A bent steering rack due to impact damages can result in light/heavy steering and this can be tested by raising the front of vehicle and turning the steering wheel from left to right without starting the engine. Any difference in effort could mean a bent rack. Do not attempt to turn the steering too fast nor too many times at a go as fluid can be forced out of the reservoir.
The most likely cause with the problem apart from a bent rack would be the valve body, located at the pinion shaft. Improper adjustment of the steering shaft U-joints can affect it as well. At base of steering column shaft, release the upper U-joint holding bolt and shake the steering wheel lightly to release any tension and retighten the bolt and retest.
If it fails to work, you would need to rebuild/replace the rack.
Monday, September 24th, 2012 AT 8:02 AM