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mudinuri

Power Steering Trouble

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Hi,

I have post threads before regarding the quick rocking back and fro of the steering wheel when I turn when starting off from cold. Well today I had another symptom that might help to pinpoint the problem.

Again whilst the engine was still cold I had to park in a smallish area, so driving slowly I turned the steering wheel to the left(Nearside) and I heard a Thud/Creak from underneath front and the steering wheel shuddered slightly in my hand.

All I have tried up til now is to drain the Power Steering Reservoir and refill with new "Comma Hydraulic Fluid PSF" then I bled the sysytem as per instructions.

There are no leaks anywhere.

Any ideas and please try to make them inexpensive ideas because as Pensioner I can ill afford a huge bill at this time.

Cheers all. 1998 2 door RAV4 2.00 Litre petrol manual.post-136481-0-89249500-1392904858_thumb.

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Could be bottom ball joint.

Keith

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The ball joints allow the front wheels of a car to move up and down to soak up road bumps and to pivot for steering.

Think of the ball-and-socket joint in your shoulder or hip, and you’ll have some idea how the ball joint works for your car’s steering and suspension.

Over time, a car’s ball joints may wear down.

If a ball joint starts to loosen, you’ll hear clunking sounds from the front as the joint rattles in the socket.

If it tightens up, the steering will bind so you can have a stiff spot as you turn the steering wheel.

Follow the steps outlined below to check ball joints for excessive wear before you experience severe steering or suspension problems.

Read the manual to determine which type of ball joint your car uses.

While the vehicle is still on the ground, look underneath the car, on the bottom of the steering knuckle attached to the wheel.

The most common indicator is a grease fitting that doubles as a wear indicator. That fitting, or boss, will stick out of the bottom of the joint’s housing by about half an inch (1.25 centimetre's).

As it wears the boss will recede into the housing. As long as the boss protrudes out, the joint should be fine. Once the boss is flush with the housing or has receded even further, you’ll need to replace the ball joint.

Refer to your service manual for the procedure to check ball joints.

If recommended by the manufacturer, place the jack under the lower control arm of the front wheel, as close to the ball joint as you can get it and raise the auto until the wheel leaves the ground.

Note that many front wheel drive cars with strut suspensions should not be jacked up using the lower control arm.

Make sure there is no compression in the suspension when you check the ball joint. If you have control arms of unequal lengths, make sure the upper bump stop doesn’t touch the control arm.

Refer to the service manual to find out how much movement, if any, is allowed.

For side-to-side play, place a dial indicator (a tool that measures the amount of play) inside the wheel rim close to the ball joint. Grab the wheel at either side (3 and 9 o’clock) to push in and pull out the wheel laterally.

For vertical play, place the dial indicator against the steering knuckle stud nut or the ball joint housing, depending on the manufacturer. Grab the wheel at the top and bottom (12 and 6 o’clock) to lift up and pull down.

Read the dial indicator and check against the manufacturer’s specifications.

If the movement is beyond specifications, replace the ball joint.

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Hi Raistlin,

Thanks for the advice and I will certainly check that joint, BUT, would that give me the rocking back and fro in the steering wheel when starting from cold? It doesn"t happen when the engine has warmed up.

What about the Hydraulic fluid I used "Comma PSF" should I replace it with the recommended fluid or will it be OK?

Cheers

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You've probably got 2 issues. The first involving movement of the steering wheel when cold has been discussed at length previously and I'd suggest getting a second opinion - it's a lot easier to diagnose when the car can be inspected. The issue of the thud creak could well be a bottom ball joint or even a track rod end balljoint - both quite easy to check for wear and jerky movement. When the suspension strut turns - the spring turns with it - theres a sliding face next to the top strut mount that allows the spring to turn. Sometimes the spring sticks to the face (especially when on an unusually tight lock - the spring twists and at some point releases with a thud which is transmitted through the steering. Observe if the spring is moving smoothly with the strut as someone moves the steering lock to lock.

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Thanks all for your help and advice. One thing I failed to say, for 2 weeks in January the car was parked in a damp Multi Storey carpark and after collecting it we had to drive through some deepish water as some of the roads were quite flooded. The trouble started a few days later. Would this have any bearing on the mysterious Power Steering problem because it worked perfectly before that.

Cheers

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Going through deep water / storing in a damp car park - the Rav will take this in it's stride - highly unlikely that it has caused the problems you are experiencing.

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Booked the RAV in to see the Doctor(Mechanic) on Friday morning. I"m leaving it there late on Thursday so he can see what the trouble is when he starts it from cold in the morning.

Will keep you informed of his diagnosis !! Just hope it doesn"t need an expensive operation.

Cheers

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Booked the RAV in to see the Doctor(Mechanic) on Friday morning. I"m leaving it there late on Thursday so he can see what the trouble is when he starts it from cold in the morning.

Will keep you informed of his diagnosis !! Just hope it doesn"t need an expensive operation.

Cheers

I have exactly the same problem. Did you fix it? Please reply, I need to know what was the problem.

What I did:

I have new/rebuilt Power steering pump + new fluid, No leaks from Steering Rack, fluid level is normal, fluid reservoir filter was clean and Steering belt is New and tight and there is no sound when turning - and still the same problem, hard steering when cold (starting at +5c and below) 2000 Rav4, also when I turn I have to manualy return steering wheel to the center.

Anybody?

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