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Old 05-04-2009, 09:18 AM   #1
Bullet187
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power steering issue! searched... just want clarification from the experts!!

Hi Peeps, quick question....
basically my 325cic's steering has been really heavy over the last week or so... its ok when at moving at relatively high speeds, but seems to be really stiff at returning to a center position by itself...at slow or stand stills its really heavy to move and takes a fair bit of effort.

It doesnt make any groans or anything when moving the wheel and the fluid and belts have been checked over and seem fine. the only thing i have noticed is that at idle it makes a really faint whine and when you move the wheel slightly, the rpm drops slightly and the whine goes away until you release the steering wheel again.

the car is at 77k miles. i have had the control arms and bushes changed out as well, am i right in assuming it is the power steering pump?..
anyone else experience anything similar?!..
any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks

Last edited by Bullet187; 05-04-2009 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
Bullet187
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anyone!?
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
Raine
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Sounds like your power steering bit the bullet (pun intended)
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:32 PM   #4
tinkwithanr
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The shaft probably broke in your pump. Sounds like you need a new one.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
Bullet187
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ok.... thanks for the replies... is there any sure-fire way of testing the pump to confirm this? any specific thing other then the heavy steering that a failed pump would do/give away?
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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crap, at idle my revs drop when i turn the wheel, they pick back up strait away though! my steerings fairly heavy but nothing compared to my other car that has no power steering, so i dont notice it that much, does that mean i need a new pump too.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:16 PM   #7
tony325ci_51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet187 View Post
Hi Peeps, quick question....
basically my 325cic's steering has been really heavy over the last week or so... its ok when at moving at relatively high speeds, but seems to be really stiff at returning to a center position by itself...at slow or stand stills its really heavy to move and takes a fair bit of effort.

It doesnt make any groans or anything when moving the wheel and the fluid and belts have been checked over and seem fine. the only thing i have noticed is that at idle it makes a really faint whine and when you move the wheel slightly, the rpm drops slightly and the whine goes away until you release the steering wheel again.

the car is at 77k miles. i have had the control arms and bushes changed out as well, am i right in assuming it is the power steering pump?..
anyone else experience anything similar?!..
any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks
You've got 2 different symptoms here.
Having suspension work done your steering may seem heavier. Check your tyre pressures and steering fluid level.

If the "at idle it makes a really faint whine and when you move the wheel slightly, the rpm drops slightly and the whine goes away" is a new symptom it could be indicative of your PS pump having to do more work due to new tighter suspension parts.

This noise, whilst faint, can last for many months and doesn't indicate imminent failure.
If the noise suddenly gets noticeably louder, more intrusive and prevalent, a loud whine that happens all the time all the time at idle which you can make go away momentarily by moving the steering wheel in a certain way it is indicative of imminent PS pump failure, I'd say you have days or a week or two before it fails.

When it fails you will know. My last 325Ci broke a spindle. Externally you cannot tell, all belts and pulleys look ok but there's no power assistance to the rack. As a consequence when steering you have to provide enough force to turn both the wheels and hydraulic filled rack. It will be heavier than any steering you're ever experienced and requires real muscle-building effort. (Try turning your wheels with your engine off, now imagine when driving the resistance feels just the same). Feels extremely "solid" and "planted" in a straight line though, lol.
I had to drive mine for a couple of journeys like this until I was able to get it fixed. Taking tight corners requires advance planning and parking in small spaces will be impossible.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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i havnt noticed a whine, how loud would it be? and i havnt had any suspension work done and my revs drop a little, my tires are at 33psi.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:28 PM   #9
Bullet187
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so when you changed yours out, firstly did you get the same whine at idle? was there any lasting damage from the journeys you done in the mean time? was it just the pump you changed out and problem solved!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony325ci_51 View Post
You've got 2 different symptoms here.
Having suspension work done your steering may seem heavier. Check your tyre pressures and steering fluid level.

If the "at idle it makes a really faint whine and when you move the wheel slightly, the rpm drops slightly and the whine goes away" is a new symptom it could be indicative of your PS pump having to do more work due to new tighter suspension parts.

This noise, whilst faint, can last for many months and doesn't indicate imminent failure.
If the noise suddenly gets noticeably louder, more intrusive and prevalent, a loud whine that happens all the time all the time at idle which you can make go away momentarily by moving the steering wheel in a certain way it is indicative of imminent PS pump failure, I'd say you have days or a week or two before it fails.

When it fails you will know. My last 325Ci broke a spindle. Externally you cannot tell, all belts and pulleys look ok but there's no power assistance to the rack. As a consequence when steering you have to provide enough force to turn both the wheels and hydraulic filled rack. It will be heavier than any steering you're ever experienced and requires real muscle-building effort. (Try turning your wheels with your engine off, now imagine when driving the resistance feels just the same). Feels extremely "solid" and "planted" in a straight line though, lol.
I had to drive mine for a couple of journeys like this until I was able to get it fixed. Taking tight corners requires advance planning and parking in small spaces will be impossible.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
Bullet187
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i havnt noticed a whine, how loud would it be? and i havnt had any suspension work done and my revs drop a little, my tires are at 33psi.
the whine i have is very quiet... not like anything i have heard in video's from other peoples power steering pump going, but it is definately there and does go with the wheel being turned. but theres no loud whines or groaning noises yet.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:55 PM   #11
tony325ci_51
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i havnt noticed a whine, how loud would it be? and i havnt had any suspension work done and my revs drop a little, my tires are at 33psi.
Imminent pump failure whine is very noticeable, intrusive and definitely not normal. You'd know something's wrong. A quiet whine and drop of revs is almost normal, particularly in a car a few years old. Check PS fluid level or maybe change fluid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet187 View Post
so when you changed yours out, firstly did you get the same whine at idle? was there any lasting damage from the journeys you done in the mean time? was it just the pump you changed out and problem solved!?
Yes, very loud whine at idle, which you could change the pitch of by moving the steering wheel, a few days before pump failed. No lasting damage caused by driving (though remember I didn't have any leaks so the rack remained full of fluid at all times). Just changed pump to fix problem (it's documented on a thread here about 3 years ago somewhere).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet187 View Post
the whine i have is very quiet... not like anything i have heard in video's from other peoples power steering pump going, but it is definately there and does go with the wheel being turned. but theres no loud whines or groaning noises yet.
I wouldn't worry about it, pump could last for years, maybe check the belts and pulleys and check PS fluid is topped up ok or change fluid.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:22 PM   #12
Bullet187
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Nice one tony! Appreciate the help
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