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P/S Just Went Out

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01 Dec 2018, 04:37 pm
Macgyverman1123's Avatar
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Default P/S Just Went Out

Well, as the title says, my power steering just went out. But first, some backstory.

For the last week or so, there has been an obnoxious scraping/grinding/squealing noise. I just turned up the radio because I didn't have time to get to it till today anyways. The noise wasn't dependant on RPM, or if I turned the wheel or if I had the A/C on or off.

Today, I was leaving church, started it up and no power steering at all.

I'm assuming it is the belt tensioner. I quickly looked, the belt is still on, not hanging down or broken, the reservoir is still full, so it isn't that. Do you think it would be the belt tensioner or the pump?

Even when the noise was going on, the power steering was still flawless and very smooth, 1-2 fingers even at low speed, so I'm leaning towards a tensioner.

Any suggestions on how to replace it? It looks like a pain in the @$$.

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Old 01 Dec 2018, 06:34 pm
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyverman1123 View Post
Well, as the title says, my power steering just went out. But first, some backstory.

For the last week or so, there has been an obnoxious scraping/grinding/squealing noise. I just turned up the radio because I didn't have time to get to it till today anyways. The noise wasn't dependant on RPM, or if I turned the wheel or if I had the A/C on or off.

Today, I was leaving church, started it up and no power steering at all.

I'm assuming it is the belt tensioner. I quickly looked, the belt is still on, not hanging down or broken, the reservoir is still full, so it isn't that. Do you think it would be the belt tensioner or the pump?

Even when the noise was going on, the power steering was still flawless and very smooth, 1-2 fingers even at low speed, so I'm leaning towards a tensioner.

Any suggestions on how to replace it? It looks like a pain in the @$$.

If you try to back the bolt out it will eventually hit the frame....

put the pt up on jackstands, then put some wood on the jack and jack up the trans pan, to tilt the passenger side of the engine down to remove the bolt.

If the tensioner is bad you will get a lot of belt noises, if its not making much noise it could just be a worn out pump
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Old 01 Dec 2018, 06:38 pm
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

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Originally Posted by Macgyverman1123 View Post
The noise wasn't dependant on RPM, or if I turned the wheel or if I had the A/C on or off.


Then the noise is 99.9% a red herring.

There's a switch on the steering rack that can break, get filled with PS fuid and pack in or get it's wires chaffed through.
Check that first for anything obvious - use search, theres plenty of posts about it.

WRT the PS pump - it's very easy to change the PS fluid by dropping off the return hose and putting it in a container, and running the engine while keeping the reservoir topped up. This tells you two things: your pumps working, and your fluid is fresh.
The last thing that can happen (and it happened to me) is a piece of crap can get under the pressure relief valve in the pump meaning it doesn't allow enough pressure to work the PS. It's an oddball, and only likely if you've had major work where the PS has been opened up, like me, or your PS fluid is filthy and long past needing a change.
There's a mesh filter in the reservoir that can get blocked, but again, if it is, thats self inflicted. Drop off the reservoir clean, replace fluid.

Fluid wise, ATF III is fine for the PS and dirt cheap. The "added wonders" of ATF4 or ATF+4 don't come into play with PS regardless of what Chrysler say. What's more important is that it's clean, and being pumped where it should.
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Old 01 Dec 2018, 06:41 pm
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyverman1123 View Post

I'm assuming it is the belt tensioner. I quickly looked, the belt is still on, not hanging down or broken, the reservoir is still full, so it isn't that. Do you think it would be the belt tensioner or the pump?
A shagged tensioner will be jumping around like a mad thing. You will notice it.
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Old 02 Dec 2018, 05:51 am
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

I hate to say the rack is more likely to fail than the pump... you can see the fluid moving in the res if pump is working (flashlight)...

Last edited by rambojoe; 02 Dec 2018 at 05:59 am.
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Old 02 Dec 2018, 06:07 am
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

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Originally Posted by rambojoe View Post
I hate to say the rack is more likely to fail than the pump... you can see the fluid moving in the res if pump is working (flashlight)...
Nah it's ATF

As per the repair manual:

"POWER STEERING FLUID
The recommended fluid for the power steering system is Mopart ATF+4 Automatic Transmission Fluid
(MS-9602).
Mopart ATF+4, when new, is red in color. ATF+4 is
dyed red so it can be identified from other fluids used
in the vehicle such as engine oil or antifreeze."

I was swimming in the stuff trying to fix mine - which eventually I did by clouting the pump with a hammer, via an aliminium rod, which shook whatever was jamming the release valve out and gave me PS back.

But you don't need ATF+4 - any old Dexron III will do.
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Old 02 Dec 2018, 06:08 am
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambojoe View Post
I hate to say the rack is more likely to fail than the pump... you can see the fluid moving in the res if pump is working (flashlight)...

Ha! never seen that before - you edited while I posted
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Old 02 Dec 2018, 06:10 am
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

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Originally Posted by rambojoe View Post
I hate to say the rack is more likely to fail than the pump... you can see the fluid moving in the res if pump is working (flashlight)...
And the switch is more likely to fail than the rack.

WRT seeing the fluid moving - it moved on mine, and flushed - but because the PRV was locked open, it wouldn't power steer.

Drove me round the bend...
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Old 02 Dec 2018, 10:42 am
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

I think we got off track here, the issue isn't with the rack or the pressure switches, it's the accessory drive and or the pump. A pressure switch failing wouldn't make grinding/scraping/squealing noises that get louder or softer depending on RPM.
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Old 02 Dec 2018, 10:51 am
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Default Re: P/S Just Went Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyverman1123 View Post
Well, as the title says, my power steering just went out. But first, some backstory.

For the last week or so, there has been an obnoxious scraping/grinding/squealing noise. I just turned up the radio because I didn't have time to get to it till today anyways. The noise wasn't dependant on RPM, or if I turned the wheel or if I had the A/C on or off.

Today, I was leaving church, started it up and no power steering at all.

I'm assuming it is the belt tensioner. I quickly looked, the belt is still on, not hanging down or broken, the reservoir is still full, so it isn't that. Do you think it would be the belt tensioner or the pump?

Even when the noise was going on, the power steering was still flawless and very smooth, 1-2 fingers even at low speed, so I'm leaning towards a tensioner.

Any suggestions on how to replace it? It looks like a pain in the @$$.

You may have confused some people as your original post said that the noise was not dependent on the RPM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyverman1123 View Post
I think we got off track here, the issue isn't with the rack or the pressure switches, it's the accessory drive and or the pump. A pressure switch failing wouldn't make grinding/scraping/squealing noises that get louder or softer depending on RPM.
Now you seem to be saying that the noise does change with RPM
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