Updated at: 17-07-2022 - By: Lucas

All new cars come equipped with power steering, a feature that makes maneuvering the steering wheel a breeze. Nevertheless, the power steering is prone to breakdown, and when this happens, the driver wonders if the automobile can be driven in this manner.

When driving a car without the aid of an automatic transmission, it’s possible because of a worm gear that transmits steering force to the steering rack and a hydraulic booster that boosts the pressure provided by your steering wheel’s rotations, allowing you to maintain control of the vehicle. This means that the driver has to exert extra effort in order to maneuver their vehicle if there is no oil being pumped for any reason.

In addition, you must also keep in mind the following points:

  • The steering wheel should be turned only in motion, because on a car with power steering, the steering rack is not designed for such working conditions.
  • If your power steering does not work due to lack of oil and you cannot add it, you need to remove the belt that drives the hydraulic pump, if, of course, it goes separately from other belts.
  • And, of course, you need to fix the problem as soon as possible.

What is power steering?

Compact, sealed unit (compartment) located in the center of the car is the power steering gearbox. A pump inside the box circulates fluid to turn the power steering rack, and pipes return it to the wheels at the corners of the car.

Symptoms of a bad or failing power steering

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This is one of the earliest warning signs that the car’s steering system is malfunctioning, and it’s important for drivers to be aware of this.. When an automobile is just getting started, there is usually a hum or a knock under the hood.

At the same time, no indication of the hum can be seen on the vehicle’s control panel, and it gradually goes away as the vehicle warms up. If the fluid level in the power steering reservoir is lower than normal, you’ll hear this hum.

A tight steering wheel and difficult turning indicate that there is little or no liquid in the tank if the hum in the front under the hood has stopped. In this case, the driver should pull over and check the power steering’s oil level.

When the power steering pump is in dry mode, it will not work. Damage to the hydraulic power steering pump might occur if there is no fluid in the system. In this case, turning off the power steering pump will allow you to continue driving.

What are the risks of driving without power steering?

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Without power steering, those who have never driven a vehicle without it are concerned about how much work they will have to put into steering.

When the power steering in an automobile is malfunctioning, the ride can be jarring and uncomfortable. It’s possible to drive a car without power steering, even if some people don’t believe you can.

If you switch off the power steering, many drivers complain that it’s impossible to travel more than a few miles. However, this has not been scientifically proven. For a while, we found out that we could drive without power steering at all.

There are also untested reports of a power steering system that fails to function while driving:

  • Some say that you can drive no more than 600 km or 380 miles. This is a kind of emergency mode for the steering rack. After that distance, it will simply break. But I never heard of this thing happening in my career as an automotive engineer.
  • “With the power steering pump turned off, the speed of 45 km / h or 28 mph cannot be exceeded”. This is not a true nor a false statement, but yes, you should drive slower, it is much safer this way.
  • “Since the steering wheel is very difficult to control, the driver should only drive straight and do not make unnecessary maneuvers on the road unnecessarily.” I agree because it is a safe thing to do.


Having a defective power steering system can cause extreme discomfort and, in some cases, dangerous driving situations. By having your vehicle’s power steering checked and serviced, you can avoid the dangers of being in an accident. You should repair this issue even if you’re just going for a quick walk around the block!

With the hydraulics turned off, the automobile does not promptly respond to a steering wheel turn. This should be taken into consideration. Because of this, you should drive exceedingly cautiously and avoid putting off your trip to the gas station.