So I've been having problems with my power steering on my 2002 USDM Sedan WRX for a couple weeks, especially on cold starts. When I turn the wheel from a stop (i.e. to get out of a parking spot) the power steering belt skips and screeches loudly, and the wheels struggle to turn.
Before the problem got this bad, I used to smell burnt rubber on cold starts. Now I know what it is...
I've also had occasional trouble starting the car, which leads me to believe that the alternator pulley may be skipping on that same belt.
I've ordered a replacement belt in hopes that a new belt at the correct tension will fix the problems. However, my concern is that there may be excess resistance (seizing?) on the power steering pulley causing the belt to skip. If so, I'm wondering if I may have to replace the pulley on the power steering pump and/or the pump itself. Any experience here would be appreciated.