If the power steering pump on my vehicle has a slow leak, what are the implications? Is it a safety hazard? Will it cause the failure, catastrophic or other wise of itself or other parts?
If there is no fluid in the power steering rack then you can see the following symptoms.
- Sound of metal on metal contact on turning.
- Rough steering.
- Heavy steering
Implications: There is no immediate threat to the car if your fluid is leaking , it will not do any harm to the car but it will cause massive wear on the steering rack as a whole.
However Driving without adequate fluid levels will definitely destroy your pump.
Other issues: In some cars the leak from the fluid might go inside other components and indirectly resulting in failure(though not common depends on make of the car)
Fix the leak if possible. If not, check if the leak is slow , if its not massive leak then you can top up the fluid intermittently whenever you find time , this not permanent solution, can work if you want to travel long distances and you are in need of cash.
Caution: If your fluid levels are low then do not hold in full lock on either side of the steering as it puts massive pressure on the pump( basically dont hold it after turning full left or right for long)