Get rid of power steering?

Is it possible to just take out the power steering pump and either put in just a pulley for the existing belt configuration, OR get a short belt to bypass the power steering? I can’t afford to have the rack replaced and the new pump is burning and grinding up. I was adding about a quart a week but in the last few days, the bottom has fallen out and I lose all the fluid in minutes so the system is running dry. I don’t care about the power steering but I need those other components driven by the belit to keep running.

You can gut the pump and use it as the idler pulley with your existing belt. Remove the vanes that pump the fluid and the pump no longer pumps. It still needs to hold oil, though, to lubricate the bearings. Steering will be heavy.

If the rack itself is leaking this won’t work. Actually, nothing will as the power steering fluid lubricates the rack. If you remove the pump, it won’t be long before the rack binds up and kills the car’s driver.


If this is that 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier then it sounds like time to just put it out of your misery .

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Initially, the steering will be VERY heavy w/o power assist. After a fairly short period of time, the now-dry rack will not allow you to steer the car, and the result could easily be fatal.

Edited to add:
Even if the OP survives a lock-up of his steering, I have to wonder how he would feel if he caused the deaths of other people. And, if a forensic examination of his car, post-accident, showed that the power steering had been disconnected/disabled, it is very possible that the legal consequences of an accident could be upgraded to vehicular homicide. The OP’s plan is just slightly less dangerous than driving with bad brakes.


I agree with the others. This is too unsafe. I’m sorry for your financial situation, but I would find a way to get new transportation, or not drive. It’s better than getting killed or living with the thought of being responsible for the death of someone else.


Thanks for the useful reply.

Thanks. A couple of years ago I drove this car for 90 days with zero power steering before that pump burned up. Sadly, this car is the only thing I have in the world. Not having it run means I will freeze to death.

Thanks for the info. Appreciate it.

Can you contact a local church group about some financial help?
Even if they don’t publicize it, a lot of churches will help those in dire need, even if the recipients are not members of their congregation.


Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll see what I can try and figure out. I might just have to find some place that sells industrial-size vats of power steering fluid and just keep pouring it in - maybe put a catch pan under the leak and just keep dumping it back in the top.

I understand the concerns about expense, and some things on a vehicle you can skimp on and not mess with safety too much. But things like steering, tires, brakes, need to work properly for your safety and the safety of those out in public with you.

Even if you get one that works form a junkyard or something, that is better than running without power steering on a vehicle designed for it.

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Yep. Thanks. That is exactly what I would tell me if I didn’t know how bad my situation was. It is all about survival on an hour-to-hour basis out here right now.

kinda hard to survive when you are plummeting off a cliff or into a tree because you cannot steer.

try the church idea if things are that dire. It really is important that this be fixed properly, or you find a different mode of travel.

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Are you looking at used or new replacements? Used PS pumps my be cheap enough that you can afford the job. Are you sure the leak is in the PS pump? If it’s in the rack, you might need to address that too.

If you don’t need the car to move and are using it just for shelter and heat, you don’t need to fix the rack. Just gut the pump but you will need to bring gas to the car in gas cans.

If you will permit a nosy question, why is your situation so desperate? Are you absolutely unemployable?

Year, make, model, and engine?

Is the problem with the rack? Is the fluid leaking out of the rack and that’s why you want to bypass the pump? Have you tried a big bottle of Lucas power steering stop leak?


I do not think miracle in a bottle will work, the rack has a massive leak and the power steering pump to go next. One could hope the rack is good and it is a bad connection to the rack from the pump. I had that happen, the line was rusted out at the rack under a boot, but it was a $800 fix to replace the lines, 03 Trailblazer.