Power Steering Pump Problem


Hi and Help!

I drive a 1998 Saturn SL2. Last week, 3 of the 4 mounting bolts for the power steering pump broke. Saturn said they can’t fix it, as the bolts mount directly into the engine block and cylinder head. They suggested replacing the whole engine. I can think of 2 options:

1. Find somebody to fabricate and weld a bracket to hold the pump?

2. Find a shorter belt to by-pass the power steering pump. I don’t know if it is possible to drive a car without the power steering pump? Would that hurt the steering system in the long run and unsafe to drive that way.

Any other options that I didn’t think of? I hate to trash the car for broken bolts.



If you can get the old bolts out, rethread them using a tap and die set and a slightly larger thread. If it is metric you can use the next larger size up standard or vice versa. If you are having trouble getting the bolts out (usually they back out pretty easily, you may have to drill them out. Be careful not to drill too much if you drill them out. Drill them until you can get something into the hole and back them out. Or at least try. Good Luck!


The broken bolts need to be drilled out and the holes retapped to clear the threads. Another way to do this is to use a easyout or a grab-it to back out the broken pieces. The engine may have to be removed to do this or a drill used with a 90 degree chuck on it to be able to get at the bolts.

If there are other issues with the engine that need attention it may be best to install a rebuilt one to save shop time, like they suggested.


[b]Take it to a shop that has either a MIG Or TIG welder.

Then take a flat washer who’s inside diameter is slightly smaller than that of the brokem fastener, and center it over the broken fastener. Weld the washer to the broken fastener thru the center of the washer.

Take a hex nut and center it over the washer, and weld the nut to the washer thru the center of the nut.

After the weld cools, use a wrench or socket on the welded on nut to turn out the broken fastener.



Yes, you can drive a vehicle without an operative power steering pump and will hurt nothing since it’s a rack and pinion unit.

Subaru for many years used rack and pinion steering with no power assist as an example.

The type of car and tires have a lot to do with it, but on many cars the vehicle will handle normally. The only iffy area could be if you’re attemping to make a slow speed, sharp turn and it may require a bit more effort to accomplish.

If the area can be accessed, there’s always the possibility of a good welding shop tacking some nuts onto the broken bolt shanks if they’re broken off flush with the surface. A wrench could then be used to turn them out as the heat could have an affect on breaking the frozen threads loose.

Hope that helps anyway.