stiff steering when turning
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This is a discussion on stiff steering when turning within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; In the past several days, I have been having a problem with the steering becoming very hard/stiff when making turns. ...

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    stiff steering when turning

    In the past several days, I have been having a problem with the steering becoming very hard/stiff when making turns. So I had Subaru service department flush and replace the power steering fluid in my 05 STI. (they also checked for leaks, but didn't find any). The steering is much better now, but still seems stiff compared to how it used to be. Any ideas or thoughts of what it could be? It has been about two days since the steering fluid was flushed out.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    When is the steering stiff? all the time? Is the Power steering system making any odd noises like whining or anything? How many miles are on the vehicle? I would find it extremely hard to believe that a dealer service department would let a car out of there hands after doing work on it to remedy something if the symptom was still there...If your unhappy personally I would bring it back to them...PS fluid full? Drive belt tensioned properly? How does the "rag/universal" joint look on the steering shaft?

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    The stiff steering is most evident when turning, but I would say that it's stiff almost all the time. Even when not moving, it's stiff. It wasn't this way before.
    As for noises, i don't seem to hear any. Even after they flushed and refilled the PS fluid it still was stiff (although better than before the flush) but i just assumed that it might take a day for the new fluid to settle in.
    How can I tell if the drive belt is tensioned correctly and the steering shaft?
    Anyway, I plan on returning to the dealership tomorrow and the car is still under warranty so hopefully they'll completely fix the steering problem.
    stock Subaru STI 2005 ~84K miles (2010/06/07)

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swavek View Post
    The stiff steering is most evident when turning, but I would say that it's stiff almost all the time. Even when not moving, it's stiff. It wasn't this way before.
    As for noises, i don't seem to hear any. Even after they flushed and refilled the PS fluid it still was stiff (although better than before the flush) but i just assumed that it might take a day for the new fluid to settle in.
    How can I tell if the drive belt is tensioned correctly and the steering shaft?
    Anyway, I plan on returning to the dealership tomorrow and the car is still under warranty so hopefully they'll completely fix the steering problem.
    As for the belt tension if you can turn the belt more than a 1/2 inch for every foot of free span than the belt is loose...If you had the dealer do the work I doubt this is your problem, Got to love Warranty

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    well, the service dept. looked at my STI today and they couldn't find the problem. The ps fluid is fine, the pump is fine and the belt is fine. They also test drove the car and said that the steering is as it should be.
    i don't buy it. it's stiffer than before and when pulled a sharp turn into a friend's drive way, the steering got VERY stiff.
    I think i need to get a second opinion.
    stock Subaru STI 2005 ~84K miles (2010/06/07)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swavek View Post
    well, the service dept. looked at my STI today and they couldn't find the problem. The ps fluid is fine, the pump is fine and the belt is fine. They also test drove the car and said that the steering is as it should be.
    i don't buy it. it's stiffer than before and when pulled a sharp turn into a friend's drive way, the steering got VERY stiff.
    I think i need to get a second opinion.
    Are your tire pressures up to spec?

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    Good news, everyone! xxxxxxxAnub1s's Avatar
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    They may have left some air in the lines, that would cause intermittent steering problems, and can cause pump failure.
    Cody
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    Your nighttime volunteer of near-useless information.
    Good news, everyone!

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    it has been some time and the steering hasn't improved. the tire pressure is within spec.
    i'm miffed about the fact that their senior tech feels that the steering is "normal" but wholeheartedly disagree. i was in the waiting room when he checked it out and he probably only drove it either around the dealership or the block. It's not enough.
    Anyway, they're waiting til an official Subaru representative stops by and they'll call me in so that this rep. can examine by car himself.
    by the way, is there a way that i can find out whether there's air in the power steering lines? can i do/fix this myself and/or do i need any special equipment?
    stock Subaru STI 2005 ~84K miles (2010/06/07)

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swavek View Post
    it has been some time and the steering hasn't improved. the tire pressure is within spec.
    i'm miffed about the fact that their senior tech feels that the steering is "normal" but wholeheartedly disagree. i was in the waiting room when he checked it out and he probably only drove it either around the dealership or the block. It's not enough.
    Anyway, they're waiting til an official Subaru representative stops by and they'll call me in so that this rep. can examine by car himself.
    by the way, is there a way that i can find out whether there's air in the power steering lines? can i do/fix this myself and/or do i need any special equipment?

    Usually, if air is present in the P/S lines, than when you turn the vehicle it will make a very loud whining noise

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    One thing that I'm a hundred percent sure about and can readily reproduce is that when I'm making a fast and sharp turn into my drive way, the steering becomes very tough (hard to turn). It feels like there's no steering assist, but i don't hear any noise.
    stock Subaru STI 2005 ~84K miles (2010/06/07)

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    by the way: even when the car is not moving, shouldn't the steering wheel turn freely? i don't mean freely as if it's loose, but there shouldn't be hard resistance. right?
    stock Subaru STI 2005 ~84K miles (2010/06/07)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swavek View Post
    by the way: even when the car is not moving, shouldn't the steering wheel turn freely? i don't mean freely as if it's loose, but there shouldn't be hard resistance. right?
    If the vehicle is not moving and the engine is running, you should be able to turn the steering wheel without much resistance however it will be tougher than with the car in motion...

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    Well... the steering on my car with the engine running is hard when it's not moving. It's a LOT tougher than it used to be.
    Alright, so what can I do now to point point the cause of my problem? The service dept at the local Subaru dealership is dragging their feet so I'd like to give them something specific to look for. I'm getting really frustrated with this steering problem.
    stock Subaru STI 2005 ~84K miles (2010/06/07)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swavek View Post
    Well... the steering on my car with the engine running is hard when it's not moving. It's a LOT tougher than it used to be.
    Alright, so what can I do now to point point the cause of my problem? The service dept at the local Subaru dealership is dragging their feet so I'd like to give them something specific to look for. I'm getting really frustrated with this steering problem.
    did u manage to find the problem??

  16. #15
    Registered User JuNgLeStEpHeAd's Avatar
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    I notice the same symptoms with my 04 WRX.
    When turning the wheel either side there is a pounding sound not a whistle.
    This will only happen when I drive the car for a longer time, and when fully warmed up.
    This is noticed mostly in parking lots trying to make sharp turns in forward and reverse.
    No leaks, fluid is clean, not low. Not sure what that could be either.
    B
    G
    Z

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