Re: no power steering at idle

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Posted by Igore ( on 10:45:34 05/04/11

In Reply to: no power steering at idle posted by Peter

There could be a bunch of causes for the power steering to not be effective at idle, but fine at higher engine speeds. Some off the top of my head,

The belt driving the pump could be slipping.

The relief valve in the pump could be leaking so it can't build pressure at idle.

The steering fluid level could be low.

Extreme cold that causes the pump to cavitate (you will hear a whine or groan).

A hydraulic hose may be kinked.

There may be a problem with the steering linkage like lack of grease, binding or worn parts, damaged parts.

Have the front wheels been recently aligned? A bad caster setting can make turning the wheel very hard. Hitting a real bad pothole may also cause this or other problems.

Do you have a steering snubber? This looks like a shock absorber attached to the steering linkage and frame to prevent the wheel from whipping out of your hands if you hit a rock or something. If this is damaged or bent, it can cause hard steering.

If it's the valve in the steering box, it would probably be a problem with the front wheels up in the air too.

Whatever it is, the problem should be pretty obvious.

Good luck.

: Took a trip to New York City (several of it's boroughs) and had to do some small parking lot and parallel parking maneuvering that I don't normally need to do in the Sub (2000, K1500, 92,000 miles). Had a problem getting the steering wheel to turn while at idle. If I revved the engine then the power assist worked fine but at idle, it felt like there was no power steering. I did check the fluid level and it looked good. I saw a comment on another board about replacing the steering box because there could be a bad valve inside - but that seemed to be related to a on sided turning issue (right or left butnot both). Does this sound likely?
: I am a little nervous about letting my 16 year-old drive it even though he does a very nice job with it normally. The idea of losing power steering is not something I want to see a newer driver have to handle.
: Other thoughts or suggestions?
: - Peter

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