s what your insurer is paid to do. I hope you already reported it to your insurer.

I expect the “crunch” did cause the power steering problem. But it’s a 13 year old car right? It was likely about to fail soon anyway. No harm done trying to get the insurance company to pay up, but it’s a leaner. Could go either way. You will likely need to do a lot of complaining before they’ll even consider to pay.

An impact could certainly damage the power steering in some way. Engines and transmissions can also be severely damaged in a collision even though they were not physically touched by another vehicle or object.

It would not surprise me to find other damage in the suspension. Even what appears to be a minor impact on the wheel rim alone can bend control arms, tweak strut towers and subframes, etc.

Have the area where the control arm meets the frame inspected very carefully. Any cracks there could mean the car is a total loss.

Insurance companies don’t like to get into restoring 13 year old cars…