1999 Plymouth Breeze STEERING FAILURE

Tiny
RIKKO101
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 PLYMOUTH BREEZE
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
MY POWER STEERING WENT OUT SITTING STILL, I REPLACED THE PUMP AND STILL HAVE NO POWER STEERING, THE BELT & TENTIONER ARE TIGHT AND FLOW SEEMS TO BE GOOD, WHAT COULD BE WRONG?
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 5:44 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Two possibilities I can think of. Internal leakage of the spool valve will cause loss of assist, but this always starts out affecting turning in only one direction first, and almost always when the engine and pump are cold. If the problem goes away after less than a minute after starting a cold engine, suspect the spool valve. It's part of the rack and pinion assembly and is a real pain to replace. Definitely not a do-it-yourself job or even for a professional without access to a hoist. Without a hoist, it would be easier to replace the rack by removing the engine! In the '80s, GM had a 100 percent failure rate of their rack and pinion assemblies. Their fix, which didn't address the root cause of the problem, was to install a new spool valve in hopes it would last until the car was out of the 50,000 mile warranty. After that, the customer got to buy a new rack. Chrysler had very little trouble with this condition. It was referred to as "morning sickness" because it occurred in the cold mornings when people were going to work.

How do you know you have good fluid flow? Swirling fluid in the reservoir doesn't mean anything.

As a side note, earlier cars had some trouble with the "ZF" style power steering pump developing low pressure. It caused hard steering at idle and standing still. The clue is the power assist would come back as soon as you raised engine speed a little. The ZF pump is a small square unit with the reservoir mounted remotely with a hose. By now you know the pumps are no picnic to replace on this car too. This is one item you definitely don't want to buy from a salvage yard.

A second cause that might not apply to your car is the speed-sensitive steering system. It is another gimmick that causes problems due to the use of more complicated, unreliable computers. When this system was used on the Intrepids, the computer module was bolted on the driver's side of the rack assembly, and the valve screwed into the housing next to where the hoses connect. When diagnosing the system with the hand-held computer, it was accessed through the transmission computer. I don't remember if that system was used on the Breeze.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 4:47 AM

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