Q: Why is my steering hard at idle after replacing powersteering pump and rack

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I replaced pump and rack together after a bearing failure heavily contaminated the fluid. I flushed the system with 3 qts of fluid and installed an inline filter filled and bled system 10 times. But unfortunately after replacing both components with new , not remanufactured parts my steering is hard at idle. Once I accelerated to 1200 rpm steering normalized

My car has 99000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Anytime a system is contaminated with metal from a failed part, you will get filters that get clogged. Since you installed a return line filter, this will help filter out any contamination but may also starve the pump of fluid. Also the fluid reservoir has a filter screen in the bottom of the reservoir that will get clogged and will starve the pump of fluid and cause the hard steering at lower RPM’s. If you have a problem where the fluid looks like it is getting lots of air bubbles in the fluid in the reservoir, then the most common problem is the reservoir filter metal screen is clogged or partly clogged. You should remove reservoir and inline filter and clean out the reservoir screen by back flushing out the debris and replacing inline filter if it is clogged also. If you need some help with all of this, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the hard steering issue and follow through with repairs.

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