Hard steering wheel

Tiny
OCTEXAS
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • V6
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
So my steering wheel has been giving me some problems. About six months ago the steering wheel started to get hard so we changed the steering fluid pump. That did not do the trick so we had to change the rack and pinion. It worked at first but the steering wheel would get hard sometimes. So we needed just removing the lid of the steering fluid pump. This worked for a couple months, but it started to slowly stop working. One thing that did help was when we would lift the car to change the oil or put on new tires the car seemed to turn perfectly fine and very smoothly afterwards. I noticed that while driving and pressing the gas the steering wheel is easier to turn (not easy, but easier). When I am at a stop sign and have to turn right for example it becomes very hard to the point where I can barely turn. Also at time when the car is first used in the morning the steering wheel seems not to be as hard to turn. We sucked out the steering fluid and added new fluid and that has not seemed to work. Any ideas? Please let me know.
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Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 AT 8:06 PM

47 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yes, the steering rate sensor is bad and needs to be replaced, here is a pictue of its location #1(On steering column). Let me know how it goes.

Best, Ken
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Saturday, June 11th, 2016 AT 2:04 PM
Tiny
SHARQUILL
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 3.5L
  • 6 CYL
  • 180,000 MILES
I had got a new power steering pump and the shop told me I need a rack and I got the rack and they replace the rack and the steering wheel still hard to turned and I spend money and the problem not solved. What the next problem?
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SHARQUILL
  • MEMBER
Update: They had to replace the steering wheel angle sensor cost me $230.00 all fixed!
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Nice work, we are here to help, please use 2CarPros anytime.

Cheers
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SHARQUILL
  • MEMBER
I will!
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Another thought, if everything we have talked about is okay. You might raise and safely support the front of vehicle, take tie-rods loose from steering knuckle, then see if you can turn the steering knuckle okay. If not, then you may have found your problem?
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SHARQUILL
  • MEMBER
No it has not been replaced.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MARBROYLES38
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 6 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 156,000 MILES
My steering was just fine fine until I got stuck in the snow and now my steering is hard to turn. It is like the power steering is out, but checked the fluids on it and it is fine. I also tried to get off all the snow I could from under the car.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hello,

It sounds like you lost the power steering pump which could have nothing to do with the snow. Here is a guide to help you see what you are in for when changing the pump out:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-a-power-steering-pump

Check out the diagrams (below).

Let us know what happens and please upload pictures or videos of the problem.

Cheers
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SHARQUILL
  • MEMBER
Can the tire rod be the problem?
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I suppose it could? I do not know what else to tell you? You are not answering any of my questions, so I do not know where to turn?
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MARBROYLES38
  • MEMBER
Yes, you were right. I got a pump for $78.00 and installed it (thanks for the guide) and now it works great, but you need to let it sit after it is together so the air bubbles can get out of the system, FYI.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:38 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CAJUNGUY65
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 5.3L
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
My car which I just purchased recently had a power steering issue. I have filled the reservoir with power steering fluid. It is extremely hard to turn. The fill reservoir is on the engine block in the rear of the engine. I cannot see any pulley for a belt. What can cause this extremely hard turning issue?
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If it is hard to turn it is either the rack and pinion bad or the pump does not have enough pressure if fluid is black it may be the rack and pinion.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:39 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JSLIGH34
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 87,000 MILES
2006 Chevrolet Impala SS 5.3L - 103,000 miles

When turning the steering wheel all the way or close to all the way in either direction while moving, I hear a loud squealing noise, and then immediately steering becomes hard, tight. After flooring the gas pedal and a few normal turns while on the gas, steering becomes relieved. Also, steering is normal when on the gas like that.

I have had the power steering pump, rack & pinion, and the return hose all replaced. Could this be an issue with the serpentine belt or something with the suspension?
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:47 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
This would be typical of a slipping belt. It could be worn but usually it is due to a weak or sticking spring-loaded tensioner pulley. Belt dressings will make flat serpentine belts squeal too. No dressings should ever be used on them.
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:47 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JSLIGH34
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much for your reply. I never have used any dressing on the belt. Would I be better off just getting a belt and the pulley at the same time since it is all relative to one another?

Also, I notice the pulley on the alternator makes a squeaking noise when the car is on. Could this cause any issue or would I just simply need to tighten or replace that pulley?
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:47 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First you have to be sure the belt is tight. They don't stretch much so almost all engines use spring-loaded tensioner pulleys. Tug on the belt and watch for a pulley that moves, then goes back when you release the belt. (I recommend doing that with the engine off)! If the squeal started right after the power steering pump was replaced, the belt would have been removed by moving that tensioner, and if it's rusting tight it may have never sprung back all the way.

GM has had a real big problem with their generators failing since they were redesigned for the '87 model year, and besides the rash of electrical failures they also have had some trouble with the front bearings. There is very little clearance between the "stator" coil of wire and the "field winding" which rotates. When a little play develops in the bearings the rotor can catch on the stator and lock up the assembly. You might be hearing that bearing just starting to fail, or you might be hearing the belt slip over its pulley.

If the belt has more cracks on the ribbed side than about one per inch it's time to replace it anyway. Wear can make the belt not make full contact between the ribs and the grooves in the pulleys, but it is much more common for the belt to just be loose.
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:47 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JSLIGH34
  • MEMBER
I will be sure to check the belt more closely tomorrow. By looking, it is visually ok. I will try to see if a pulley moves, with the engine off of course! Hopefully I won't have to get a whole new tensioner because my model is expensive. The pulley itself is cheap.

My generator is good according to the test but you can hear the squeak while the belt is moving and the bearing or pulley on it doesn't seem on right, kind of crooked if you look closely. Also, I had both of my front bearings replaced a few months back. I got the error code for one so I just had both changed. They should be good.

This morning as I was turning I heard the screech and then steering was rough all day until a little while ago I was making a turn, I put a lot of pressure on the wheel and hit the gas and it jerked back to normal, and it will be until I make another sharp turn and hear the screech/squeal. Doesn't make sense to me! When jacked off the ground, steering is also easier after it becomes rough. Somebody also suggested the belt tensioner, along with checking ball joints and making sure strut mounts are free.

I really appreciate your help. If you have anything further from this please let me know!
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:47 AM (Merged)
Tiny
TIKICEE
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 72,000 MILES
A couple of days ago my power steering failed. I replaced the fluid but it still is hard to turn, I've checked it almost everyday and I have continued to put fluid in. A couple of months ago I noticed a funny sweet like smell coming from the engine, I've replaced the coolant twice already. Is there a possibility that these problems are working hand in hand. I've never noticed any leaks on soils on the pavement.
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Monday, March 25th, 2019 AT 11:47 AM (Merged)

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