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Power Steering Intermittently Stiff

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Power steering intermittently stiff has resulted from a faulty power steering pump or a wet power steering belt that is slipping that causes stiff steering.

In the case of heavy steering, the following phenomena should be considered. These are the cases that the steering is heavy throughout the operation, this means the power steering does not function at all, the steering becomes suddenly heavy when fully turned this means the belt slip, When the steering wheel is heavy in the overall operation, this means a malfunction of steering gear or steering column.

Power steering intermittently stiff has resulted from a faulty power steering pump or slipping power steering belt. The power steering oil pump is driven by the engine through a power steering belt which provides the necessary oil pressure to operate the power steering system, if the steering pump is faulty it will make the power steering intermittently stiff.

The reason why Power Steering Intermittently Stiff

(1) Faulty power steering pump.
(2) Power steering belt is wet.

Car troubleshooting

If the car is equipped with power steering. A power steering system has something called a "power steering pump" - a device that pumps power steering fluid through various tubes/valves, thereby creating hydraulic force. This hydraulic force is then applied to the steering gear, making steering easier for the driver (hence the term "power steering").

The most likely cause of this particular problem is that the power steering pump is (occasionally) failing. Specifically, if the pump stops pumping for a moment, there will be no hydraulic pressure (during that moment) and thus the steering will momentarily become stiff.

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Another (but rare) possibility is the following... if the power steering belt becomes wet, it can slip and cause the steering to be stiff (while the belt is slipping). The belt can become wet if the vehicle has been driven through one or more deep puddles of water. Also, check for cracks or damage to the belt and change it if necessary. Refer to your car service manual, check the belt tension and adjust it if it is not within the specified value.

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Steering Wheel Feels Loose

Lose the steering wheel while you drive the car at a higher speed. Several reasons can cause the steering wheel to feel sloppy or feel loose. If the steering wheel feels loose and sloppy especially at higher speed, it is an indication of a problem caused by one or more faulty front-end components. Learn more: Steering Wheel Feels Loose

What to do?
The first thing to do is Measure the reservoir tank oil level. It must be within the specified level. Measure the level using the cold side level gauge when the engine is cold and stopped. If it is impossible to measure when the engine is cold, start the engine, repeat full turning several times to warm up the fluid temperature to the normal operating condition, and then check the level using the hot side level gauge with the engine stopped. Use a reservoir tank fluid level gauge to measure the oil level. Check for fluid leakage with the oil pressure raised up by the fully turned steering if the fluid level is lower than the specification.

You'll need to have the power steering pump replaced. But first, just to be sure, go to a repair shop and ask the mechanic to inspect the power steering system.  Have him confirm that the cause of this problem indeed lies with the power steering pump. When talking with the mechanic, explain to him exactly what we explained to you. This problem is potentially hazardous. Therefore, please have the necessary repairs done soon.

Shaky Steering Wheel When Braking
A shaky steering wheel when braking is a result of the warped front brake disc or a loose or worn-out front wheel bearing. Read more » Shaky Steering Wheel When Braking

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