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Power Steering Problems

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Jan 2013, 05:27 pm
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Default Power Steering Problems

Hi all!

I will appreciate any help I can get. My fiance owns a 2001 PT Cruiser. All was fine when we went away for a few days. When we came back, I started the PT to move it out of the snowpile we came home to, and we had no power steering whatsoever. We had the pump replaced about a year and a half ago. There's been a red puddle in the driveway almost every day, but we figured it was transmission fluid because it takes forever in the cold for the car to go into gear. I looked under the hood, and down by the lower passenger side, I see a belt that doesn't look like it's even on the pulley. Everything I read indicated that it's a timing belt. Could this have anything to do with the power steering pump?

Thanks in advance and happy new year to all!
Joanie
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 05:56 pm
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Location: darien il
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgirl1971 View Post
Hi all!

I will appreciate any help I can get. My fiance owns a 2001 PT Cruiser. All was fine when we went away for a few days. When we came back, I started the PT to move it out of the snowpile we came home to, and we had no power steering whatsoever. We had the pump replaced about a year and a half ago. There's been a red puddle in the driveway almost every day, but we figured it was transmission fluid because it takes forever in the cold for the car to go into gear. I looked under the hood, and down by the lower passenger side, I see a belt that doesn't look like it's even on the pulley. Everything I read indicated that it's a timing belt. Could this have anything to do with the power steering pump?

Thanks in advance and happy new year to all!
Joanie
it isn't the timing belt. the car has 3 belts, the timing belt is hidden inside the engine.

the car not moving when cold is a classic symptom of being low on trans fluid. driving it like this will make it blow up, and it'll do it soon. too much fluid is also bad, so make sure you keep an eye on (or better yet fix) that. it should be checked in with the engine warmed up and running, while in park. if the car stops moving, you wont need to address the steering issue.

if there is no belt around the power steering pulley pump, you need to figure out why it fell off. the reasons this will happen are: 1, the belt got old and broke, or 2, something seized up(AC compressor, the tensioner pulley, or the power steering pump)

can you take a picture of that belt?

Last edited by rob342; 02 Jan 2013 at 06:06 pm.
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 07:02 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

Hi, and thank you for responding. You're right about the transmission fluid, and we need to get it fixed, but we've just dumped $1500 for a headgasket, breaks, power steering pump, dimmer switch, etc.

I'm not able to get a picture because it's dark right now, and it's actually hard to reach. It looks like the pulley is down below on the passenger side, maybe above the front left tire area? There's no belt on it, but I can see a belt above it. It does nothing when you start the car.
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 07:13 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatgirl1971 View Post
There's no belt on it, but I can see a belt above it. It does nothing when you start the car.
okay in this diagram, the belt marked "3" is separate and is only for the alternator. the three things i marked in yellow all work on the belt that is missing.

you need to try to spin each of these three things by hand. they should all turn easily. if any of them do not, that would be the problem. the little one in the center broke on mine this year. it cost me $30 to replace and is only attached with one bolt. hopefully that is your problem too.

the top one i marked is the power steering pump pulley

the middle one is the tensioner pulley

the bottom one is the AC compressor. this pulley may not appear to spin then you turn it, as only the outer part rotates. the center only engages and spins when the AC is turned on and working properly.

you need to make sure these all are fine before sticking another belt on, or it will just come off again.



i hope this helps. please let us know what you find.
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 07:32 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

Hi Rob, I'm going to apologize for my ignorance ahead of time, but when I look at this diagram, I'm kind of lost. Is this what I'm supposed to be seeing as I look under the hood from left to right? The pulley I saw was down below and it looked vertical. The pulleys in this diagram look like they're going across horizontally. Is this a diagram for a 2001?
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 07:35 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

this diagram is as if you are looking from the passenger side, sitting on the ground by the front right tire.

Last edited by rob342; 02 Jan 2013 at 07:43 pm.
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 08:33 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

and I would be looking up underneath or having the tire off and looking straight on? (sorry!)
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 08:52 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

well, pretty much you can touch and spin the top pulley with your finger tips. there isnt much room in there.

the bottom pulley you can touch and spin from the passenger side wheel well. it's in front of the tire, but farther in. it's easier to get to if you turn the wheel all the way to the right.

the middle one is above that, but you pretty much have to lye on your back to see or touch it.

nothing is really easy to see on this car.

i'm leaving to take my girlfriend to dinner now, so i can write you more in the morning or maybe someone else will be nice enough to answer in the mean time. (:
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 09:16 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

Find the tranny leak. Have that fixed.


Here is a step by step on how to replace the accessory drive belt that has broken :-)

Step one, Apply E-brake.

2. Loosen passenger side front lug nuts

3. Raise car and support on jack stand.

4. remove front passenger wheel.

5. There is a splash guard you will need to remove, it has 4 small 8mm screws along the front of the wheel well, 3 10mm bolts along the top rim of the splash guard *kind of hidden between the vehicle body and spashguard, one is right behind the pencil strut*, and one 10mm bolt at the front of the splash guard, right under the front bumper.

6. Once splash guard is removed you will see 2 belts. . The forward belt is your accessory drive belt.

7. If your belt is still attached, Locate the tensioner pully *middle small wheel in the diagram above in yellow*.

8. Take a socket the size of the bolt and crack it to the left, this will turn it downward thus removing tension on the belt. *if your belt is not attached skip step 8*

9. note how the belt is positioned in the diagram, squeeze the belt up in between the sidewall and the motor, and loop it around all pulleys/wheels as shown.

10. Turn tensioner back again, and slip the belt onto the tensioner.

11. Repace splash guard and put the wheel back on :-)

My first time doing this it took 2 hours only because some of the splashguard bolts are hard to find, and its a very tight squeeze to get the belt in. But its not a difficult job at all :-)

The belt costs about $10 and also controls your AC :-D

Hope this helps
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 09:47 pm
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Default Re: Power Steering Problems

I can't thank you guys enough! I'm going to look at it tomorrow and maybe get my fiance to tackle it with me this weekend. Okay, now here's another question in regards to the accessory belt. We haven't had a/c in about two years even after adding refrigerant. If the a/c stopped working as a result of this belt, wouldn't the power steering stopped at the same time?
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