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Unread 12-07-2014, 01:38 PM   #1
Jeffy
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Default Power Steering Pump?

My power steering is suddenly failing. When driving (both city and highway) it will seem to be working fine then suddenly lose power, then work fine again on and off. It happens in the middle of turns or while driving straight. "Wiggling" the steering wheel back and forth will fix it for a couple seconds before it gets wonky again.
I'm thinking it's the power steering pump slowly failing? I checked my fluid and it's still topped off, with no sign of debris.
Any thoughts before I take it in to get it looked at?
Thanks!
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Unread 12-09-2014, 05:01 PM   #2
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Update: my mechanic says it's most likely the steering rack, not the pump. I've been reading there's a seal on the rack that may be causing the problem, or possibly "gunked up" internal parts. Does anybody have experience with this issue? Is it relatively easy to just clean that instead of paying the $1000 for a whole new rack (including labor)?
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Unread 12-09-2014, 11:21 PM   #3
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Sorry no help here. Look at the service manual and decide for yourself what it will take. You can also try to source a rack with low miles from a wreck, or folks who did a solid axle conversion.
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Unread 12-09-2014, 11:25 PM   #4
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Dang, thanks. Not what i wanted to hear. $1000 seems a little pricey to me, considering I'm finding new OEM replacement racks online for less than $300. 700 bucks worth of labor seems pretty high. I think I'm gonna leave it for now, it's not bad at all right now.
Thanks for the help!
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Unread 12-09-2014, 11:32 PM   #5
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Look at the service manual and decide if it is potentially a job you can take on yourself.

Wonky steering is probably not something you want to neglect.
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Unread 12-09-2014, 11:41 PM   #6
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Yea I definitely don't want to be driving if my steering is going haywire. But so far it's just a little "tighter" than normal so I'm comfortable leaving it alone for a bit while I decide if I can do it myself. Time to start calling up my mechanically inclined friends and offering beer money
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Unread 12-09-2014, 11:51 PM   #7
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I would try and find a quality rack, you don't want to be replacing it again in a year or two... They aren't easy to rebuild...
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Unread 12-09-2014, 11:58 PM   #8
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Yea I'm gonna take the time to research some options this week. I'll probably just end up bending over and taking it back to the mechanic. Thanks for the help, guys!
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Unread 12-10-2014, 06:33 AM   #9
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I replaced the steering rack in my daily driver Acura TSX 2 years ago with a unit from CarSteering.com

I did some research at the time, and found them to offer higher quality rebuilds than the big brands like Cardone or the parts store brands. They offer a 3 year warranty, whereas the bigger brands offer lifetime. The more I read about the lifetime racks, the more I read about them being junk, so I chose the CarSteering rack as I didn't want to do the job again in 6 months.

I've put about 60k miles on that car since the replacement and no issues. I'd buy from them again, but my experience is anecdotal. 2 cents.
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Unread 12-10-2014, 11:56 AM   #10
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Thanks for the help everyone, I've definitely got some research to do over the next few days.
I'm pretty sure this all started because of flooding on the freeway the other night. I came around a corner going 65 and hit a small lake (about halfway up my tires). No time to brake, just rammed right into the water. There was also somebody's blown out tire i ran over at the same time. Instead of trying to swerve around it I just held the wheel and hoped i'd make it through. Lost all traction and it got a little hairy for a second, but I was able to straighten out and pull through it. It was the next day that I started noticing these steering issues.
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Unread 12-12-2014, 01:50 PM   #11
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Good news (I think?). For the last 2 days my power steering seems to have returned completely to normal. I don't know how this happened or what caused it to start working again, but I'm not complaining Glad I decided to wait, hopefully it doesn't start going out again soon.
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Unread 01-27-2015, 08:59 PM   #12
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I wasn't gonna resurrect this old thread, but I wanted to share what I found in case it helps other people. After a lot of research, it came down to this:

(short answer- u-joint on steering column)

Mechanic was having a hard time pinpointing the exact cause of my steering problem, but decided it was the steering rack for lack of a better solution. He quoted me about 1000 bucks for the swap (550+ for the parts alone). I decided to wait since it wasn't so bad, and that's an expensive fix for what might not even be the problem.

I started researching other options like crazy and found other threads online saying it could possibly be the u-joint on the end of the steering column binding up from rust/ corrosion. I bought my car used, the previous owner had it in the midwest somewhere for most of it's life, and it has a decent amount of rust from the snow and salted roads over there. I went back to my mechanic and asked him his opinion. He said it was possible, and busted out a can of penetrating oil and went to town on the u-joint. Five minutes later when i got in my car and drove away, my steering was butter smooth. It only stayed that way for a day or two and still wasn't *perfect*, but if I didn't know about the problem I probably wouldn't notice it.

I'm getting my suspension installed soon, and I'm gonna have him pop in a new u-joint while he's at it. It costs around $180, so i figure if i'm right and that's the problem, i saved myself 800 bucks. If im wrong, I'm out 200. Worth the gamble for me, hope this helps out someone else! I'll update once I get it done.
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Unread 01-27-2015, 10:38 PM   #13
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Good to know, thx for posting.
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Unread 01-29-2015, 01:37 PM   #14
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a few others have had this same issue...
good thing its fixed
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Unread 01-30-2015, 05:46 AM   #15
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I replaced mine with a new one from rockauto.com . I was able to avoid a core charge. Watched a youtube video on how to go through the replacement process. Took about 4 hrs start to finish, then took it in for an alignment.

Only problem I've had out of the aftermarket one is the passenger side inner tie rod boot tore withing a few months. I want to say when I purchased Rock auto had the A-1 cardone listed as new without a core charge, now its showing the AAE as a new purchase without a core charge. I'd push to bet they're all made at the same factory.
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Unread 01-31-2015, 07:37 PM   #16
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Search eric the car guy on youtube he has a video of exactly the steering joint you are talking about, and curious do you drive around with that flag on the back of ur rig?
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Unread 02-01-2015, 07:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thehighone View Post
Search eric the car guy on youtube he has a video of exactly the steering joint you are talking about, and curious do you drive around with that flag on the back of ur rig?
I found a write up, it's a super simple process, just 3 bolts total. No, I don't always drive with the flag, that was on 9/11. I used steel piping hooked under the cargo tie downs in the back, and I've got a few different flags I fly for different things (mostly going to sports games)
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