View Full Version : What's the steering effort like on your car?

02-16-2013, 08:18 PM
I recently obtained a 1990 GT that was garage kept and has 55k miles on it. It was maintained but it spent pretty much the entire last decade sitting my grandmother's garage and racking up 5k miles.

The effort required to turn the wheel feels like it has very little power assist and it's not variable. 20 or so degrees in either direction feels like most modern cars: you can turn it with your pinky. By the time you get half a revolution in it feels closer to 10 pounds and it goes up from there. My gf has trouble turning the wheel to full lock without the wheels moving.

PS fluid level is fine. Would changing it improve this or is the power steering on these cars just set up to be this way?

02-16-2013, 11:06 PM
Please do this: Jack up front of car so both front wheels are off the ground. With key in the ignition, engine off, turn the steering wheel from lock to lock. Does it have a similar feel (easy in the middle, harder outside of this narrow range)? If so, get out of car, grab one wheel and pivot wheel as it would turn when moving the steering wheel. Do you feel the same thing? If you do, it is likely that a ball joint (or both) have rusted and taken a set preventing them from pivoting freely. If everything feels normally, you likely have a problem in the steering rack - likely requiring a replacement steering rack.

02-23-2013, 10:52 PM
Thanks, I just did that with the steering wheel it feels ok. I jacked up my 2011 CRV for comparison and they feel similar. The CRV is much stiffer than the Celica but both are smooth through their travel until the last 1/4 turn when the resistance increases dramatically and the wheels will return a bit when letting go at full lock.

Anything I can do to test out the rack @ home? Also, could alignment be an issue. It's probably been years since the camber was checked.

02-25-2013, 08:30 AM
Check the tire pressure?

Low tires feel heavy.

02-26-2013, 01:18 AM
Mine feels heavier than most modern cars where there's practically no effort at all (which isn't a good thing imo, lack of feeling).

Changing the power steering fluid may change the feel but I doubt it. Even if it doesn't, it can't hurt to do so if it's mostly been sitting for a while.