Power steering is one of the most underappreciated systems of your car because not a lot of the younger drivers today have experienced driving a car before the introduction of power steering.
But, as convenient as the power steering system may be, can it actually have drawbacks? Is it possible that your power steering can cause your car not to start or even force the engine to seize?
Find out if Power Steering can cause your car to not start
Theoretically, it is possible for the power steering to prevent the car from starting. This can happen when, in a hydraulic power steering system, the pump seizes and damages the belts. In electric power steering systems, the system may draw more power from a bad battery and prevent the car from starting.
The power steering system is something that a lot of people do not fully understand but is actually can actually end up causing issues with the car if it gets damaged or if there is something wrong with some of the other components of a vehicle.
As such, it is important to know why there are some cases where the power steering may prevent your car from starting.
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Can power steering cause your car not to start?
Power steering is a system that makes driving much easier than it was in the past because of how it has made moving the steering wheel quite effortless.
But while the power steering system may be a godsend to those who lived through the time of manual steering, there are some who might be wondering if this system can actually cause issues to your car.
So, is it possible for your power steering to prevent your car from starting?
To understand whether or not a power steering system can cause your car not to start, you need to look at how the different power steering systems work. That is because the different types of power steering systems work differently.
The first power steering system is a hydraulic system that uses hydraulics and fluid to allow the power steering to work. This system uses the car’s own engine and a serpentine belt to allow the power steering pump to push fluid throughout the system.
As such, the power steering pump is one of the most important components of the entire hydraulic power steering system.
There will be instances where the power steering pump might end up seizing due to a lot of different factors, such as low fluid or trapped air. But what you should know is that when the power steering pump seizes, it can end up affecting the engine as well.
That is because the power steering pump is connected to the engine through the belts. So, if the power steering pump stops working, it might force the engine to stop working as well.
Meanwhile, the second power steering system is the electric power steering. Unlike the hydraulic system, an electric power steering relies almost entirely on your car’s electric system to work. That means that it is no longer relying on hydraulics and fluid to work.
Instead, it uses an electric motor that allows you to move the steering wheel easier.
So, while an electric power steering system doesn’t have the same kind of connection that a hydraulic system has with the engine, what you should know is that this can still prevent the entire vehicle from starting.
And all that boils down to the fact that an electric power steering system relies on electricity to work.
As mentioned, electric power steering systems use electric motors to work. This means that the motor is powered by electricity, which the car gets from the battery. As you already know, the car’s battery is what allows the entire electric system in the vehicle to work.
Without it, the lights and all of the other components that rely on electricity will not function, and this includes the power steering system.
The reason why an electric power steering may cause the car to not start can be related to how there are some instances where some of the electronic systems in the car can draw out more power than necessary.
This usually happens when a damaged or bad component in the car’s entire electronic system causes a short circuit. When a short circuit happens, there is a chance that one of the components can end up drawing more power than what is necessary.
So, if there is something wrong with the wiring or the electrical parts that are connected to the power steering system, what can happen is that the electric power steering might end up drawing more power than what is necessary.
This will divert more power from the battery to the power steering system and will prevent the vehicle from starting.
However, what you should know is that the car’s electronic systems are protected by fuses. These are components of an electrical system that will melt or blow in case the system ends up drawing more current than what the system can handle. This usually happens, again, when one of the components connected to the system is damaged.
As such, if your electric power steering ends up drawing more power and diverting the power from the starter, you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged because the fuse will blow before your electric power steering system gets damaged by the current.
But the only problem you have here is that the power steering system will not work unless you replace the blown fuse, and that is something that shouldn’t be too expensive or difficult to do.
Can a bad battery affect power steering?
Going back to our point where a power steering system that relies on electricity draws its power from the battery, what happens if your car is running on a bad battery? Is it possible for the power steering system to get affected by a bad battery?
Theoretically, it is possible for a power steering system to stop working if your car is running on a bad battery, just as how the entire electrical system of the vehicle will have trouble working if your battery is bad or discharged.
This is the same case as your car not starting when there isn’t enough juice in the battery.
In the same way, your power steering system might not work properly if the car’s battery is at its operational limit.