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Power steering question #5348805 02/13/20 08:08 AM
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supton Offline OP
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I feel like I've asked this before, but can't find the thread. Once in a while, if I start my car and don't give it 10-20 seconds to idle, as in, just jump in and go, I feel like the power steering "stops" doing its job. Like I'm turning too fast for it to keep up with power assist.

No issues whatsoever the rest of the time. Lock to lock steering is fine at idle on pavement, once past I dunno a minute, once warm that is. Fluid looks clean, not burnt, no issue with level. I know I changed the fluid 80k ago; that sounds like a long time but the car lives on the highway.

Just a weak power steering pump? It's done this for maybe 2 years now, and I'd be content to ignore, but I'm trying to scope out future repairs that might be lurking--I'd be kinda upset to rebuild the suspension only to need a rack the following month.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 201k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 157k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348809 02/13/20 08:13 AM
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mk378 Offline
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Often that's simply because the belt slips, though you'd likely hear noise from the belt. If it's not that it could be because the vanes in the pump are sticking.

Re: Power steering question [Re: mk378] #5348819 02/13/20 08:24 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by mk378
Often that's simply because the belt slips, though you'd likely hear noise from the belt. If it's not that it could be because the vanes in the pump are sticking.

I don't hear noise when it does this. I do recall having issues getting that darn belt tight though, but I forget if I had heard noise when it was loose or not. Hmm, that could be a simple fix; timing belt is due this summer so it'd get a new belt then.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 201k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 157k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348843 02/13/20 09:07 AM
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Strokenmerc Offline
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I've had similar issues with 2 Tacomas. Both were remedied by changing the PS fluid using the turkey baster method. Not sure if it was merely due to old fluid or maybe because I switched over to synthetic?

Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348853 02/13/20 09:29 AM
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Trav Offline
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The first thing I would do is change the fluid, return line off is the best way, the turkey baster method is close to useless. Try Amsoil ATF (not ATFL) in this dex III PS spec vehicle, it works great.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348871 02/13/20 10:17 AM
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supton Offline OP
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I could try that. Just pull the return line at the pump, then turn the wheel lock to lock? Engine off I'm guessing. I could try that today with regular Maxlife (which it has right now), see how much of a mess I can make (I made one heck of one when I did the TB and only emptied what I could with a vacuum pump--there was plenty more left in the system!).


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 201k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 157k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348873 02/13/20 10:21 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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The only vehicle that I've had this issue was my wife's Lexus RX. I tried flushing the system with new Dex ATF but nothing I tried seem to work for long. P/S system never made any noises. One product that seemed to work was BARS Leaks Power Steering FIX. It's a two part system of P/S fluid and a conditioner. it seem to work the best of all I tried.

Mostly what I did try was just disconnecting the P/S feed line(pass front wheel removed) and:
* Draining
* Pouring in new DEXRON ATF
* Moving the front wheels back & forth.
* Then adding the BARS Leaks P/S Fix with the new DEXRON ATF.

I liked Mobil 1 DEX III/MERC Syn ATF

Last edited by Char Baby; 02/13/20 10:28 AM.

"Retired"
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Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348881 02/13/20 10:34 AM
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Gebo Offline
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I just finished a PS flush yesterday. I got that clear tubing with a brass coupling to insert into the black return line (top one) and then closed off the plastic connector on the reservoir. Jacked up car until front tires are off the ground.

Turned steering wheel from lock to lock several times. Then reconnected and filled reservoir to the rim. Turned steering wheel from lock to lock.

Added more fluid. Then ran engine at idle and added more fluid. Took it for a short drive. Then I let it sit over night for all the air to escape and topped it off this morning.

I used Toyota D-III ATF. My second choice would be what Trav says as Amsoil has 2 ATF's. One which is a D-III substitute. I wouldn't use Maxlife in this situation.


'98 LEX LS400 305K
'02 4Runner 250K
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'07 Lex GX470 70K

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Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348904 02/13/20 10:59 AM
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incognito_2u Offline
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Originally Posted by supton
I feel like I've asked this before, but can't find the thread.......

Here you go.....

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...arch/true/re-ps-pump-failing#Post5281476


2006 Jeep Commander 3.7 V6 -115k (M1EP5W30/XG3600)
2006 Toyota Corolla 1.8 VVTi -87k (M1EPHM5W30/XG3600)
1999 Toyota Corolla 1.8 -89k (PUP5W30/XG4386)
1998 Toyota Corolla 1.8 -68k (VME5W30/XG3600)
Re: Power steering question [Re: incognito_2u] #5348918 02/13/20 11:14 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by incognito_2u
Originally Posted by supton
I feel like I've asked this before, but can't find the thread.......

Here you go.....

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...arch/true/re-ps-pump-failing#Post5281476

Thanks! I knew I had asked but couldn't find.

Sounds like I need to get some different fluid to put in there and to try that.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 201k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 157k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5348920 02/13/20 11:17 AM
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MarkM66 Offline
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Did you check the rack itself for leaks? Check to see if the bellows are dry.

Re: Power steering question [Re: MarkM66] #5348934 02/13/20 11:33 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MarkM66
Did you check the rack itself for leaks? Check to see if the bellows are dry.

No leaks that I see, bellows look dry to me. Been sitting overnight and the tank is at cold min; I don't remember what I filled it to, just that I haven't touched in a couple of years.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 201k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 157k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5349021 02/13/20 01:33 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Try parking with the wheels turned. If that makes a difference the rack is bad.


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Re: Power steering question [Re: supton] #5349201 02/13/20 05:36 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Called morning sickness. Seals inside the rack shrink when cold and fluid leaks internally. Once the fluid warms up and the seals expand, problem goes away.

Re: Power steering question [Re: atikovi] #5349224 02/13/20 06:01 PM
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supton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by atikovi
Called morning sickness. Seals inside the rack shrink when cold and fluid leaks internally. Once the fluid warms up and the seals expand, problem goes away.

I thought they made noise doing that? Probably depends on manufacturer and other issues. I'll change the fluid and keep an eye (or ear) on it. It only does it maybe once a month, only at work (as I'm usually in a race to leave!) so it's not really bugging me.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 201k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 157k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
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