1998 Ford Ranger mileage: 70,900. Yesterday the engine died as I was driving, and I had to wrench the steering wheel hard to get it into a parking lot before it stopped rolling. Problem was a bad ground connection. Reconnected the ground wire and it started up just fine, however there was a little trail of red fluid under the truck, and some red fluid leaked under the hood. Now when I turn the steering wheel a good deal to the left or right and begin accelerating the steering wheel shudders momentarily.
The red fluid was probably power steering fluid from the power steering reservoir. The fluid leaked out as a result of the steering wheel being turned with the engine off. If you refill the reservoir and drive the car, the power steering should start functioning properly. The shuddering is the result of air in the system. As you turn the wheel, the air will work its way out.