Losing your power steering while driving isn’t the worst thing that can happen, but it can be pretty frightening, and it’s important to know the best way to handle it when the power steering goes out so you don’t panic and can get to where you’re going safely.
Usually, failed power steering is the result of too little power steering fluid, which is easy to remedy—unless there’s a problem with the pump itself, which is a lot less common. The first thing to do when you notice that steering has become much harder is to put on your flashers to let other drivers know you’re having car troubles and then slowly pull over to the side of the road and gradually come to a stop.
Turn the car off and restart it, testing the steering wheel to see if it turns normally. If you’re still having problems, either call a tow truck or, if you’re near one, drive very slowly to a mechanic.
There are warning signs of low power steering fluid, so you may be able to avoid losing it altogether if you pay attention! Whining sounds when you turn the wheel can indicate imminent failure.