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Billy
Billy, Trainer/Master tech.
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3279
Experience:  Trainer 8+ years, master tech. 10+ years, SAE member
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Suzuki XL-7 Luxury: Steering hard to steer on turns, smooth

Customer Question

Steering hard to steer on turns, smooth when revening up the motor...Suzuki xl7. 07 with 112k. I am a wholesaler. Bought it knowing it has some issues. The engine was noisy. Mechanic changed the oil pump. Power steering was also noisy but WAS NOT hard to steer. It was smooth on turns. Took it to him, he said its the pump. Replaced it, went to get it, the steering is so difficult to steer when parked. BUT, sometimes it gets loose, and then when I go drive it for a minute, it comes back hard again. This whole issue is only when parked or when making turns at slow speeds. When parked, revving the motor up over 1000 smoothese the steering out as silk. He bled it, I also bled it. I left it running for 30 minutes after I got home. I also jacked up the front and steered it while running and while off. Sometimes, when I pull the cap off there is a pop of air. So I figured it still has air. But it doesn't sound like it. I am sick of this problem. I even tried to just raise the RPM enough where it would make it easy to drive so I can at least drive it as I won't be able to sell it like it is. We replaced the power steering pump twice, 1st time it was worse, and mechanic thought it was a faulty one. Second time is better. He also flushed the lines. Not sure what else to do. No leaks at all.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Anthony replied 11 months ago.
Hello! Welcome to justanswer!

Your description indicates a problem with the steering rack itself. The only remedy is to replace the rack with a good one. Do you need the procedures to replace the rack?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I thought you would say so. But let me ask you this. How come I didn't have this problem UNTIL I changed the pump?

Expert:  Anthony replied 11 months ago.
i misread your part about the pump. Where did you get the new pump?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

My mechanic gets them from reputable shops. And I have been dealing with him for years. That is why he replaced it a second time, with a different brand. Not sure where he got it from though. Could be westwood auto parts.

Expert:  Anthony replied 11 months ago.
So the original pump made a lot of noise?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

yes, it was whining, not so bad, but customers noticed it too, so i had to change it. But no issue with turning the steering wheel at all and no leaks. That is why am not settled on the rack and pinion being the issue yet. Also, when you rev up the motor while parked it turns fine.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

did u bump my question to others to give a chance to someone else to answer it? or what's going on?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I would like some possible answers based on facts that I mentioned in my question. Expert left the chat for a while now without any indication that he is coming back or searching for an answer.
Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Hello and Welcome!
I'm Billy and i will assist you with your inquiry.
Feel free to ask if any further info is needed.

My apologies for the delay, thank you for your patience.

Was this power steering fluid used:

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And was the drive belt double checked, especially if vibrating and jumping at idle (i know this should've been checked as the pump was replaced twice, but sometimes it vibrates and jumps at low engine speeds, so i would double check it).
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hello. I am not sure what fluid he used. But he works on all types of cars and he is very reputable and good. So I assume he did use the right fluid. I can drain and fill again using the recommended fluid. What type of fluid is similar to this one you mentioned where I can find at ADVANCE for example?


 


I was suspecting that something was wrong with the built or pulley, but I couldn't see anything. Jumping, you mean the belt rotating in a jumping manner due to say a bent pulley? I haven't done that yet.


 


I am going to bring it in my garage and do whatever is needed. I spent too much on it already. Is there a bleed valve? where is the best place to drain the fluid from other than the big return line going to the pump reservoir?


 

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

As for the fluid, you need to get the exact fluid, or another fluid that has on the label:
equivalent to GM 89021184 fluid.

By jumping, i would mean that you should see the belt vibrate, like being loose, when engine is at slow rpm (idle mostly, with a/c on and steering activated).

Here's the best way to flush the system and refill (as per GM specs):
click here for details

Regards,
Billy
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

so you don't think it has to do with the rack and pinion as there was no issues with the steering prior to changing the pump right? The symptoms I mentioned mostly indicate a problem with what? "smoothes out when revving up"

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Hello again,

It still can be the gear (rack and pinion), but according to the symptoms, the belt vibrating or being loose (due to pulley issue, tensioner or other), is more likely. I have seen it cause the exact same confusing symptoms.
And the fluid needs double checking, as also wrong fluid would cause problems.
Regards,
Billy
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

we drained the fluid, flushed it again with the GM fluid you recommended. Fluid is clear. Pulley, belts, all look as they should, no wobbling, no noises, no jumping. When we first cranked it it was good while parked, smooth. Drover it for 2 minutes still good. On my way home getting into the driveway with a left turn it did it again. Needs gas rev up for it to be smooth. Parked it, tried steering it, hard as it was. What the hell is wrong with this thing. Still not convinced it could be rack and pinion, as it smoothes out sometimes out of the blue, and I need to mention that it is usually turning left that is the hardest.


 

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

When it is hard, like right now, while you steer, or have someone steer, check the belt if wobbling. If not, it would very well be the rack and pinion. But get back to me with your results before proceeding...
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

i will do so. i am alone now, waiting on a friend


 

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Take your time...
Waiting for the results...
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

the belt and pulley look Ok. I was able to pull up some codes. p0223, p0122, p0056. I just cleared them and parked the car and disconnected the battery for an hour. Will go back and check and see. Someone told me it could be that the ECM needs reset as there are electrical components to the pump. I am just trying everything right now. One thing I need to mention is that when I first crank the car in the morning and immediately drive it it drives smooth. After only few minutes of driving this hard steering starts on sharp left or right turns and while parked.

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

A reset would not do any harm. However the codes are engine related:
P0056: oxygen sensor heater control (sensor 2, bank 2)
P0122: throttle position sensor 1 low voltage
P0223: throttle position sensor 2 high voltage
I would double check the engine ground cable, the battery cables, and the throttle position cable connectors, make sure you have tight and clean contacts.

Regards,
Billy
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

am on it.


 

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Best of luck!
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

we changed the oxygen sensor and throttle sensor, and all wiring in place. i had a friend look at the pulley but it moves as it should when reving up the motor, so is it definetly the rack and pinion?

Expert:  Billy replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

It is the only thing left.... if the pulley and belt were checked when engine is revving at minimum (not revving up), and the belt is not wobbling nor slipping.

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