1998 Infiniti I30 Occassional Hard Steering Only When.

  • 1998 INFINITI I30
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 125,000 MILES
. Car just starts up & ready to move. Mostly when backing out from parking spaces when it's necessary to turn wheels at least slightly.

The way I would describe it is a "loss of power steering" at very, very low speed.

Only when car/engine is cold; intermittent problem only, for example maybe 1-in-5 times. The problem clears in 10 - 15 seconds.

No fluid losses observed - i.E. No need for top-offs of any kind. A recent oil change service indicated so.

Problem has existed for ~4 months & has not gotten immeasurably worse, but would like to know what the trend/outcome is - and, if any preventive measures can be taken.

Not sure whether CV joints have ever been replaced in this vehicle. There is occasional noise when a "meaningful" left/right steer a low speed, but no loss of control or any sense of "drop-out".

Steering is fine (true) otherwise.

Perhaps unrelated is that the car has seems to lost its "soundproofing" (e.G. A lot of road noise), such that inside the compartment it is beginning to sound like sitting over the wing of an airplane. It doesn't affect drivability (at least to this point) & so I figure all this is accumulation of issues that emerge with an 11 y/o car.

Which needs fixing or looking into - and which is simply "age"?
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have the same problem?
Thursday, January 15th, 2009 AT 10:07 AM

1 Reply

Sticky steering is usually indicative of a worn rack and pinion. Sediment collects in the fluid passages and makes the rack want to jam. You can try flushing the system with new fluid to remove some of the sediment. With the system warm, turn the steering wheel all the way to one side. With engine off, disconnect the "pump" return line and allow fluid to drain from pump reservoir then turn steering wheel all the way in the opposite direction. This will empty the rack. Reconnect the return hose and fill the PS reservoir. Start engine and turn steering several times from one extreme to the other, then drain again. You may have to do this several times. The more times you do it, the clearer the fluid will become. Hope this helps. If the "sticking" condition continues, you may want to consider changing the rack and pinion with a rebuilt unit.
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Thursday, January 15th, 2009 AT 11:31 AM

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