When the ETC has a fault, the engine could be struggling and this would result in drop in engine rpm. This in turn could cause the stiffer power steering as the pump is working at a lower rate. The brakes would be harder to depress if repeated attempts were made as the booster is not able to get sufficient vacuum to operate.
Now that you reminded me of the brakes and power steering, have the serpentine belt checked and ensure the indicator is still within specs for the tension. If the belt is slipping, the power steering would be affected. Alternator would also be charging at a lower rate and that could cause the engine to struggle or lack of response from the accelerator as the operating voltage has dropped.
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Friday, September 16th, 2011 AT 5:53 PM