power steering, suddenly not working - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-26-2004, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default power steering, suddenly not working

I hope someone can help. It was slippery and I was backing up and turning at the same time, so I reved the engine to make the front end whip around. I think the steering may have gone to the extreme right, but not particularly harshly, I thought. In any case, the power steering is gone. I could just manage to steer, but it was really hard. It'* easier when going faster, but I don't think the power steering is doing anything at all. It'* not leaking, I checked power steering fluid level, I even took her for a little drive to warm her up (it'* been single digits around here). I even let her idle for well over 20 minutes to get her good and warm. Nothing is helping at all. The belt pulley on the pump spins when running, so all looks right, but there is simply no power assist at all.

Please help, please.

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Old 12-26-2004, 02:34 PM   #2
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Default power steering, suddenly not working, prt 2

Sorry, just realized, I have a 99 bonneville, se, with the series 2 3800 v6. She has 140k miles on her.

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Old 12-26-2004, 02:37 PM   #3
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Was there a load thump or pop sound when you first noticed the problem?
It sounds more like a mechanical linkage or binding up problem than a power steering pump issue.
If the pump were shot you would here a loud screeching sound or grinding sound with the car running.
Heck it may even be a build up of ice and snow restricting movement?
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:42 PM   #4
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Increase in Effort While Turning Steering Wheel
Hard steering or Lack of assist
*A Magnasteer™ system malfunction.
*A damaged intermediate shaft coupling
*A worn intermediate shaft coupling
*Tight steering column bearings
*A sticking flow control valve
*Insufficient pump pressure
*Air in the power steering system
*Low fluid level
*Excessive internal pump leakage
*Excessive internal rack and pinion leakage

Most of these can be eliminated because you say the level of the steering fluid is good.
What is the condition of the fluid? color, smell, etc.
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:43 PM   #5
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Default power steering, suddenly not working

Thanks PontiadDad,
nope, no pop or other odd noise. I did in fact check for ice build up in the wheel well, and since it does turn all the way from left to right, just exceedingly difficult, it feels just like I have no power assist in steering. I mean, if it were a linkage or ice blockage, the steering pump would be working really hard to do some good, and I can normally hear it making a little whirring noise at the extreme left and right turns. Now there is nothing. Is there an electric wire or something that could cause this (something to do with the magnasteer thingie-ma-bob?

I need my car!
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:46 PM   #6
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Default power steering, suddenly not working

Hey again pontiacdad,
the fluid seems nice and deep red, and looks all nice and clear and lovely.

Oh, there was some vacuum in the reservoir when I first opened it, which I found odd, but maybe due to temp differences?

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Old 12-26-2004, 02:48 PM   #7
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I'm going through the manuals looking for some insight to share with you, I found this and maybe its similar?
Power Steering Gear Description
The power rack and pinion steering gear has a rotary control valve. This valve directs the hydraulic fluid coming from the hydraulic pump to one side or the other side of the rack piston. The integral rack piston is attached to the rack. The rack piston converts the hydraulic pressure to a linear force that moves the rack to the left or to the right. The force is transmitted through the inner and the outer tie rods to the steering knuckles.

If hydraulic assist is not available then manual control is still possible. Manual control requires more steering effort. Without hydraulic assist, the movement of the steering wheel is transferred to the pinion. The pinion'* movement is then transferred through the pinion teeth. The pinion teeth mesh with the teeth on the rack. This causes the rack to move.

Sound about right?
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: power steering, suddenly not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by soeren
Oh, there was some vacuum in the reservoir when I first opened it, which I found odd, but maybe due to temp differences?

Thanks,
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The light vacuum is ok, as long as there was no air bubbles or foam.
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Old 12-26-2004, 03:10 PM   #9
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Default power steering, suddenly not working

Pontiacdad,
yep, that does sound like it. No help from the pump at all. Now, where do I go from here. Can I locate that valve myself and change it, or what do you think?

Anyway. yeah, no foam or other business going on in the reservoir. Thank again!

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Old 12-26-2004, 03:28 PM   #10
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Remove the O-ring union fitting (5) from the hydraulic pump housing assembly (1).
Remove the O-ring seal (4) from the O-ring union fitting (5).
Remove the control valve assembly (3).
Remove the flow control spring (2).

to install
Install the flow control spring (2) to the hydraulic pump housing assembly (1).
Install the control valve assembly (3).
Lubricate the O-ring seal (4) with power steering fluid.
Install the O-ring seal (4) onto the O-ring union fitting (5).
Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Cautions and Notices.

Install the O-ring union fitting (5) into the hydraulic pump housing assembly (1).

Tighten
Tighten the fitting (5) to 75 N·m (55 lb ft).

This has to be done off the car (removed) and you will need to go through a bleed process after the pump replacement.
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