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I own a speedboat that is powered by a 5 liter V8 Mercruiser with 200bhp.

Yesterday when trying it out for the 1st time this season, 2 things happened:

1 - the boat was always trying to turn left and the steering wheel was offering a lot of resistance because of that

2 - after an afternoon out, when reaching the Marina the part highlighted in the picture below started smoking a bit and making a grinding noise, like metal on metal.

enter image description here

Any idea what that part is? It's got an OIL cap on top, but not sure if it's the oil tank.

I'm also not sure if the 2 issues are related. It is an old boat, but the engine has just been fixed a couple of months ago.

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You should be able to add the picture directly to the question. Try that instead and you'll likely get a more helpful answer. – Bob Cross Aug 14 '11 at 15:01
up vote 12 down vote accepted

That looks to me like a power steering pump and reservoir. Given your account of what happened, I don't think it'd be too far off to say that the pump is toast. At the very least, it ran severely low on fluid. That would definitely cause the stiff steering and grinding noises.

I think you're in the market for a new power steering pump now, unfortunately.

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Thank you so much for your help. I checked it out and it was completely dry! I got a new bottle of ATF and it's steers like a hot knife slicing through butter. Thanks! – Andre Aug 14 '11 at 22:41
@Andre You should consider accepting the answer if it solved your problem. – FossilizedCarlos Aug 15 '11 at 2:16
@Andre, if the reservoir was completely dry you need to find out where it's leaking. Power steering fluid normally doesn't just disappear into thin air. – Timo Geusch Aug 15 '11 at 17:45
Found it. I'm getting it fixed as we speak. Thanks a lot! :) – Andre Aug 16 '11 at 19:10

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