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Old 11-03-2010, 10:02 PM   #1
umscooby
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Default Intermittent Loss of Power Steering. Has this ever happened 2 U?

Out of no where I have an intermittent steering problem. My car will suddenly become VERY hard to turn while I'm driving. Steering will be normal and easy and then suddenly it becomes hard as hell. I can barely turn the wheel in either direction with both hands while rolling! It feels like the power steering is working against me! Super dangerous. It also seems like it happens more when I am decelerating. Is this my pump going? I really help diagnosing this. If anyone has any input please chime in or feel free to ask for more detail.

Car is '05 STi with 80k. I siphoned the old PS fluid and put in new approx. 5 months ago.

**Final diagnosis and fix posts 10 & 12 below**
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Last edited by umscooby; 11-12-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
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Belt slipping perhaps?
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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I replaced both belts with new NAPA ones last year. I have actually been wondering if they are too tight. Don't think they'd be slipping.

I'm thinking it's very possible the belt was installed to tight and now a bearing or something else has gone bad. If I remove the belt is there anything I should be looking for besides squealing bearings? What should the power steering pump feel like when I try and turn it by hand?

Last edited by umscooby; 11-03-2010 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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check the belts again, its possible if the napa belt sucks that it could be worn by now. do the twist test to see how tight they are.

clamps to the hoses on the ps reservoir tight?air getting into system?
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
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^ the NAPA belts are the same as OEM IIRC and what most on here recommend using. Never the less they are in great shape.

Air getting to the system is another avenue I need to explore further.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:55 PM   #6
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if air is in the system you'll hear a whine (sometimes) and you'll feel a shimmy in the wheel
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:41 AM   #7
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^ thanks, I am getting a slight squeal when idling but it too is intermittent.
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:40 PM   #8
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Rechecked belts, they are perfect. PS pump spins smoothly. No air bubbles in the reservoir. My fluid level hasn't budged in months. Same intermittent loss of PS while driving.

Anything else I should do? Something trapped in the line or a bad pump is all I can come up with.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:47 PM   #9
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Try replacing the factory band clamps with real hose clamps. There is a history of them being a problem for some.

G/L
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Foot STi View Post
Try replacing the factory band clamps with real hose clamps. There is a history of them being a problem for some.

G/L
Ended up being this.
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Old 11-12-2010, 01:44 AM   #11
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I just had this happening too.. Had a light front-end tap and had it inspected by the insurance guy 'just in case' and he was really nasty saying it was totally unrelated blah blah..

I notice the whine/grumble and then it's 'difficult' to steer for a few seconds. I've had it parked for a bit while I save up some repair cash, but I looked at it closely today and it was a bit low on fluid, plus there was lots of moisture around the pump. I noticed also a bit of a bruising on the plastic where it may have compressed the power steering fluid reservoir when the front end was hit, causing it to ooze out/leak some fluid/suck in some air?

I have some band clamps.. I can top up the fluid and swap the clamps.. ?
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 420WRX View Post
I just had this happening too.. Had a light front-end tap and had it inspected by the insurance guy 'just in case' and he was really nasty saying it was totally unrelated blah blah..

I notice the whine/grumble and then it's 'difficult' to steer for a few seconds. I've had it parked for a bit while I save up some repair cash, but I looked at it closely today and it was a bit low on fluid, plus there was lots of moisture around the pump. I noticed also a bit of a bruising on the plastic where it may have compressed the power steering fluid reservoir when the front end was hit, causing it to ooze out/leak some fluid/suck in some air?

I have some band clamps.. I can top up the fluid and swap the clamps.. ?
Plan on loosing some fluid. I just poured all mine out in a coffee can and replaced it with new. Do the clamps and I'm sure you will be fine.

I was able to pinpoint which one of my oem clamps was failing and thus allowing air to be slowly sucked in. Which is also the cause of the squealing sound btw.

Drain fluid.
Replace all 4 clamps. Cut a bit of hose off when you do this.
Replace fluid.
Start car and turn wheels. On or off the ground, your call.
Check and top off fluid.
Drive around the block once or twice to get remaining air out.
Check and top off if needed.

This should be stickied.

Not my lame instructions but the clamp problem itself. Seems to be quite common. Could be a real safety issue.



...mods... I'd be happy to make a sticky on this.

Last edited by umscooby; 11-12-2010 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Hi Mods!
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:49 AM   #13
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If the fluid gets low doesn't the air get in that way too?
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