Steering problem...


Old 12-22-03, 07:49 PM
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Steering problem...

1992 Pontiac Grand Am
4 cyl. 2.3 liter engine
60,000 miles

The steering on my car is starting to get really bad. When I turn the wheel while the car is not moving, the wheels sort of skip across the pavement and the power steering pump makes a loud shrieking sound. For the first 5 minutes or so after the car is on, the steering continues to skip as if you can feel the rack and pinion gears moving from tooth to tooth. Turning the wheel is not a smooth motion like it should be. Instead it is kind of a jerking, and fighting motion. After about 5 minutes of driving though, it stops and becomes completely normal unless you stop and turn the wheel when the car is not moving. It has gotten really bad lately, since I can now barely back out of a parking spot without it sounding and feeling like I'm doing serious damage to the car.

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-22-03, 09:38 PM
mike from nj
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i would try tightening the belt first
Old 12-23-03, 06:39 AM
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What belt are you talking about? It sounds like it could be the problem since the steering sometimes feels loose. Thanks
Old 12-23-03, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 312
Your vehicle carries a single accessory drive belt (serpentine) with a spring loaded tensioner that drives the power steering. There really is no adjustment provided, other than the tension on the spring. These tensioners fail commonly, and that and/or the belt could be the problem. The belt and fluid level should be checked first, sounds more like a fluid problem or rack and pinion failure (morning sickness).
Old 12-23-03, 09:33 AM
sdsdogg2's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 47
I do remerber there was a bulleten on this problem and it had something to do with the powerstering pressure hose when cold. If no belt problem i would check for tsb's
Old 12-23-03, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
A 2.3 has a p/s belt on the drivers side of the engine.A little short belt.If it's loose it can cause your problem as mike said.
Old 12-29-03, 12:05 PM
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I also noticed that the steering problem goes away completely when the weather is above somewhere around 50 degrees. Therefore the problem must be caused by something freezing or getting too cold. Any thoughts?
Old 12-29-03, 02:33 PM
Desi501's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Boynton Beach Florida
Posts: 2,207
I would try flushing out the system with some fresh oil and see if that helps. Make sure you flush to get it all.
Old 12-29-03, 03:53 PM
darrell McCoy
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Seems of your description it may be the rack and pinion. "does it cold". I believe a lot of GM's in that era developed those problems at 60K or so. They have improved over the years, could be they have started using stainless liners or maybe a better metal.
Old 12-29-03, 05:48 PM
mike from nj
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i'm assuming the belt wasn't loose

the belt can be affected by temperature too, ever felt a rubber garden hose when it's 40 degrees out?

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