2002 Kia Power Steering Woes

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Old 03-27-08, 03:21 AM
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2002 Kia Power Steering Woes

I've got a 2002 Kia Sedona that recently started giving me power steering problems. Fluid level was at the min. level, I topped up reservior, and about a week later, I noticed that the steering effort started to get harder. It's not all the time, though. When I'm driving, I'll notice that the steering alternates between periods of "hard to steer"/ "easy to steer" all in one turn. It's most noticeble at low speeds. Doesn't seem to be any correlation between steering effort and position of steering wheel, nor does the problem show up in left or right turns only. I haven't hit anything that would've damaged the steering components in any way.
First fix attempt was to gravity flush the system at the steering gear (possible air in the system?), but no luck there. Also replaced the belt...also no luck. I'm thinking the pump next, but it would seem like that would be a go/no go component....either it works all the time, or it doesn't. Any advice?
 
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Old 03-27-08, 05:57 AM
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As the pump wears out it would eventually get to the point where some of the pressure would be leaking past seals and you could get what you describe. A 6 year old vehicle is a little young for a power sterring pump failure, but you didn't mention how many miles are on it.
 
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Old 03-27-08, 05:07 PM
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About 101K. From a DIY perspective, I guess I'd rather it be the pump than the steering gear...
 
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Old 03-28-08, 08:04 AM
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I don't know about your Kia, but on most vehicles the pump is a lot easier (and usually cheaper) to replace than a steering rack.
 
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Old 04-06-08, 08:06 PM
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Replaced pump, and flushed system with 2 quarts of power steering fluid. Still have same problem. I know that sometimes new parts are bad out of the box, but I'm not quite ready to plunk down another $100 for a second pump just yet. Is it possible for air to be so entrapped in the system that the normal bleed procedures wouldn't do the trick? Is vacuum bleeding a better way to go?
 
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Old 04-06-08, 08:13 PM
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vac bleeding will help with entrapted air, but before jumping on that, check if your bearing on the top of the mcphearson struts are bad. sometimes that will cause a simular problem, also do you have access to a pressure guage for p/s. hooked up and ran it will tell you if your pump is making the proper pressure to the rack, also check and see if the rack is leaking into the dust boots on the ends. If so it is probably time for a new rack.
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Old 04-07-08, 06:08 AM
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power steering systems are self bleeding, further, if there was air in the system, the pump would growl and make nasty noises. there's nowhere for air to hide either. the pressure test is definitive in this case. it allows you to isolate the pump and put it under full demand to see what it can do. intermittant loss of assist is usually more common to rack wear ( i know...not what you wanted to hear). given that you have replaced the pump already and it does the same thing...not likely that the original pump and a reman pump have the same defect.

FWIW, you can't vacuum bleed power steering...and Kia's bleeding method is to raise the front wheels off of the ground and turn the steering wheel several times lock to lock without the engine running. this moves the rack piston from one extreme to the other and forces air back to the resevoir thru the return line.
 
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