Power steering quit then resurrected

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
On occasion in the past when parking the truck I have had a shudder in my steering once every great while. No consistency to it, it would just do it randomly. Today my power steering completely quit all of a sudden. That was fun parking it when I got to my destination. Anyway, after I picked up my lunch I went back out to the truck, started it, and when I turned the wheel it was stiff momentarily, then the engine bogged a moment and my power steering came back, although it wasn't quite right. It was a little inconsistent feeling when turning the wheel, like it would turn easily then get a little stiffer then ease up again. But after the short trip back to the office it feels pretty much normal again.

I'm not sure whether to blame the pump or the rack for this. What say the experts here at the nation?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Start with the pump or fluid. How many miles? Have you ever changed the fluid?
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
I would definitely start with checking the fluid and prolly try to bleed to system to ensure there is not some random air bubble.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
These PS pumps are POS lol. I had to change mine end of last winter(I blame Mat lol), and here we are in the end of September and it's whining and getting hard to steer again. We are going to try and remove the old fluid(it's almost black) and put new fluid in to see if it helps any. I thought I read some where that the pumps are notorious for being issues on our platforms.

I know when ours went out I thought it resurrected because as long as I was on the gas pretty good it was easy to steer, but the moment I braked or slowed down to turn it was hard as hell to steer. I had to slow down and learn to time my steering wheel cranks at the same time as getting on the gas. Made for a lot of fun in icy conditions let me tell you lol :crazy:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Voymom said:
These PS pumps are POS lol.

I would beg to differ. Mine has been through a bunch and is fine. Most failures are from donuts in the snow. Only supposed to take wheel to full lock for couple seconds.

I would bet since it was when you just got yours as a used truck...someone had previously abused it.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
HARDTRAILZ said:
I would beg to differ. Mine has been through a bunch and is fine. Most failures are from donuts in the snow. Only supposed to take wheel to full lock for couple seconds.

I would bet since it was when you just got yours as a used truck...someone had previously abused it.

Well....Mat did some of his own abusing on the original pump lol LOTS of doughnuts on the gravel road :wink: Hence why I point my finger at him lol
I won't doughnut on purpose only because it scares the shit out of me, I always feel like I'm going to flip.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
You probably do not want to go around saying things are POS if they are broken by abuse.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
HARDTRAILZ said:
You probably do not want to go around saying things are POS if they are broken by abuse.

My opinion is not based off of the fact that it broke from abuse. My opinion is based on the fact that after we replaced it, and have not abused it, it seems to once again be taking a shit on us....
 
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AtlWrk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
674
Voymom said:
My opinion is not based off of the fact that it broke from abuse. My opinion is based on the fact that after we replaced it, and have not abused it, it seems to once again be taking a shit on us....

If the original pump released anything into the system when it died it's pretty much a guarantee that it will take out the new pump. That is why many shops insist on installing a filter when replacing a failed pump. Same goes for replacing an A/C compressor.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
AtlWrk said:
If the original pump released anything into the system when it died it's pretty much a guarantee that it will take out the new pump. That is why many shops insist on installing a filter when replacing a failed pump. Same goes for replacing an A/C compressor.

I didn't know they made a filter for the power steering pump. :undecided:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Voymom said:
it's whining and getting hard to steer again. We are going to try and remove the old fluid(it's almost black)

Voymom said:
My opinion is not based off of the fact that it broke from abuse. My opinion is based on the fact that after we replaced it, and have not abused it, it seems to once again be taking a shit on us....

You failed to replace the fluid when you changed the abused pump and it failed again, likely from what you left in the system...Please explain how the pump is a POS again?

Seems both failures are a result of the owners not the pump...
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Voymom said:
I didn't know they made a filter for the power steering pump. :undecided:

You can add a filter to any fluid system if you want. If the system is flushed when the pump is replaced, as it should be, then you likely would not need a filter.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
HARDTRAILZ said:
You failed to replace the fluid when you changed the abused pump and it failed again, likely from what you left in the system...Please explain how the pump is a POS again?

Seems both failures are a result of the owners not the pump...

My opinion is based on growing up and watching my father change power steering pumps without bleeding the old fluids out, and not having any new pumps constantly fail, His vehicles ages were all 90's, never a new vehicle and always Chevrolet. Also, I was not aware that Mat did not bleed the system either until now. What I stated Kyle was simply an opinion, and not a fact. Everyone's opinion varies, and opinions are based off of what people know about certain things, where I am still learning, my opinions will be greatly different than those who already know a great deal of information. Had I had the correct information about changing old fluids, adding filters etc..., my opinion would have likely been different. When I mentioned "Old fluid" almost being black, I was assuming that the fluid in it now was new fluid from the actual repair, but called it old based on the state of which it looks.

Also, I was not the actual person who did the repair...so bitching at me does no good :tongue:

HARDTRAILZ said:
You can add a filter to any fluid system if you want. If the system is flushed when the pump is replaced, as it should be, then you likely would not need a filter.

When Mat actually bleeds the old fluid out, I will be insisting that he puts a filter in.
 
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HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Not bitching at you, but it seems pretty clear that it is not the pump that is the issue. I have bled systems when changing and skipped that on vehicles that I did not really care about. Sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesnt. But being that he did donuts and then you drove it for a bit after, I would have flushed it since there was good potential for shaving from the abuse.

You also mention that the pumps are notorious, but if you would have really read about those failures....you would have seen that almost all were from abuse ie donuts. That is why one of the first questions when someone posts about a blown pump is "were you doing donuts"
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
HARDTRAILZ said:
Not bitching at you, but it seems pretty clear that it is not the pump that is the issue. I have bled systems when changing and skipped that on vehicles that I did not really care about. Sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesnt. But being that he did donuts and then you drove it for a bit after, I would have flushed it since there was good potential for shaving from the abuse.

You also mention that the pumps are notorious, but if you would have really read about those failures....you would have seen that almost all were from abuse ie donuts. That is why one of the first questions when someone posts about a blown pump is "were you doing donuts"

And you're probably right, I just based my opinion off of the little knowledge I do know about it, and what I have always seen growing up. I also had slightly the same feeling even after I found out Mat was doing doughnuts lol I thought for sure that they fail just like any other mechanical part on a vehicle, reason being, my dad would probably have both a heart attack and a stroke had he tried to do a doughnut with any of his vehicles, but yet his pumps still failed. Granted it very well could have been from the doughnuts and abuse from previous owners, but at 9yrs old, being a girl I really didn't care what broke them, or why, I just cared about getting whatever my dad needed to fix it(handing tools) and going out to play with friends lol.

I know when my pump went out, I believe it was Roadie who mentioned that they usually don't fail unless someone is out doing doughnuts, I shrugged it off because at that point and time, was completely unaware of Mat's fun :no: But when I learned what he was doing after the fact....I had a new found respect for the roadie lol.

Had I known the fluid was supposed to be changed, it would have been. Usually I got outside with Mat and get greasy too, and if I read something that should or should not be done I usually make sure I bitch enough until I get him to do or not do it. It was bitterly cold, I kept my butt inside with some hot chocolate :biggrin:

I will keep an open mind though, and base my opinion off of new things I learned here today, and of course have Mat bleed the old crap out. Once I can see for myself that the information is right, or get hardcore proof, then I can base my opinion off of that. Not saying that you are not right, as I'm sure you are, I just like to see it for myself. I guess I'm just stubborn like that lol
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
The instructions with my remand pump said to to evacuate all old fluid prior to installing new pump or pump may fail.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
CaptainXL said:
The instructions with my remand pump said to to evacuate all old fluid prior to installing new pump or pump may fail.

Yes, but SOME men don't read instructions just like SOME men won't ask for directions when lost lol. I have NEVER EVER seen Mat read instructions to anything. He admitted that he knew the fluid should have been flushed, but he said it was cold out(which it was) and he wasn't going to sit out there any longer and freeze his ass off.

Again, not my doing :raspberry:
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Voymom said:
Yes, but SOME men don't read instructions just like SOME men won't ask for directions when lost lol. I have NEVER EVER seen Mat read instructions to anything. He admitted that he knew the fluid should have been flushed, but he said it was cold out(which it was) and he wasn't going to sit out there any longer and freeze his ass off.

Again, not my doing :raspberry:

Ah ok. Just return it . Should be replaced under warranty.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
CaptainXL said:
Ah ok. Just return it . Should be replaced under warranty.

Nah, I think I will have him PAY for a new one since he failed to change/replace it right the first time lmao :biggrin:

On a serious note, that probably is the route we will take. I think I will have him do it before it gets to cold, and he doesn't want to change the fluid again lol
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
It's worked perfectly normal the rest of today, parking lots and all.

the roadie said:
Start with the pump or fluid. How many miles? Have you ever changed the fluid?

Truck has 164k on it. Not sure when the fluid was done last, but when I got the truck at 112k the PS fluid looked to have been changed not too long ago, which I find a little funny since the trans hadn't been. Admittedly I haven't changed the fluid since then.

CaptainXL said:
The instructions with my remand pump said to to evacuate all old fluid prior to installing new pump or pump may fail.

I'm trying to figure out how you'd get all the old fluid out of the lines and rack without using the new pump to do so, if the old pump was dead...
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Sparky said:
I'm trying to figure out how you'd get all the old fluid out of the lines and rack without using the new pump to do so, if the old pump was dead...

The turkey baster method was stupid lol I for some reason did not register the fact that you typed lines and rack....I need to go to bed. Is there a way to pull one of the sides of the lines out of the reservoir(sp)? and let it drip out? From my google searches it looks like the lines are like in a u shape with plugs on both sides?
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
Voymom said:
Turkey baster method? :undecided:

Pull the lines of the rack and let them drip, turn the wheel back and forth to force the old out of the rack?
 

Sparky

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Voymom said:
Turkey baster method? :undecided:

That works to get the fluid out of the reservoir, but a turkey baster fluid change requires the pump to be operational to cycle the fluid through the system (which yes, means the old and new mix and you probably waste a lot of new fluid as well).
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Sparky said:
That works to get the fluid out of the reservoir, but a turkey baster fluid change requires the pump to be operational to cycle the fluid through the system (which yes, means the old and new mix and you probably waste a lot of new fluid as well).

Damn....I didn't edit fast enough lol

I realized that after I went back and read it :crazy:
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Its easy to get all the old fluid out. You need to do it while your old pump is still connected.

What you do is remove the return line coming out of the cooler and put it in a oil pan. crank over the engine and turn the wheel to empty out. Fill resevoir and repeat a few times until clearish. Not gonna be totally clear. Your gonna need a big half gallon of fluid to do a proper job.
 

neelskit

Member
Dec 7, 2011
69
I've replaced the PS Pump in my EXT twice since I've owned it and I have never done donuts with it. The fluid was flushed using the old pump until clear prior to both replacements. The pumps each lasted about 18 months before they started to make a droning noise. Fluid was maintained and leak-free. I can also say that two of my neighbors (1 has an Envoy XL, the other has a Trailblazer EXT) are having PS Pump issues (drone noise) as well. Seems to be more of a problem with the LWB models- they do have a different PS Pump pulley size than the SWB model and possibly a different pump as rockauto shows a different part number for the LWB vs the SWB. At least it's only a ~$50 part and it is fairly simple to replace.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
neelskit said:
I've replaced the PS Pump in my EXT twice since I've owned it and I have never done donuts with it. The fluid was flushed using the old pump until clear prior to both replacements. The pumps each lasted about 18 months

The only difference between pumps is the outlet orifice. Its bigger in the EXT/XL. All other parts are the same.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,341
Ottawa, ON
I replaced mine twice. Last year after my engine swap, it was whining. It also did its own flush when it blew the lines off the rack. The first one was a Cardone reman and it whined from day 1. Yes,did a flush and bleed. Replaced this spring with an ACDelco reman after flushing the system with the old pump. No problems and quiet.
 

anthonyl79

Member
Jul 15, 2012
127
Colorado
Sparky said:
I'm trying to figure out how you'd get all the old fluid out of the lines and rack without using the new pump to do so, if the old pump was dead...

What we use to do when I worked in a shop was, replace the PS pump with the new one. Leave the high preesure line attached and the just like tranny flush, use the low pressure return side to dump it into a bucket and dump new fluid in while the enging is turning. Also have someone help you. You pour in the fluid and have someone else turn the wheel real slow back and forth. Always worked for us, and never had any issues.
 

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