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New 02 T/A owner with first problem

This is a discussion on New 02 T/A owner with first problem within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Just got an 02 T/A w/87k miles. Steering suddenly got stiff and not very smooth. I added some fluid which ...

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    2002 Trans Am -a4

    New 02 T/A owner with first problem

    Just got an 02 T/A w/87k miles. Steering suddenly got stiff and not very smooth. I added some fluid which was not real low,and it still does it. I think I also smell something burning. I see no leaks of any kind. There is also an annoying squeaking going on that does increase w/ rpm...not sure if the two are related. Any initial help greatly appreciated!

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    Sold: LS1 '85 El Camino ls1camino's Avatar
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    The power steering pump may have died...hence the squeak (pulley). I'm not sure how to check, sorry.

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    War Machine BIG GUNS's Avatar
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    wow, you may want to post separate help topics for each. Regarding the squeak, I would look at the tensioners.

    Top tensioner and also the air conditioner tensioner down below. Turned out to be my air conditioner tensioner after changing out the top one. go figure.

    Hope this helps,

    GUNS

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    War Machine BIG GUNS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1camino View Post
    The power steering pump may have died...hence the squeak (pulley). I'm not sure how to check, sorry.
    Yeah, the squeak may be related to the power steering pump gone and may want to check that out first before going to the tensioners since you said the power steering is stiff. Sounds silly but, check the fluid again when its warm.

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    Thanks for your replies. Well I am pretty sure both the squeak and stiff steering started at the same time...and fluid is correct level when warm. Is it common for the p/s pump to die w/ only 87k miles? How difficult to replace?

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    Since you had to add fluid I would check to see if it leaked onto the pulley or belt. If so replace the belt.

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    no leakage at all, I only added an ounce or 2..

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    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaingdouble View Post
    Thanks for your replies. Well I am pretty sure both the squeak and stiff steering started at the same time...and fluid is correct level when warm. Is it common for the p/s pump to die w/ only 87k miles? How difficult to replace?
    No, not common at all. GM saginaw style pumps are very reliable.

    I had one die on my '90 Cavalier because the front seal blew out, but it had 220,000 miles on it

    The only way to really diagnose it properly is to have a pressure tester attached to the pump and see what kind of pressure its putting out. Without that, you're basically just guessing whether its the rack or the pump.

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    A slipping belt will squeal and make the steering erratic. Replace the serpentine belt, check the tensioner, make sure the pump turns freely and if you can, probably a good time to replace the fluid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddySS View Post
    A slipping belt will squeal and make the steering erratic. Replace the serpentine belt, check the tensioner, make sure the pump turns freely and if you can, probably a good time to replace the fluid.
    I think this is a good first step...I was thinking slipping as well, but it feels tight. If its not, at least the belt will be replaced, one less thing to worry about later.

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    Update

    Well I went out and started the TA and after a few minutes of idling, the ps pulley fell off the pump! Fluid leaked all over including my brand new alternator
    The ps pump still turns though. Why would the pulley just come off the pump?
    I guess this means the pump is wasted?

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    Anybody have input on what happened to my p/s??? I took the pump off today and I'm not sure if its bad. It still turns fine. The pulley came off the pump and fluid leaked everywhere. I thought the pump would be locked up and its not. What happened?

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Did the shaft break where the pulley goes on? I seen that happen before. No real good explanation for it other than a bad pump. Bottom line is that you need a new power steering pump and the pulley is pressed on so you may need the special tool.

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    Shaft doesn't appear to be broken, and the pump still turns by hand which probably doesn't mean much. Right now I can put the pulley on and remove by hand, so I guess that is toast as well. I am going to just buy a whole new assembly and see what happens. Not replacing alt until this is solved.
    Thanks

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    huh thats weird. I guess you need a pump and pulley then. Does the pulley look somewhat like this?

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    No the pulley is solid one piece black plastic...no holes except for where it slides on pump.

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