- Power steering wierdness…
Power steering fluid low or perhaps the pump is on the way out?
Was the 3 point turn immediately after starting the engine? I have noticed with some cars that if you make full-lock movements immeidately after starting the engine the steering can feel heavy.Posted 4 years ago
Once underway it then feels fine.MintmanMember
The pump on our mini does that – something about carbon build up in the motor brushes etc. It’s a known fault on minis of a certain age but the symptoms you describe are just like that.
Worth checking the easy things like fluid level first before we go all Doom-and-gloom about it though.Posted 4 years agoBlindMelonMember
Is it a Vauxhall Insignia by any chance?
I had this fault a few weeks ago. Less the flames!Posted 4 years agobailsSubscriber
The pump in my focus died. I had a few months of very occasionaly loss of power steering, sometimes if I just stopped and restarted the engine it would come back on, other times it wouldn’t.
Eventually it just refused to come back on (fluid was fine) and it had to be replaced.Posted 4 years ago
Got in the car this morning, engine started as normal, went to do 3 point turn to turn round, and the steering felt heavy – almost as heavy as when you try to turn the steering wheel without the engine running.
Completed the 3 point turn, drove to end of road wiggled steering a bit and it felt normal- maybe a bit heavier than normal.
Rest of the journey seemed ok.
Is this the power steering pump?
There was no excessive whining or screeching when applying lock.Posted 4 years agoRioSubscriber
If you rule out the hydraulics it may be worth having a prod at the electrical connectors to the power steering. I had similar symptoms that turned out to be caused by the power steering not always getting the signal that tells it how fast the car’s going and therefore how much assistance to provide.Posted 4 years agoSuiMember
I know we have all assumed is hydro, but what car is it as alot are electric motors now.
Anyway, it could also be sticky servo valves. If you can get to them, a clean up may help – this happened on one of my old cars (i think it was the ovlov..) but then hitting it with a hammer sorted most issues..Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Try replacing the power steering fluid (assuming its hydraulic and not electric). If not it could be the pump is on its way out. My old Focus did this for the whole 5yrs of ownership, so though it might be the pump on its way out, it might last for as long as you need it to.
But old fluid can cavitate or become compressible which may cause dead spots in the action – so a fluid replacement is relatively cheap and might cure the issue.Posted 4 years agomaxtorqueMember
If it’s got ‘lecy PAS (either pure electric or electrohydraulic) if the battery voltage is low, the system turns down the assistance at low speeds to help save power. If you car had been parked for a while and it was a cold day then this can occur occasionally even with a decent battery. If it’s pure hydraulic and there was no hideous screeching (belt slipping) then it is possible for the pressure release valve to stick open until the pump warms up a bit.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks for the input folks.
checked tyres and they are equal pressure.
checked power steering reservoir at cold and when warm and level was between appropriate Max and Min values. No obvious signs of leaking from reservoir, but couldn’t get underneath to check from below.
Will keep an eye on it – might try my local garage to see what they would charge to change the fluid and give it a once-over.
thanks again.Posted 4 years ago
If you had a Fiat I’d have suggested that it was because it was a Fiat. We hired one in Menorca and it had this ‘easy park’ system where the power steering got a boost when you were moving slowly to help you park.
In reality, as you’d expect from such an awful manufacturer, it made the car incredibly dangerous. Anything up to 40mph (and on Menorca you never make it much past 40mph anyway) the thing would boost the power steering when the car was turning which would simultaneously make it feel like the front wheels were sliding as well as causing the front end to unweight. The car scared the hell out of me.Posted 4 years agomaccruiskeenSubscriber
If the steering is electric / hydro electric then a alternator thats on the slide can give occasional drop outs of the steering assist – theres a certain voltage the steering requires and the alternator can be hovering just above that and a slight dip can upset things.Posted 4 years ago
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