Troubleshoot power steering problems by checking the fluid level, pump belt and steering assembly. Other less common areas to check include hoses, rack and pinion seals and other parts of the vehicle not related to the steering but which may cause steering problems. Tire pressure and problems with front-end parts can also cause power steering issues.
The first thing to do when encountering power steering problems is to check the fluid level. A low fluid level can make the vehicle very difficult to turn. If the fluid level is low, refill it, and keep an eye on it to ensure the assembly does not have a leak.
Next, check the power steering pump belt. This belt typically does not snap suddenly but instead wears and slips until it causes steering problems. It may only become problematic at specific times, such as driving in the rain or turning in a particular direction. Check this problem by putting the vehicle on a jack and having another person turn the steering wheel. The belt is likely to make a screeching sound as the wheel is turned.
Lastly, check the steering assembly itself. Look for parts showing wear and tear, and listen for any unusual noises.