Power Steering Pump Maintenance


What is the typical life expectancy of a power steering and water pump? I just changed out my PS fluid at 106k, and so far it seems to be running well, but was wondering what type of mileage people usually get out of these?

Also, my car is an Acura and has a timing chain, so I won’t be changing the water pump with the time belt obviously.

Thanks much!

Power steering pumps usually last the life of the car.

Water pumps driven by timing belts should be changed with at least every other timing belt change… many would say every TB change, and I cannot honestly argue with that.

Water pumps driven by serpentine belts, as yours is, generally last at least 200,000 miles as long as the cooling system is maintained and the coolant drained and replaced at least every 5 years… as it should be. Generally these will fail in a different manner. Either the impellars will erode, degrading the ability of the pump to push coolant, or they’ll begin to leak through the seal around the impellar shaft, generally only when the shaft is spinning. These leaks are easily found and diagnosed before manifesting themselves as total engine destruction.

In short, as long as you keep your maintenance up to date, monitor your fluids, monitor your temp gage, and replace the pump if an overheating condition is determined to be due to a weak pump (flow testing can be done) or if a leak develops, you’ll be fine. You can sleep soundly.

Something to investigate, many P.S. fluid reservoirs have internal filter screens protecting the pump inlet. When the reservoirs are empty, this screen is usually visible…If you can see any debris clogging the screen, remove the reservoir and clean it out…When the screen gets plugged up (usually with rubber particles from the hoses) the pump will starve for fluid and make a lot of noise leading to pump failure…

Given that you done something that 98% of car owners would never even consider - changing the PS fluid - you may never need to change the pump. Fresh fluid adds back the lubricants that wear out in the PS fluid and remove particulates that are still floating before they can do harm.

TSM has water pumps covered completely. Keep the coolant changes up and it will be a very long time before that gives you any problem.

That ever-present evil brother Murphy usually reigns here; The harder the part is to change or the more involved with other components (like timing belts!), the more likely it will fail.

I agree with the above observations. Never needed to replace a power steering pump, and only once a water pump because the seal blew. That was on a 1984 Impala V8 with nearly 200,000 miles on it.

Changing coolant on a regular basis will keep the pump from failing prematurely.

1 Like

My observation of Japanese cars with rack and pinion:
Most of the time the first problem with power steering is the seals in the rack leaking.
Saw an Acura once at an auto auction with its pump howling loudly, but still working.

I agree with the others. If the fluids have been maintained properly, chances are good that these components will last a while longer.