A common method for coupling the power steering pump and the power steering column is through the u-joint. The u-joint is a plastic piece that connects the steering column to the pump. If the steering column and the pump are not attached to each other, the u-joint serves as the connection point. A u-joint in the steering column allows steering control through the steering pump without an additional connection, called an adapter. In order for a vehicle to be eligible for the full benefits of u-joint operation, the steering column and the pump must be attached.


U-Joint Coupling


Because of the potential complexity of u-joint coupling, many manufacturers prefer to avoid it. There are a variety of reasons why manufacturers choose to avoid u-joint operation. For instance, the u-joint eliminates the ability to resell certain steering components. In addition, failure of the u-joint can lead to a loss of steering control. Lastly, if the u-joint fails, there is no available alternative other than replacing the entire steering system.


There are several advantages to coupling the power steering pump to the steering column. For starters, it provides a much cleaner connection, since the u-joint is directly attached to the pump. This also eliminates the need for removing the steering column and replacing the pump. The u-joint can also increase steering stability by allowing increased steering control through the u-joint. Lastly, the increased steering stability offers more traction on soft surfaces.


There are some disadvantages to the u-joint coupling. First, the lower profile of the u-joint limits its effectiveness at low engine temperatures. This means that coupling power steering with the u-joint can become quite costly in higher engine temperatures.


Power steering is limited by u-joint flange height. Because the u-joint is closer to the engine case, heat tends to build up in the crankcase. This heats up components of the power steering pump, which can eventually damage the pump, making it inoperative. Consequently, this coupling often limits the longevity of the steering column.


Another potential problem with u-joint coupling is excessive noise generated by the rotating parts. U-joints typically have two grooves that pass through the center of the shaft. A moving part creates turbulence as it rotates, which creates noise. If the two grooves are so close together that they pass through the sheet metal of the steering column, the sound is constant and uniform.


To eliminate the noise, a device known as a u-joint isolation valve may be used. The isolation valve allows the amount of u-joint fluid to be regulated, preventing icing and reducing noise. The valve is installed near the engine or at the axle of the vehicle. The valve is able to detect any increase in engine temperature and isolate the hydraulic system for additional cooling. With an isolation valve in place, you may notice that there is an increase in ground noise from the pump or brake drum. However, the isolation valve does not affect the performance of the hydraulic system itself.


These are some of the possible u-joint issues that can occur, but there are many more mechanical problems that can arise. Steering columns need to be regularly maintained in order to ensure optimum performance and longevity of your vehicle. It is important to know the relationship between u-joint wear and the performance and reliability of the steering system. A proper maintenance schedule should always be followed to reduce or eliminate the risk of costly steering column problems. For more information regarding u-joint issues and common steering column problems, please contact a reputable steering column u-joint supplier.


One of the main components of a u-joint is the brake booster pump. This device allows the vehicle's brakes to work when there is no engine power available, or during cold weather. The booster pump is often made out of copper or brass and is one of the most commonly abused components on a steering column. Over time, the rubber material on the booster will begin to deteriorate, which will increase the frequency that the pump must be serviced. If this rubber degradation is not properly addressed, it could lead to ineffective braking and steering, excessive wear of the brake pads, or even the failure of the brake system altogether.


When servicing your u-joints, you should always check to make sure that the rubber seals are intact. Also, the u-joint coupling may require some added attention. If there is a problem with the coupling itself, it is likely that the seal has failed as well. In this case, you should replace the u-joint. The other common scenario is that the seals have disintegrated and are completely useless.


To determine whether or not you need to service your u-joint, you should check the speedometer, which should be moving consistently. If this is the case, then the u-joint must be causing the vehicle to stop suddenly or to lose traction. Next, you should check the other controls on the steering column. If all of them are functioning correctly, then the u-joints were probably the problem. However, if any of the controls are malfunctioning, then something else, such as bad tires or an improperly tuned suspension could be the cause.