Power steering

Tiny
RMSUMMERS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
  • 3.8L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 232,456 MILES
The car has variable steering the power steering tank is full. Some times the power steering will not work when making a left turn which upsets my wife somewhat.
i cannot think of anything that would cause this problem periodically. It is only when making a left turn never right turn.
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Saturday, April 8th, 2017 AT 3:12 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check for good pump pressure. Then check the rack or have a professional check it. The rack may be going bad causing this.
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Saturday, April 8th, 2017 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
RMSUMMERS
  • MEMBER
Thank you. I will do that Monday.
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Saturday, April 8th, 2017 AT 9:26 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi guys. Excuse me for butting in, but this is the classic symptom of a bad rack and pinion steering gear. This can happen on any car, but GM had a real big problem with it starting in the late 1980's. The problem is there are four Teflon sealing rings on the spool valve that grind grooves into the soft aluminum housing. Those grooves allow pressurized power steering fluid to bypass the power piston and go right back into the reservoir. GM's solution was to replace the spool valve with its sealing rings in hopes it would last long enough to get the car out of the 50,000 mile warranty. After that, when the problem occurred again, it was up to the owners to have the problem solved properly, at their own expense.

That proper repair was developed by the major aftermarket rebuilder's. They bored out the housing, pressed in a stainless steel liner that could hold up to that wear, then they installed the new spool valve. Those rebuilt steering gears have a very low failure rate.

We call this "morning sickness" because it first shows up in the morning, and can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. The power assist is always lost when turning in only one direction at first, and will come back when the power steering fluid warms up. A few weeks to a few months later, power assist will be lost in the other direction too, if you wait that long. The clue the pump is okay is you still have power assist in one direction. The pump does not know or care which way you are turning the steering wheel.
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Saturday, April 8th, 2017 AT 10:08 PM

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