Power steering not working unless accelerator is pressed.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Slacker, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Slacker

    Slacker Diamond Member

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    So, 2000 crown Vic, replaced power steering pump for a leak about 2 years ago, I only mention this because in that process I became aware of the fact that my car does not have a solenoid on the pump like most others seem to.

    Anyway, was dropping my son off for work yesterday morning and we were early, big empty parking lot in back of a big building so I got the idea to do a donut, cranked the wheels and let it rip, went around a couple times, huge cloud of smoke, big grin on my sons face (a rare occurrence to be sure)

    Then on the way home I was off the gas to roll around a turn and holy crap, zero power assist, not fun.

    Drove the car a few times yesterday with the same issue, this morning it was doing it too, then about 20 minutes into the drive I was pulling into a spot in a parking lot expecting to have to fight it and the power steering was working normally, maybe just the slightest bit notchy.

    What is going on? Hoping it is dirty fluid and maybe some debris stirred up and partial blockage of the line that worked itself out.
     
  2. Jimzz

    Jimzz Diamond Member

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    Maybe a air bubble? Jack the car up and with it running turn the wheel to lock both ways. Of course check the fluid to make sure its up to level and no leaks first. If dirty then suck some out and top with a good trans fluid.

    When i replaced the rack on my Ranger I had some air in mine that caused a little noise and hard to turn at low speeds. Turning to lock usually gets the air out.
     
  3. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Could be an internal leak...that is its not able to build and maintain pressure properly? Was fighting a similar issue with our Subaru. After a failed rebuild attempt I just gave in and bought a new pump. Pricey, but cheaper/easier than a new rack at least.
     
  4. Raizinman

    Raizinman Platinum Member

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    I would first check for a loose power steering belt. At idle and turning the wheel causes lots of strain, and if there is any slack in the belt, it will slip causing tough turning. The belt needs to be tight. If you recently replaced the belt, keep in mind that most belts stretch a bit after they wear and need to be retightened.
     
  5. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    Seconded. I think Rainz is spot-on here.

    ZV
     
  6. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Not a serpentine belt on a 2000 Crown Vic?
     
  7. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    Good point, but I still think that belt slip is a good possibility.

    ZV
     
  8. jaha2000

    jaha2000 Senior member

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    Serp belt on that one.. Bad tensioner?

    Is the fluid low?
     
  9. Slacker

    Slacker Diamond Member

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    It is a serpentine belt, plenty of fluid in the res.

    No other belt slip symptoms, just the power steering issue.
     
  10. Raizinman

    Raizinman Platinum Member

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    On second thought: These cars (and most other FoMoCo products) use a system called EVO (Electronically Variable Orifice) steering.

    There is a small solenoid (valve) mounted on the P/S pump. It controls the amount of fluid to the P/S gear. When the solenoid is unplugged, the system will go to FULL ASSIST (as I recall). You can check this system, therefore, by simply unplugging the connector at the P/S pump (reachable from the driver's side, underneath).

    The EVO system is controlled by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM), which also controls the engine, trans, and all emissions functions.
     
  11. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    ...
     
  12. Slacker

    Slacker Diamond Member

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    My car does not have the evo solenoid on the pump.

    The problem seems to have gone away, no problems while driving home last night.
     
  13. cardiac

    cardiac Platinum Member

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    And it will return when you least expect it.... There is/was a problem. Don't wait for it to return to find it.
     
  14. Raizinman

    Raizinman Platinum Member

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    If it were my car, I would change the Power Steering fluid. A cheap, probably needed anyway, maintenance that could help. Perhaps when you changed the pump 2 years ago there was some dirt in the new/rebuilt pump or some dirt in the other power steering components.
     
  15. Slacker

    Slacker Diamond Member

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    All good for the past week, I'm thinking I polished the belt at high rpm's and it sorted itself out.