Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Having trouble with power steering

asked by on

I have a 97 Toyota 4Runner v6 3.4L I'm having a problem with my power steering system it's not humming or making any funny sounds but it is really hard and stiff to turn the wheel I've noticed if I give it anywhere from 1500 to 2000 RPM then will break free and loosen up quite a bit back to normal that's while I'm in neutral drive or park and I also check my power steering fluid Whitch is full I was thinking maybe a hose could be clogged or maybe a serpentine belt maybe need to be tightened or also just replacing the power steering pump I have no idea which direction to start first I would appreciate some help thanks

My car has 192000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The only way to diagnose this is to use an external pressure gauge to measure pump pressure at around 1,000 RPM at which point you will see line pressures in the neighborhood of 1,000 PSI. Please note though that the exact specifications (pressure versus RPM) depend on your vehicle’s Factory Service Manual. There is no other way to determine if the fault is pump output related versus in the rack and pinion unit versus hoses. Of course, double check belt tension just in case the issue is a poorly driven pump. Also, you should check the idle-up function for power steering. If that sensor system is not functioning, it could cause an issue such as the one you are describing. If you want these steps performed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request a power steering diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Having trouble with power steering

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Silhouette

Many different parts can cause the vehicle to overheat. The most common would be the thermostat, radiator, water pump, air in the coolant, or a coolant leak. When a vehicle overheats at idle the usual suspect is the radiator fans....

Q: It has a shimmy at about 45-50 mph

Hi there: Steering wheel vibrations at the speed you've indicated is typically caused by tire and wheel balance or lower ball joints that may be loose. Over time, the wheels and tires will fall out of balance; especially if the...

Q: I want to buy a 1997 Subaru Outback Wagon that appears to have oil/fluid leaks.

Hi there. There are three categories for leaks, that I use. Seepage (by all factory standards considered normal) collects dirt, signs of a leak (wetter than seepage) may or may not see it on the ground (monitor level), and a...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...