One loose nut by power steering pump - any possible damage or effect to engine parts?

Gee, I guess it is safest to at least somewhat check (ASAP) the work of a mechanic after you get your car back.

I took it to a supposedly decent shop for replacing timing belt & diagnosing weird loud engine noise and that turned out to be the power steering pump. After done, I took car back and did some driving of it for work & errands. Today, I was just looking over engine and noticed a nut that’s sticking out and not tightened to the engine and it’s part of the power steering pump (see photo, roughly in the center). Nut wasn’t loose loose per se, but it was turnable and not fastened properly unlike the other surrounding nuts. I ended up hand tightening it flush to the mounting location then finished with a small adjustable wrench to tighten securely in place.

The car/engine drove fine before I noticed this issue. Do you think any problem/damage could have occurred while that nut was kind of loose? Hope I’m safe & cross my fingers. On a side note, all the other nuts on the power steering pump appear to be fastened properly/ok, it’s just this one nut, so I don’t think it would be all wobbly when the engine was running. Good thing I noticed this in time.

Nope, I don’t think any damage was done. If there had been, you’d hear it.

Congratulations, by the way. Few people check on the work after getting a car back and I think everyone should, although I realize that most people have no idea what they’re looking at. I tip my hat to you.

I agree with @mountainbike. It’s always a good idea to check your vehicle after servicing…especially the fluids. It would make you shiver if I told you what all I’ve found over the years.

I’d like to be frightened, @missileman, you’ve peaked my curiosity. Can you mention all the bad things you’ve observed over the years?

@daluu…There’s not room enough for all the bad things but here’s a few. I had a new set of tires installed because of Firestone defects years ago. When the tire tech handed me the keys after the job was done…I started checking for tight lug nuts in the parking lot. I found they were all loose. I was heading back to the interstate to continue the vacation with my family (enough said).

My wife said her car was acting and sounding strange after she had it serviced (she said she had a coupon and wanted to use it). The oil was overfilled by at least 2 quarts. Her tires were inflated to about 45 psi each (placard called for 30 psi). She no longer uses “quik shop” coupons.

Probably the worst one was also years ago when I took my vehicle back in to the dealership where I bought it for a warranty repair. I picked it up after hours on my way home after work. I started it and when I began moving out into the street…it died. When I popped the hood…gasoline was everywhere. They had stripped a fuel line when reconnecting everything after the repair. If I had continued to crank the engine after it died…I might not be here today to tell you about it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

I had bought a station wagon cheap for building a house that had obvious valve problems. I had a guy at work, who does work on the side, go over it to repair the heads. A couple days after I got it back it was dead in the parking lot. Had it towed to my normal shop and he found the cam gear laying in the bottom of the cover. Had never been tightened down. Of course the guy knew he had tightened it but he does get in a great hurry when he works so no dought what happened. No big deal for another $80 though.