1998 Chrysler Cirrus Binding steering

Tiny
CWO3WGROVER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHRYSLER CIRRUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 76,000 MILES
While driving the veh. This AM. Steering required additional pressure to turn. Steering would break loose with additional pressure. Required for both rt and lft turns.
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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 AT 12:20 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy observation about equal stiffness in both directions. Thank you.

If you raise engine speed a little, you should see the power assist come back. That is proof the power steeing pump is worn. It is the "ZF" style pump, and this is fairly common. The fiber vanes wear out. Since we can't buy parts, the entire pump must be replaced.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 AT 4:32 PM
Tiny
CWO3WGROVER
  • MEMBER
I understand your response, however, the car was actually moving about 15-20ph. Also the feedback through the steering wheel felt as if something was binding and with the added pressure to turn, you could feel something break loose. My first thought was the steering linkage or the rack and pinion?
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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 10:56 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sorry for the delay in replying. My Verizon e-mail service is down for maintenance going on two days now. I am not receiving automated messages that you posted another comment. Hopefully that will be fixed soon.

The rack and pinion can cause the symptoms you described, especially if it occurs when the engine speed is above idle. This happened to my mother's Grand Caravan, but it is not a common failure. I would not suspect the steering linkage unless it was binding all the time.

The Chrysler dealer has an inline pressure gauge to measure power steering pump pressure, but when I worked for one as their suspension and alignment specialist, I only used it about once every few years. All it does is measure the maximum pressure the pump is capable of producing. If you ever find that you have good power assist at idle, the pump is working. The wear of the vanes in the pump, which is somewhat common, will not cause an intermittent problem. It will have low assist all the time at idle.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, March 28th, 2010 AT 8:14 PM
Tiny
CWO3WGROVER
  • MEMBER
It has only happenend that one time. The pump fliud is full and I don't feel and additional binding. Could it still be the pump?
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Monday, March 29th, 2010 AT 1:39 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I don't think so. The pump should cause lack of assist at idle all the time. Is it possible the serpentine belt got wet and was slipping? This will be hard to figure out if it doesn't act up again.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 AT 12:30 AM

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