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st 162 steering problems


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Hi Everyone,

Having problems with stiff steering on my 1986 Celica. Had the rack ends replaced recently mechanic said he could see no leaking with the rack and power steering system. The problem existed before the rack ends were replaced, but mechanic assured me new rack ends would fix the problem. He was wrong.

The problem did subside for a while, but has now returned with a vengance. The problem is as follows;

Steering is stiff, very heavy. Does not want to return to centre. I did notice driving along in straight line at highway speed, if i rapidly oscillated the steering from left to right it would subside for a while, but it always comes back. So it has been intermittent in nature. Sometimes it feels like it is sticking or binding, but frees up slightly for a period of time. Mechanic then told me he reckons it's the radial valve but then i thought could it be top of struts, tie rod ends, or ball joints. Or, the connection between the rack and the steering column. Could these be binding? Or could it be the pump? Or something else hydraulic.

One power steering speciallist i spoke to reckoned it couldn't be hydraulic, because at speeds over 60kmph there is no hydraulic assistance. But if so, how come when you switch the engine off and coast at highway speeds [when there was no problem with the car] steering is very heavy.

I guess, i'm a little confused as to where to begin to diagnose this problem, any help would be greatly appreciated.

PS. The problem is less intermittent now, and pretty much permanent.

Cheers, Paul.

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Have you ever driven a car with no power steering before?

Its hard to say what could be wrong.

I would just start a check list and start from wheels to steering wheel and eliminate every moving part.

Sorry i cant help.

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  • 3 months later...

i haven't had this problem with my 87, but if it helps., i would replace the power steering pump, if you have no leaks, and steering gets heavy at speed, the pump may be bypassing fluid, at the other end, the worm gear in the rack maybe worn out, couple of things to try maybe, good luck... just my thought here, but if the mechanic told you that replacing the rack ends?? would solve the problem and it didn't... i would not have paid him..my opinion

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  • 6 months later...

heavy steering in part, may be a wheel alignment problem, (or under inflated tyres) if you lighten your grip on the steering wheel when turning out of a corner to go straight ahead the steering wheel should slip back through your lightened grip to a central position, if not, alignment may be some of your problem.!!

if your Power Steering fluid reservoir is topped up, and no leaks noticeable, and alignment is verified to be OK, your Power Steering Pump may be the culprit.!!!

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