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hard steering after start up


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bubbly
User

Mar 6, 2015, 11:46 AM

Post #1 of 11 (1417 views)
hard steering after start up Sign In

Vehicle: Dodge, Stratus, 4 cylinder, 2002.
Immediately after start up as I back up or start turning I have hard steering. As soon as I start driving there is no problem. I checked the power steering fluid and for leaks and found no problems. I read on the internet that someone that had similar problems corrected the problem simply by draining the power steering reservoir and refilling it with new steering fluid which included a conditioner. Is this a viable option or am I looking at having a mechanic look at the problem which surely will result in replacing the power steering unit or more.

Bob


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 6, 2015, 12:57 PM

Post #2 of 11 (1405 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

Any noises from the PS pump? How is the drive belt? Any bubbles in the fluid?

Flushing may or may not help. It will need to be flushed anyhow if you go to replace something to correct your issue. The PS fluid that system uses is ATF +4. Don't use anything else.

If you raise the engine rpms when you don't have assist, does assist return? Could be pump, rack spool valve, or restriction in the return side causing your issue. Another thing I've ran into is the screen inside the reservoir plugging up or restricting fluid to the intake of the pump.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Mar 6, 2015, 12:58 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 6, 2015, 1:04 PM

Post #3 of 11 (1401 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

I've had luck with an issue like that just sucking out as much fluid as possible and use correct ATF (synthetic of choice) and problem which was quite minor went away. I too would probably go as DS said had that not worked - my own so no loss in trying in that case. Synthetic seems to be proven more heat tolerant and think some get a hot spot and get sticky. New fluid (exact right type) is full of new additives - done,


T



bubbly
User

Mar 11, 2015, 6:58 AM

Post #4 of 11 (1372 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

No noises or bubbles and the problem is corrected with increased rpms. Before going to my mechanic I will drain and replace the power steering fluid to see if the problem is corrected. Bob


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 11, 2015, 7:20 AM

Post #5 of 11 (1367 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

? Is RPM too low at idle or when it does this? About everything that is a load on idle, including PS raises idle enough not unlike use of A/C or other reasons.


Other: Belt tight enough and has a good grip? Belt squeal at all? Tires wrong or way too low on pressure plus most anything turns better when even the slightest roll of the vehicle as it's not "scrubbing" tires. Ever try to steer a car without engine running if only to move it a bit for some reason if rolling steering is tons easier......


T



bubbly
User

Mar 28, 2015, 9:34 AM

Post #6 of 11 (1328 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

Belt is tight and grips well. Tire pressure OK. Replaced steering fluid with LUCAS "Power Steering Fluid with Conditioners" no improvement.


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 28, 2015, 10:57 AM

Post #7 of 11 (1323 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

I can't speak for that brand name but bet it's just the most common ATF for PS use which already has "properties" required so just paying for a name brand.


Not much out there for fix-it in a bottle. Some stuff really helps and most do harm so would be what most OE fluid would be. ATF has an important properties. Resists foaming, flows as a light weight oil and is a pretty strong detergent by itself. Color is added or missing on products for identification mostly.


Anyone beware of vehicles that use an exception to what so called "most" vehicles use if any chance yours is an exception,


T



Discretesignals
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Mar 28, 2015, 11:19 AM

Post #8 of 11 (1320 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

Raising the engine rpm and getting PS back could indicate a problem with the pump. You could also have a problem with the reservoir screen being plugged up.

You could remove the reservior and then hover it over a drain bucket and pour some fluid in there to be sure it comes out just as fast as you pour it in. I don't know if you can look down in there with a flash light to tell if the screen is plugged up or not. If it is restricted in there, replace the reservior and flush out the system really good. Also use ATF +4.

If the reservoir isn't plugged, you probably have issues with the PS pump itself. It could have a regulator valve issue or a problem with the pump vane clearance in the pump bore. Problems in the rack head can also cause those symptoms.

Without using a power steering pressure tester, it is sometimes difficult to tell what the culprit is.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Mar 28, 2015, 11:24 AM)


Sidom
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Mar 29, 2015, 8:08 PM

Post #9 of 11 (1292 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

That kinda reminds me of the "morning sickness" problem GM had with their racks.......There was no p/s on cold start ups due to a bad seal and then it would be fine for the rest of the day.....
Is this doing it on all start ups or only on cold start ups after it has sat for a while??


bubbly
User

Mar 30, 2015, 8:29 AM

Post #10 of 11 (1279 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

Problem started at the beginning of this winter. The problem is significantly worst during start up on very cold days. Can I pretty much assume that the problem is related to the power steering pump. Being that I can get a new pump (A1 Cardone 21-5243) shipped or less than $60 I would like to avoid having a mechanic check it out which probably would cost about the same.

Bob


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 30, 2015, 9:27 AM

Post #11 of 11 (1276 views)
Re: hard steering after start up Sign In

Would like to know how this comes out when new pump is installed. Quick look showed 2 pumps (different) for a couple or a sedan? Not sure why or what difference? That look-up could be wrong also,


T







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