175,000 miles, huh? If this were a GM product, the problem would have shown up at 35,000 miles!
Your rack and pinion assembly has what's called "morning sickness". It starts in cold weather. There are four teflon seals that shrink and allow pressurized power steering fluid to bypass the power piston. It only affects turning in one direction at first. The other direction will lose power assist within the next few months. The problem usually goes away as the fluid warms up.
Due to the location of the rack and pinion assembly, it's not a do-it-yourselfer project. It will also require an alignment after replacement of the assembly.
Sunday, March 29th, 2009 AT 6:17 AM