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power steering stopped working

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:56 pm
by Malarky
Hello all,

While I was driving today the steering all of the sudden became really heavy / tight. It feels like im trying to steer with the engine off. No warning lights / codes. Where do I begin and what is the worst that it could be? Also, is it ok to drive as is for a few days until I (or mechanic) can repair?

Thank you

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:01 pm
by A@ron
Have you checked the fluid level and made sure the belt is still on the pump and spinning with the engine running?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:14 pm
by occasional demons
You can drive it, but you are taking a risk, if you get in a situation where you need to steer quickly. You could end up crashing.

You probably lost the belt, or the tensioner failed. Pray for it being the belt.

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:28 am
by Donkeypuncher
I'd guess the belt probably shredded and fell off, it's common with old rotted belts. If so, replace both belts because the alternator belt won't be far behind if it's just as old.

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:22 am
by Malarky
Thanks all.

I looked this morning and the belt was off. I'm holding it in my hand. It is all intact and looks in good shape. So the question is, I guess? why did it come off? Have been over a lot of puddles and pot holes lately. Just a matter of buying a new belt and putting it on?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:57 am
by occasional demons
Put that belt back on, and see what it does first. If the tensioner arm pivot has worn, or idler pulley bearing, it might be walking off the idler pulley.

If either is the case, the whole motor mount plate has to come off. If it is just the idler bearing, you can replace that, but if the pivot is letting the arm lean out, then you have to replace the entire motor mount plate.

If the car is near 105,000 miles, you may as well change the timing belt/components/water pump while you are there.

There is an ear on the tensioner. A 17mm wrench slides onto that ear, to move the tensioner to get the belt on.

You won't do it without the wrench.


Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:04 am
by Malarky
Thank you.

I'm a bit of a novice.

Any diagrams and step by step directions?

Thanks again.

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:47 pm
by Malarky
Well.... I got the new belt on, started her up and 10 seconds later the belt was being eaten up. Looks and feels like the part that is supposed to spin on the tensioner is busted.