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The power steering pulleys function is to drive the power steering pump on a vehicle. It is usually made of solid steel because of the amount of strain that the pulley experiences through use. They operate at faster-than-engine speed. A power steering pulley will experience a huge amount of torque and speed so lightweight materials are not recommended for its construction as it could break or bend under the strain of the load. Because of this strong material it is unlikely that a power steering pulley will malfunction, and removal will only usually be in order if replacing the power steering pump. In the event that you need to remove a power steering pulley you should use the specialised tool for the job.
There are two different types of power steering pulley in operation and are powered either by the serpentine belt or single V-Type belt. The benefit of the serpentine belt is that it is less likely to break than the single V-type, meaning that the power steering pulley is more reliable.
Signs that the power steering pulley is not operating correctly could include squealing noises when driving or steering which tends to veer or shift to the side.