Power Steering

So, for as long as I can remember, my dad has always told me that your not supposed to turn your steering wheel all the way to the ends. He said as soon as your get to the end (and you can usually hear a noise when you get there) you should back it off just a hair. Does anyone know anything about this. I know that when you turn it all the way one way or the other it makes a noise and you can tell that it puts a load on the engine. I would think that if that was true the car makers would put in stops so that the wheel wouldn’t turn that far, but OTOH they can make more money replacing parts. I’d also swear I’ve read this in some car books. Anyways I mentioned this to a friend of mine who went and asked some of her “mechanic” friends who all claimed that they had never heard of this and that it’s just BS. So what’s the deal with it. Personally, just going by the sound it makes I can’t imagine it’s a good thing.

They put the stops in so that you can’t turn the wheel too far and damage components. However, the sound you hear is the power steering pump trying to assist you past those stops. It’s not particularly good for things, but you probably won’t break anything either, unless your car is old or your power steering pump is not its way out.

The power steering system pressure rises significantly at the left and right lock (full turn) positions. The stress on the pump increases. I think it’s prudent to avoid being in a lock position any longer than necessary.