Steering jams, belt squeaks turning wheel at low speed - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Steering jams, belt squeaks turning wheel at low speed

I have an intermittent problem with the steering, I think only when parking (we park parallel in front of our house) but not necessarily when sitting still, sometimes rolling still. The wheel will lock up (can't turn it at all) and the belt squeaks like the power steering pump stopped spinning. Then everything is back to normal. It lasts for a second, sometimes it does it a couple of times in one parking maneuver, sometimes only once. It does it when the car is cold or hot, sometimes when we're pulling away from the house, sometimes when returning to the house. Summer or winter, but perhaps more in winter. It's been a lot less frequent lately. It is not turned to full lock but I think it's only when making a rapid steering change (like you do when parallel parking).

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-17-2009, 05:28 PM
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Check for a worn belt. Mine was squeaking on takeoff when cold. It wasn't squeaking when turning oddly enough.

I looked at the belt and it was badly cracked probably original. Replaced it and did 3 drive/tension adjustment cycles to make sure it was just tight enough not to squeak. The tension adjuster is variable so the tightness can be adjusted unlike preset tensioners.

Your situation is the pump causing extra load on the belt and the belt slipping over the pulley due to being loose or worn. This causes 0 power steering pressure. I imagine that quick movements would cause spikes in load just like turning it and hold it at left lock or right lock.

If you need pictures or instructions let me know.

Yeah, mine shakes at idle, they all do that..........right?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 05:00 AM
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Strange you didn't mention whether you checked the belt tension, condition or the power steering fluid level .

If not, check those and get back to us.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by ETC
Strange you didn't mention whether you checked the belt tension, condition or the power steering fluid level.
I knew I'd forget some info, even though I was trying to be thorough. PS fluid level is fine, never had to add any. Belt tension seems fine (I don't have a device to measure it, though, just by finger feel) and the belt seems to be in good shape. I'll try to check the belt condition again this afternoon with a flashlight. Those were the first things I checked when this problem came up and they looked fine.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 10:35 AM
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Check out this thread where I posted an answer to this issue.
Belt Noise
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