No power in power steering

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#1
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MAKE: Chevrolet
MODEL: Impala
YEAR: 09
MILES: 62,000
ENGINE: 3.5 flex fuel
DESCRIBE ISSUE....My daughter was driving her car when it lost the power steering, was very hard to steer. I took it for a ride to see if I could figure it out. It working fine when the engine is reved about 1500 rpm's. the power steering works when I am parked and the engine is 1500 or better, but when back to idle its very hard to turn the wheel. Anyone know whats wrong? thanks
 

billr

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#2
Have you checked the drive belt/tensioner? Connect a voltmeter to the battery terminals and see if voltage drops as you turn steering fully in one direction (engine idling); if voltage drops noticeably, that is a hint that the belt is slipping.
 

nickb2

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#3
This could be the result of a failing pressure relief valve.

If you are not hearing any whining noise then there should be no air in it. But check to make sure. However, this is a disclaimer, a whining pump is not always indicative of air in the system. But to make sure, jack up the car as high as you can get it at the front and turn wheels by hand lock to lock with engine off. Do this several times.
 

nickb2

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#4
At this point, by moving wheels from lock to lock by hand, you have ascertained if the ball joints or strut upper bearings are jamming up or not and that if so, the higher rpms are giving the added pressure to overcome the drag.

If the B joints and strut mounts are moving freely, and steering gear is not leaking, and is moving freely, you can pretty much call a new PS pump on this one.

I would however highly recommend a PS flush before replacing the pump. You never know, it may free up the pressure relief valve and loosen the gunk from the steering hear and pump and restore some of it's function. Cheap and easy to do. Not much to loose.

You can buy a flush at your local parts store and run it for a while.

Your fluid should be a clear color, not dark or milky. Some use ATF transmission fluid. I always recommend to stay away from that unless specified by the dealer. Anyway, that is a age old debate.
 
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#5
Ha problems with my P-30 motorhome with hydroboost, not only the steering but the power brakes as well. Manual said to remove the hydroboost, take it apart and clean it. Was mounted on top of the frame and somebody built a motor home on top of it.

On long shot, just suctioned out all the old fluid from the PS pump and poured in Lucas power steering fluid and seal conditioner, after about running the engine for about a minute, everything worked fine again, claims to be compatible with all power steering fluids, this was around three years ago, still working great.

On other vehicles, took the weight off the front wheel, remove the return hose to the pump, jury rigged a hose to a container, with a kid or a wife, just had them turn the wheel from lock to lock rapidly with the engine at idle. And filled it with Lucas, even stopped leaks, stuff works for me. Did this to my kid's 2000 Taurus with a 100K miles on it, lasted to 250K when the road salt got to it. Have no solutions for road salt, except just don't drive on it. Works for my 88 Supra.
 
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#6
At this point, by moving wheels from lock to lock by hand, you have ascertained if the ball joints or strut upper bearings are jamming up or not and that if so, the higher rpms are giving the added pressure to overcome the drag.

If the B joints and strut mounts are moving freely, and steering gear is not leaking, and is moving freely, you can pretty much call a new PS pump on this one.

I would however highly recommend a PS flush before replacing the pump. You never know, it may free up the pressure relief valve and loosen the gunk from the steering hear and pump and restore some of it's function. Cheap and easy to do. Not much to loose.

You can buy a flush at your local parts store and run it for a while.

Your fluid should be a clear color, not dark or milky. Some use ATF transmission fluid. I always recommend to stay away from that unless specified by the dealer. Anyway, that is a age old debate.
I had the rack and pump replaced and now its working when driving. Now it doesn't work at idol ( only at 800 rpm or more) this car idols at 600 rpm and I'm wondering if that is too low. any suggestions? Thanks, Jerry
 
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#7
I did a check and found GM recommends vacuum bleeding for this system. there is a TSB if you need it ask.
BUT the attached document sums up their view of this... sorry
 

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#8
I did a check and found GM recommends vacuum bleeding for this system. there is a TSB if you need it ask.
BUT the attached document sums up their view of this... sorry
Thanks for the prompt answer, this sounds like what is going on with this car. What is a vacuum bleed? Can I do it myself or take it in?
 
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#9
Not a critical issue but a FYI as I think the document above suggested low speed PS is 'normal" - They changed the procedure to this type of bleed.
 

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