Stiff heavy steering?

Tiny
SAVAGE97
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 HOLDEN VECTRA
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 300,000 MILES
I have replaced the steering pump and attempted to bleed after but over an hour air still bubbles out, neighbors have a nice problem, fluid levers are at max before and after pump replacement. When front tires are off the ground steering isn't bad just when on the ground. Car hasn't been driven for over a year but has been turned on as well as moved around my unit car park every month. No new noises apart from this creaking sound when turning. Tires are slightly flat. We have inspected wiring around steering pump and covers over wiring have no damage and no leaks around pump itself.
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Friday, May 13th, 2022 AT 12:10 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

This vehicle isn't offered in the US, but I will try my best to help.

First, low tire pressure creates additional drag on the system. I would get them to normal pressure. Also, the creaks are likely the result of a dry bushing, so inspect things like the sway bar bushings and stabilizer links.

When you bleed the PS, raise the vehicle front off the ground. Make sure the reservoir is full and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock. See if that helps bleed it.

Also, inspect the rubber boots where the inner tie-rods attach to the rack and pinion gear for leaks. If there is a bushing failure on the rack, it can also create drag. When there is a bushing issue, often times you will see fluid on the dust covers on the rack.

If that doesn't help, even though you replaced the power steering pump, you may want to consider flushing the old fluid from the rack and pinion and lines to see if that helps. Here is a link that explains how that is done:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/power-steering-fluid-flush

Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions.

Take care,

Joe
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Friday, May 13th, 2022 AT 9:27 PM
Tiny
SAVAGE97
  • MEMBER
Hello, that k you for your advice I will defiantly look into those checks, as for the bleeding I had lifted the tires up and did full lock with engine off and on for over an hour each time and still had air come out as well as I put new fluid in after replacing the pump.
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Friday, May 13th, 2022 AT 10:25 PM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
It isn't uncommon to see a few bubbles. Since the pump is turning, it can cause it. Try what I suggested with the tires. Also, let me know if you feel any assistance at all. Additionally, when the tires were off the ground, the steering should have been light/easy to turn. Was that the case?

I will watch for your reply.

Joe
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Friday, May 13th, 2022 AT 10:37 PM
Tiny
SAVAGE97
  • MEMBER
While the wheels were off the ground the steering felt as if they were on the ground without any problems, so they were still a bit heavy if that makes sense.

I should also mention although it is a Holden Vectra c it is very similar for an Astra as well as can also be an opal Vectra as Holden partnered with opal.

I have uploaded a brief video of the steering wheel off the ground as well as a brief video of where you can hear me turn g the wheel as well as hear the air bubbles that would come out for the time, I tried for over 2 hours and gave up.

As I started before my neighbor's house is a mess and has attacked mice and I'm really Hoping it isn't a problem with the wiring. Have checked all the fuses and they are all fine.

Waiting for a few mates to reply asking for an obd.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 10:43 AM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Wow, I hear the creaking. Do me a favor. With the vehicle on the ground, have a helper turn the steering wheel so it makes that noise. I need you to check if the noise is coming from a ball joint or any other steering component.
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Monday, May 16th, 2022 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
SAVAGE97
  • MEMBER
Hello, sorry for the late reply. I have attached 2 videos as I wasn't sure if you wanted the engine on or off, it seems to do it more when it's off the ground as well as with how heavy the steering still is. As you can properly tell it's very hard but in the process of doing this I noticed the driver's side first and thought I'd better check the passenger's side and saw what's in the photos and even I know that's not good so another thing to replace but could this be the reason my steering is so heavy. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get much help with this but managed to find a way, I do hope this helps you to help me.
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 AT 9:11 AM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Hi,

As far as pic 3 and 4, those are CV joint boots. They are there to keep the grease in the joint and prevent dirt from getting in. If one of the joints is bad, you may hear a clicking, feel a vibration, or notice a loud clicking when turning. However, I don't see how they would affect the steering assist.

Have you checked the ball joints? Can you tell if the sound is on the left or right side? If you have a helper turn the steering wheel (engine on or off) carefully place your hands on the ball joints, rack, and other steering items to see if you feel the vibration.

Let me know.

Joe
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 AT 7:19 PM
Tiny
SAVAGE97
  • MEMBER
I have a mate coming over tonight, so will see if they could help with that and will let you know but it sounds like it's coming from the passenger's side so when sitting in the car it's on the left.
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 AT 9:47 PM
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
Let me know. I had to laugh because we have left-hand drive vehicles. When you said passenger side on the left, it didn't make sense to me. But I assume you have a right-hand drive vehicle. LOL

Let me know.

Take care,

Joe
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 AT 6:25 PM

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