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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question interesting power steering problem

Hi everyone, perhaps someone has experienced something like this.

2008 enclave 420K km.

one day I noticed, that the steering wheel vibrates at high speeds. i ruled out rotors and brakes, and almost accidentally opened Power steering reservoir cap. i saw no fluid there. so i added some, and ever since i have sooooo many troubles. I did not have any noise at that point though....
in the beginning i also noticed the PSF was almost black. So i got it to the mech and they flushed the PS system and put in ATF fluid. it was sort of ok for some time, however, i realised i have an empty reservoir again. so i topped up about 200 ml, and it got so hard to turn the wheel. Then, if i step on a gas, it would become easy to turn, however, progressively got worse to the point, that the hose between the pump and the rack slid off - the clamp could not hold the pressure created by pump.

i got it towed to garage, and they put the hose back, and now put the clamp that would probably make the hose burst before the hose would slide off the pipe. they also put almost 2L of fluid in.

at this point, the weird thing is - when the vehicle stays turned off for a couple of h, it would be so easy to turn the wheels even without starting the vehicle, however, after about 1km of driving, it becomes nearly impossible to turn the wheel especially it becomes impossible to park - you just can't turn it - it almost looks like the Power steering is fighting instead of helping to turn the wheel.

The pump seems to be fine, because it creates so much pressure, that the hose slid off, but somehow it does not seem to be reaching components in the rack(?) perhaps...

I tried to do a bleeding as per GM Service manual as follows:

1. With the engine OFF, fill the pump reservoir to the MAX mark on capstick fluid level indicator.
2. Raise the vehicle until the front wheels are off the ground. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the
Vehicle.
3. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel from stop to stop 4 times.
4. Verify power steering fluid level. Refer to Checking and Adding Power Steering Fluid.
5. Rotate steering wheel from left to right another 8 times. Check for signs of cavitation or fluid
aeration (pump noise/whining).
6. Verify the fluid level. Repeat the bleed procedure, if necessary.

this was easy, and it worked fine, however it did not help much - the vehicle is sooooooooooo hard to steer. I ended up holding breaks and pushing on the gas at the same time, to get steering just alittle bit better, so i could at least turn corners. At that time i hear wining noise coming from the bottom (NOT from the pump). The fluid is foamy, so there are signs of cavitation - very tiny bubles. I though that it should only improve with driving, however it appears only getting worse.

has anyone had anything similar?

--A.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 08:14 AM
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Sounds like a bad steering rack. That you're having to keep filling it up tells me the fluid is going somewhere, likely leaking past the seals in the rack making the rack ineffective.

Also, you said power steering fluid. Did you use Dextron VI?

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayS View Post
Sounds like a bad steering rack. That you're having to keep filling it up tells me the fluid is going somewhere, likely leaking past the seals in the rack making the rack ineffective.
This might be the case, but then the fluid would flow right through, and pressure would not have pushed the hose off the pipe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayS View Post
Also, you said power steering fluid. Did you use Dextron VI?
I originally had a PSF, but the shop has refilled it with Dextron VI.

what i feel is that rack might be clogged inside, and while the vehicle sits for long time, the fluid slowly sips through the clogged line, and this is why i have a good steering before starting and for the first few moments after starting, letting me just get out of driveway.

I also noticed, that I have a reasonably good steering for the first 1/4 of the turn - this lets me change lanes without much effort, however, where i need to turn the wheel over 1/4 i have soooo much troubles - it almost looks like I reached the limit of the steering wheel.

i'm not even sure if all of this makes any sense.

i know, there are a lot of fluid additives to stop rack from leaking - is there an additive to unclog the rack?

--Andy
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