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Power steering belt is a flat belt made up of rubber and other flexible material wrapped around engine crankshaft on one side and around power steering pump’s pulley on the other side. When the engine is running the crankshaft rotates which in turns rotates power steering pulley with the help of power steering belt. Power steering pump is a belt driven mechanism that helps steer the vehicle with a very small amount of force and to operate the power steering pump we need to rotate its pulley by using power steering belt.
modern car models coming in the market are designed in such a way that there is only one belt called serpentine belt which is used to drive all the moveable pulleys including alternator, power steering, AC compressor and water pump.
Its a good practice to inspect the belt on regular intervals to ensure there is no cracks or damage visible on the belt. Most manufactures recommend that power steering belt should be replaced at or around 60K miles.
Regular visual inspection prevents the belt from breaking if caught in time. Once a is replaced, you should test the vehicle to make sure the steering is working properly.
Its very difficult to drive the car with the broken power steering belt as the steering becomes very hard and needs a lot of force to turn. You can still drive the car but your driving control will be compromised especially when turning into any street.
Modern cars uses one belt known as serpentine belt to drive all the belt driven mechanisms of the vehicle such as alternator, water pump and AC compressor, if your car uses same belt for the power steering pump then you can’t drive it with the broken belt. Some newer models uses electric steering to steer and does not need belt to drive, if your car has electric power steering then it does not require power steering belt.
It depends on the make and model of the car, typically the cost of replacing power steering belt on cars is between £80 to £135. To find out the exact cost of power steering belt replacement on your car please select your car make and model at the top of the page.