1995 Buick Park Avenue power steering pump bolts sheared of

Tiny
STEVIEK9900
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 BUICK PARK AVENUE
Engine Mechanical problem
1995 Buick Park Avenue Two Wheel Drive Automatic

Hi,

My wife was pulling into a driveway the other day when she lost power stearing. I checked the car out and found that the serpentine belt was off and the power steering pump was hanging by the hoses.

About 1,500 miles ago I had the water pump and serpentine belt replaced by a shop. I checked my Haynes manual and it suggested that to access the water pump you could remove the power steering pump.

I suspected that maybe the shop did this and either over torqued the bolts on the power steering pump or left them loose. At any rate, I never heard of a 2 mounting bolt just breaking off of anything like that.

I took it back to the shop that did the work. They claim that the serpentine belt tensioner froze and that caused so much tension on the power steering pump that the bolts sheared.

This sounds bogus to me. I thought that the tensioner just took up slack. I dont see how it could add tension. I also believe that there would be bearing noises, or that the bolt on the tensioner pully would give way before 2 mounting bolts.

May I ask your opinion?

Thanks
Steve Kelly
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 2:02 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Steve:

I have to agree with you. First, if the tensionier froze, you would have heard the belt squealing and would have seen smoke from under the hood. Second, even if that happened, the belt would have broken before the bolts. Think about it. The pump wasn't locked up; therefore, it really wouldn't have had the tension. The tensionier would have taken it all. As far as the tensionier pulley, was it actually locked up?

Let me know. (My opinion is that is wasn't tightened enough. Too much would have broken them at the time of the work.)

Joe
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 AT 1:45 PM
Tiny
STEVIEK9900
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

First of all, thank you for taking an interest in my situation, I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, I'm out of town and can't go down to the shop to take a look for myself.

Before I had it towed back to the shop, I checked out the belt and it looked fine. I would think if it got caught up in the drive pulley and yanked the power steering pump off, you would see some damage to it, but it looked like new.

According to the shop, it wasn't the pulley but the tensioner arm that froze. I was wondering the same thing that you mentioned - If something was to give, wouldn't it be the pulley bolt and bearing? The shops answer was that the pulley bolt is much larger than the 2 mounting bolts for the power steering pump so they claim the pump would go first.

Even though I have a bad feeling about it, I told them to go ahead and fix it. My wife can't be without a car and I won't be home until the weekend so I have no choice. I've just never heard of anything like this happening before. Usually the spring gets weak and you get squeaking etc.

I probably won't go to these guys again.

Steve
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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 AT 2:55 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Steve:
I understand. However, if the tensionier froze, the belt would have shreaded and broke. Before that happened, you would have heard a loud squealing. In nearly 30 years, I have never seen a PS pump break off unless it was in an accident.

Let me know if you have other questions, and thanks for using 2carpros. Com.

Joe
PS: I agree. I wouldn't feel comfortable going back.
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 6:36 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I wanted to thank you for the positive feedback. It is appreciated. Also, thank you for using 2carpros. Com.

Let us know if you have other questions in the future.

Joe
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 AT 11:38 PM

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