WEIRD power steering. - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 11-27-2006, 10:31 PM   #1
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Default WEIRD power steering.

Note, everything below has been this way since I purchased the car last January.

When it'* cold out, and I start the car first thing in the morning the power steering makes alot of noise, worse when I turn the wheel. It will quiet up once it gets warm.

No matter what the temperature, if the wheel is cranked all the way one way or the other, it will make noise and the engine rpm'* will drop temporarily.

Usually, it is harder then average to turn the wheel when I am not moving. And it also makes a sort of grinding sound that is quite hard to describe. (under any temperature)

Here is the real kicker. Sometimes it will do NONE of the above, and work perfectly. And usually when this happens it will last for a few days, and then it will go back to the usual.

Oh, and BTW...im pretty sure this car has been in an accident. My right front control arm was bent (fixed) and the same side headlight has been replaced. Nothing on car fax though. Maybe that could have and impact on some sort of steering thing. Just thought I would let you know.

You would think if my pump was done for, it would have kicked the bucket long ago. It has been exactly like this since I've owned the car. PS fluid has been fine the whole time. I would just do the pump, but I'm not sure that is the problem.

Any ideas after this rediculous post?
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:39 PM   #2
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You betcha. Crawl under the car (it'* easier to see) and check the tension marks on the accessory tensioner. We're talking the SSEi, right?

Mine did the same thing on the Zilla. Then I realized my tensioner was shot. Always worse in the cold. Replaced the tensioner, and swapped a 3.25" idler pulley onto it to make up for the dinky pulley on my 160-amp alternator. No more issues. That was last winter.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:47 PM   #3
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I'll check that tomorrow when the sun is up again. It is the SSEi. The tension marks...what exactly will they look like?

Thanks!
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:52 PM   #4
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A scale with an arrow. There should be a single line on one end of the scale (on the non-moving part) and a pair of lines on the other end. The arrow on the moving inner ring should be very close to the first of the pair of marks. I'm betting it'* not. A pic would be great, or a drawing, or a VERY good description of what you find.

Hang on. I'll take a pic of the Zilla'* upper tensioner for you.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:57 PM   #5
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Kinda blurry, but see the small arrow? Just below on the black plate you see the scale? Two vertical hash marks on the 'good' end, one on the 'bad' end.

Notice my tension is slightly light? The idler pulley I ADDED to increase beltwrap is set for the 2.2" SC pulley, but the 2.0" is on the car. Ideally, you want it closer than this to the FIRST of the two lines on the right:

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Old 11-27-2006, 11:03 PM   #6
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Wow...that is perfect, I had no idea the tensioner pulley even had that scale on it. I'll report back tomorrow on the reading.

Thanks a bunch.
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:07 PM   #7
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Well, it seems my tensioner is not in the accepted range. Not only that, but I tried turning the wheel right after I started it in the cold. It would turn perfect, then get hard for a second, then perfect again etc.

So I guess when the PS pump is cold, it is harder to turn, and my belt is slipping on the PS pump off and on causing that, due to lack of tension.

So, how do I go about replacing it? What do I need to know?
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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One bolt. Right in the middle of the black.

It'* easier from under the car though. Trust me.
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