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Power steering lumpy at low speed


fentiger
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The power steering on my Outback has become lumpy when manoeuvering at low speed - parking in tight spot etc.

First started in winter, put it down to cold fluid, but now does it all the time.  Fluid level is OK, belt is tight. 

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I'm not sure how old the car is. If it's 1999/2000 shape, look at the round brake vacuum cylinder on the bulkhead. You should see some wiring directly in front of it running in a bottom to top direction. A plug in the middle of the wires should be clearly visible. Unplug it and go for a drive.

Those cars had a system that made the steering really light at low speeds and stiffened it up at higher speeds. With the plug unplugged, you should find the steering to be at the higher speed setting which is still easily good enough for low speed manoeuvring.

If this does as above, it will put the power steering light on on the dash.

I'm afraid I don't know exactly how to fix it but it must be to do with a worn sensor that can't figure out what speed it's at.

The only one I have experience of did as you described but only until the power steering warmed up. It was fine after that.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks for the info, guys. It turned out to be the belt: although it was tight it wasn't tight enough and well beyond its' sell by date! When taken off it was through to the canvas on the underneath. New belt fitted and now right as rain. 

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