1996 Ford Explorer power steering sabotage

  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • 152,000 MILES
I went in to Tires Plus In Minnetonka MN for JUST an oil change and Lube. They went ahead without telling me or asking me and rotated my tires. They never lubed my zirc fittings but topped off all my fluids. When I drove home and turned the steering wheel, the power steering started screaming and the wheel started jumping and vibrating in my hands! It now jumps and vibrates in my hands when I make a turn and the poers steering pump is making a loud screaming noise. THERE NEVER WAS A PROBLEM WITH THIS POWERSTEERING BEFORE I TOOK IT TO TIRES PLUS! My husband said they must have cranked the steering wheel all the way to one side while having the car up on rack, then over filled the fluid in Power steering. We called them & they said they do that to be sure it is filled up all they way! They said my explorer doesnt have zirc filttings & it DOES because I had ones with zirc fittings on them when I had front end tie rods & ball joints replaced!
Is what they did to my powersteering pump going to ruin it? Have they done damage to my power steering pump by over filling it? They said it probably has an air bubble in it but will replace the entire pump for me for a nominal fee! I feel ripped off and set up by them so they can make money off of an innocent woman who only wanted an oil change & lube!
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have the same problem?
Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 AT 11:56 AM

1 Reply

I read this post last night, and was not quite sure how to answer intelligently. So I gave it some thought in the meantime. Here are my thoughts.

Possibly, you had uneven tire wear on the rear tires that were moved to the front. This may have caused the vibration that you are experiencing. Just a possibility.

Also, turning the steering to the lock should NOT damage the pump. The pump has a built in regulator to control the pressure. Turning to the lock will only cause the regulator to limit the pressure by bypassing the excess.

I strongly suggest that you take the car to a third party to have it evaluated and diagnosed. Since I cannot see or hear the problem from here, it is difficult to diagnose from descriptions.

Normally, a bad pump will make noise, or the steering will require unusual effort to turn. Vibrations generally come from someplace else.

Some food for thought. If a repair facility was to actually sabotage somebody's steering, the liability would be enormous! If a collision resulted, the lawsuits would literally put them out of business. IMHO, no reputable (or even not so reputable) shop would take such a risk.
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Thursday, May 28th, 2009 AT 6:44 PM

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