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Q: Why does my power steering only work when it wants to?

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I have replaced my power steering pump 3 times within a year. Now my 2009 impala power steering will work then quit while driving and vice versa. It is especially dangerous going around curves when it goes from hard steering then decides to start working in mid-curve and I have to keep from yanking the wheel and over steering into the wrong lane.

First off, I would not drive the vehicle until the problem is rectified, as this is a very unsafe driving condition.

I would have a certified mechanic take a look at the vehicle to diagnose the issue. With that said, they will also want to take a look at the intermediate shaft. It is a shaft that connects the steering wheel (column) to the rack and pinion (steering gear).

It has been my experience that this intermediate shaft will corrode over time and create a feeling of a loss of power steering assist. This is a situation where an experienced mechanic can perform some tests to identify if this is the problem.

If you need help identifying and repairing the issue, YourMechanic offers several options. They have trained mechanics that can come to your home, or place of business, and diagnose your power steering issue and repair it for you.

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