power steering is stiff upon start
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This is a discussion on power steering is stiff upon start within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi all, My power steering is stiff for the first minute or so after I start up my 02 WRX. ...

  1. #1
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    power steering is stiff upon start

    Hi all,

    My power steering is stiff for the first minute or so after I start up my 02 WRX. It's so stiff I can barely pull out of a parking space. Then after driving for a short bit everything seems fine.

    Any thoughts on what might be causing this?

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  3. #2
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Have you had a recent cold spell when you just noticed this happening? How is the P/S fluid level/condition? How is the P/S/ALT drive belt tension/condition? How many miles are on the vehicle? Have you had any recent maintenance done to the vehicle? How does the rag-joint look on the steering shaft coming out of the fire wall /..rusty/seized?? You could try lubricating that a tad and see if it helps...Ive seen these get all "aged with rust/road grimed up"...

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    same

    i have had the same problem but mine also squeals. i believe the belt needs to be tightened.
    any thoughts, or if you agree maybe a short tutorial on how to do tighten

  5. #4
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugeye'03 View Post
    i have had the same problem but mine also squeals. i believe the belt needs to be tightened.
    any thoughts, or if you agree maybe a short tutorial on how to do tighten
    Take a peek here on how to change/adjust the drive belts...Its much easier than me trying to explain it.... Impreza Manuals | ken-gilbert.com

  6. #5
    Registered User 4cyturbowrx's Avatar
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    Make sure u buy a Subaru belt no aftermarket cheap one....

  7. #6
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    This guy is directionally challenged so if you watch it reverse everything he says about clockwise or counterclockwise.


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  8. #7
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    This guy is directionally challenged so if you watch it reverse everything he says about clockwise or counterclockwise.


    YouTube - WRX Belt install
    Good tutorial...man I really take it for granted using air tools/cordless impact to replace those things every day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvoEatr View Post
    Have you had a recent cold spell when you just noticed this happening? How is the P/S fluid level/condition? How is the P/S/ALT drive belt tension/condition? How many miles are on the vehicle? Have you had any recent maintenance done to the vehicle? How does the rag-joint look on the steering shaft coming out of the fire wall /..rusty/seized?? You could try lubricating that a tad and see if it helps...Ive seen these get all "aged with rust/road grimed up"...
    Yes it seems to be worse lately, tho not sure it's connected to the cold. This car's been through 8 winters and this is a new thing. The P/S fluid is okay. 75K miles on the car. I have no idea where or what the rag-joint is (not a mechanic here), so I can't answer that question. Thanks for the response.

  10. #9
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmooveB View Post
    Yes it seems to be worse lately, tho not sure it's connected to the cold. This car's been through 8 winters and this is a new thing. The P/S fluid is okay. 75K miles on the car. I have no idea where or what the rag-joint is (not a mechanic here), so I can't answer that question. Thanks for the response.
    The only reason I mention the cold weather is because I drive Subarus all day long...and when I hop in even the newer ones and its bone chilling cold ( around 15 F ) the steering is a tad odd for the first maybe 30 seconds or so until things get moving...

  11. #10
    Registered User Micah's Avatar
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    Mine has done this for the last two winters, but it never lasts longer than the first time I turn the wheel. If I let the car warm up or give the throttle a little nudge while turning the wheel it seems to go away. There is no squeal noise when this happens for me so I do not believe it is an issue with a lose belt. I have not checked the Fluid, but haven't seen any leaks. I figured it is probably the power steering pump getting older and not having the fluid moving around as quickly as it used to on a cold start.
    Torch Red 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 46k mi.
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  12. #11
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    My 02 wrx is doing the exact same thing. I do hear a belt squeal though. I have 77k miles on it and just had service done on it.

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