Power steering problems



My 1991 Ford F-150 battery light came on while on my way home yesterday. Right afterwards my power steering quit working. When I got near my house the check engine light came on and off every now and then.When I got home I found my serpentine belt off, and a little bit of my power steering fluid was on the engine.Looked but could not find any leaks in the power steering.Any ideals?


Was the belt simply slipped off, or broken? Did the truck overheat at all, since the water pump was not turning? Usually the engine overheats quickly. The fluid could have kicked out of the reservoir as you forced the steering wheel into turns. The serpentine belt drives all the accessories with one belt, and the truck shouldn’t be driven if the belt is off. the important systems, like alternator and water pump also use the belt, and with them not working, expensive damage can result.


The serpentine belt had slipped. The truck was smoking, but that was from the power steering fluid being on it I believe.


check to make sure the bearings are ok on the items driven by the belt. Turn each pulley by hand and feel or listen for any roughness that would indicate a problem.

if no problem, put a new belt on.


I got a new serpentine belt. The pulleys seem to be fine, except the one connected to the power steering pump seems to be a little stiff.


The reason I asked is because t is extremely rare for a serpentine belt to just slide off. There should be a problem somewhere to kick it off line. If all the pulleys seem fine, and none are loose, I would also replace the tensioner. It’s possible that it is not maintaining the correct belt tension.