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Old 10-29-2007, 10:59 AM   #1
Ging
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Default Low speed steering clunks?

Hi,

My wife has a 95 Impreza Hatchback and recently we've noticed that there is some clunking going on. It is most noticeable while turning when backing out of the garage. When we get the car up to normal driving speed, say 50 Km/h (30mph), it goes away.

It seems sort of like there are teeth stripped on the steering rack or something like that. I'd imagine that it takes a lot to break teeth on the steering rack. I thought it might be the power steering pump or something like that.

Any ideas? or maybe more details to help diagnose. We just need this little white car to make it through another winter

Thanks,

Ging.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:33 PM   #2
cabe
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There's a lot of things that can cause clunking noises. My friend's 95 Impreza L made a clunking noise that was a result of the power steering pump gone bad. However, it was at all speeds and made the steering wheel difficult to turn.

It could be wheel bearings? I need to replace my front left (makes pulsating noise when turning left which increases in frequency at higher speeds).

Any of this sound familiar?
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:45 PM   #3
Ging
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Hmmm I forgot about wheel bearings. I've had a rear one go on my 'preza and it doesn't have any of the whining whirring noise that I had on mine.

Does the power steering pump run off one of the belts? I was thinking if we had a bad belt, at low rpms it might not be providing enough power to the pump. This is assuming it runs off one of the belts.
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Old 10-29-2007, 04:36 PM   #4
cabe
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I don't know whether the power steering pump runs off a belt or not, sorry. I do think you would have some resistance if it were the power steering pump going, maybe not though.

Also, at early stages of wheel bearing deterioration, there is no whining. My front left is going and right now it's just kind of a pulsating noise (you can feel it too) when I make a left turn. It's louder the faster and harder I turn.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:01 AM   #5
kdogae86
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clunking noises are usually related to suspension components.such as sway bar endlinks or bushings goin out or loose bolts.
kdog
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:45 AM   #6
Ging
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Dang. I guess I'd better get under there and check things out. Thanks for all the responses. I hope it isn't anything major.

G
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:58 PM   #7
avk
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With steering, the first thing to try would be to adjust the backlash between rack and pinion.
It is free and won't do any harm. I also have a '95 like OP and want to do it just in case,
but there is a problem with access to the adjusting screw and locking nut. Metal fluid lines
are in the way. A factory tool is a thin offset wrench which costs an obscene amount from SPX,
something upward of $150. As soon as I find a tool that works, I'll do it.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:26 PM   #8
wrxsnowstyle
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my 02 does the same clunking from the back in reverse..gotta find that noise.
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:01 PM   #9
Ging
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avk, if you find the tool, let me know what you figured out.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #10
Ging
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Just an update.

I found that the problem was indeed the power steering belt. It must have been slipping. After replacing it with a new belt we no longer have any problems with steering.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:51 AM   #11
DoniMalachi
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Ging did you replace the belts yourself? my car is very screetchy and loud when cold and today i had my wife turn the wheel while i looked, because it's worse with the steering wheel turning and is impossible to turn the wheel. it turns out the large pulley on the left side, looking at the motor, just to the left of the smallest pulley that is left of the AC pulley, sputters/stops and gets extremely loud, is this just the belts? it has 80000 miles and i am not sure if the belts have ever been replaced? any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:12 PM   #12
DiscoGsus
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Thats your power steering pulley.
Could be power steering pump itself is going bad, but more likely you just need to re-tension the existing accessories belt or buy a new one.
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:13 AM   #13
Ging
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I did do the belts my self.

I'd have to agree with DiscoGsus. Check the belts when the car isn't running. The insides should be grooved. When I checked ours out, they were all cracked and some parts of the grooves were missing. They were in bad shape. When I took them out, I compared them with the new belts and the old ones were quite a bit longer than the new ones so the old ones were probably quite stretched and thus no longer properly tensioned. So if your belts look bad then replace them; If the tensioners look like they are at their limits, replace your belts, otherwise you can probably get away with just upping the tension.
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