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1998 Chevy: Z71..leaking power steering pump today..new pump

Resolved Question:

I have a 1998 Chevy K1500 Z71 and had to replace a leaking power steering pump today. After replacing it, it is almost impossible to steer....any idea what I need to do to correct. I'm concerned that I'm going to damage the new pump if I keep screwing with it. Thanks, Pete
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Auto Go replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

I assume that the power steering worked fine before the pump was replaced?

If you purchased a remanufactured power steering pump, it's likely that it's no good. I run into this quite often on GM aftermarket power steering pumps.

One thing you can do to eliminate the EVO (electronic variable orfice) part of the power steering is to disconnect the electrical connector at the rear of the power steering pump where the pressure line attaches. If the steering is restored then you have an issue with the EVO system and it will be best to just leave that connector disconnected. GM has released a kit that eliminates that solenoid on the back of the pump due to so many problems.

IF that doesn't do it, then you will need a power steering pressure gage. This gage installs at the pressure line fitting and has a shut off valve on it. install this gage and open the valve. Start the truck and observe the pressure. it should be roughly 80 to 125 psi at idle. Now momentarily close the valve just long enough to get your reading with the valve closed. You should see a pressure of over 1000 psi. If you don't get that, then your pump is bad. If you do get that, then the steering gear is at fault.

IF you can't get ahold of a pressure gage, then your only real option is to get another pump. Like I said before, it's not uncommon to install 2 or 3 reman pumps before you get one that actually works right. I try to buy my GM power steering pumps from the dealer. If I buy aftermarket, I try to buy NEW pumps, not reman.

Thanks and let me know if you have any more questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks will borrow a pressure gauge and test. The pump I put on wasn't GM's but was new not a rebuild. Is it possible there is still air in the pump?...if so whats your recommended way to purge. Also, I read something about a unit that in the cab on the steering column that controls the amount of the pumps output? ... Thanks again, got the pressure gauge on the way...Pete
Expert:  Auto Go replied 2 years ago.
Yes, that unit on the steering column will be eliminated when you unplug the electrical connector on the back of the pump at the pressure line.

Air in the fluid is a possibility, but usually only causes a noisy pump, not no power steering.

The best way to de aerate the fluid is start the engine, turn the wheel lock to lock and shut off the engine and wait until all the air rises from the fluid and no air bubbles can be seen. Repeat this procedure until you no longer see any air in the fluid.
Auto Go, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 849
Experience: ASE Master certified, ASE certified Undercar Specialist, ASE Advanced Engine Performance certified
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