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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car has a burnt toast smell at lower speeds. Dash says service power steering low whirring sound when steering and heaviness in the wheel so I know the power steering needs replaced but not sure what could cause the burnt smell. Any suggestions?
 

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Car has a burnt toast smell at lower speeds. Dash says service power steering low whirring sound when steering and heaviness in the wheel so I know the power steering needs replaced but not sure what could cause the burnt smell. Any suggestions?
Check your battery voltage on the dash at next start up and see what it reads at idle.
 

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Was at 13 volts. Usually reads 12.5- 13 when idling and around 13.5 - 14 while driving
Not good, follow the procedure I linked to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Checked the ps fluid level and it was fine so not sure what’s causing the ps service light to come on but will definitely check the battery and alternator. Thank you for your recommendations
 

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Checked the ps fluid level and it was fine so not sure what’s causing the ps service light to come on
The signs and symptoms strongly indicate that your alternator is failing.
That goes double since you've confirmed the steering fluid level is fine. Surprised you haven't run across it yet in any searches you have performed, but power steering trouble codes, burning electronics smell (you refer to it as burnt toast), whirring noise and relatively low voltage readings with the motor running are almost a 100% bad alternator signs and symptoms combination. It may never tell you there's a problem with the alternator.
 

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Checked the ps fluid level and it was fine so not sure what’s causing the ps service light to come on but will definitely check the battery and alternator. Thank you for your recommendations
It's the alternator, should reach 15.0V when it is working hard to charge the battery. Whatever you do, don't buy a Chinese forgery from your local auto parts shyster, regardless of how wonderful they tell you the warranty is. Best and cheapest option is to rebuild your original alternator at a local auto electric shop with new bearings, brushes and rectifier/regulator module. If that option isn't available to you, OEM, which is least expensive when purchased from an online dealer like GMPartsNow.

It's an easy DIY job, although you have to remove the PCM for clearance and feel for the lower alternator bolt if you approach it from above. Can do it from below as well, but that requires jacking and removing the underbody cover. No big deal either way. May want to do the serpentine belt, idlers and water pump as well, or you can leave those for the timing chain job which is surely not far off.
 

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Whatever you do, don't buy a Chinese forgery from your local auto parts shyster, regardless of how wonderful they tell you the warranty is.
That's right, buy the original made in China part from the dealers.

Not trying to give you a hard time Lifespeed, but I'm a bit worn out at the obviousness in how well we consumers have been trained to attack each other for doing exactly what companies do and have been doing for a long time and that's use China and other foreign nations to increase profit, all while chanting "Buy American", meanwhile they have the lobbyist hard at work redefining what "Made in America" means, so they can put those cheap foreign parts in their products and still stamp them "Made in America".

Part of the reason counterfeit merchandise from China is so lucrative today, is because that's where a lot of the genuine parts/components are already in place being made. One of many very important lessons I learned in the Army, is to take the problem to the source and I don't believe that's the consumer. If U.S. factories stayed in the U.S. this wouldn't be a problem. Box store parts are not likely counterfeit, once it becomes legal for OE parts to be reproduced in the aftermarket, the retailer can have them made in China, India, or wherever they desire provided the law allows and those foreign parts are getting better and better and they certainly aren't as cheap as they used to be. I still prefer OE new and used, over new aftermarket.

Just get the best part you can afford and call it a day.
 

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That's right, buy the original made in China part from the dealers.

Not trying to give you a hard time Lifespeed, but I'm a bit worn out at the obviousness in how well we consumers have been trained to attack each other for doing exactly what companies do and have been doing for a long time and that's use China and other foreign nations to increase profit, all while chanting "Buy American", meanwhile they have the lobbyist hard at work redefining what "Made in America" means, so they can put those cheap foreign parts in their products and still stamp them "Made in America".

Part of the reason counterfeit merchandise from China is so lucrative today, is because that's where a lot of the genuine parts/components are already in place being made. One of many very important lessons I learned in the Army, is to take the problem to the source and I don't believe that's the consumer. If U.S. factories stayed in the U.S. this wouldn't be a problem. Box store parts are not likely counterfeit, once it becomes legal for OE parts to be reproduced in the aftermarket, the retailer can have them made in China, India, or wherever they desire provided the law allows and those foreign parts are getting better and better and they certainly aren't as cheap as they used to be. I still prefer OE new and used, over new aftermarket.

Just get the best part you can afford and call it a day.
The OEM part may be made in China, but under quality control and approval of GM, which is an important difference. Results of CTS owners support this approach.

At no point did I imply that OEM parts are made in the USA, I think we all know better than that.

I still say don't get the crap from the chain parts store.
 

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The OEM part may be made in China, but under quality control and approval of GM, which is an important difference. Results of CTS owners support this approach.

At no point did I imply that OEM parts are made in the USA, I think we all know better than that.

I still say don't get the crap from the chain parts store.
I didn't say, or suggest you were implying anything, just trying to hint that the "China! China!" chant is getting old, and desperate to run its course, as there are two sides to the "business coin" and it's possible to get taken by either one. Perhaps good troubleshooting advice short of telling strangers, whose purse strings we know nothing about what to buy is good enough. Just saying since I had to learn that.
 

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I didn't say, or suggest you were implying anything, just trying to hint that the "China! China!" chant is getting old, and desperate to run its course, as there are two sides to the "business coin" and it's possible to get taken by either one. Perhaps good troubleshooting advice short of telling strangers, whose purse strings we know nothing about what to buy is good enough. Just saying since I had to learn that.
I stand by my original statement about the crap quality of parts chain store alternators. I and many others have confirmed it on multiple occasions, my advice not to use such parts is valid and supported by empirical evidence.

Anybody can evaluate their own finances against my suggestions and the results of not heeding advice. I also provided a very low-cost and reliable fix for this problem - rebuild it.
 

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I stand by my original statement about the crap quality of parts chain store alternators. I and many others have confirmed it on multiple occasions, my advice not to use such parts is valid and supported by empirical evidence.

Anybody can evaluate their own finances against my suggestions and the results of not heeding advice. I also provided a very low-cost and reliable fix for this problem - rebuild it.
Loosen your "belt", if I didn't know any better I'd think you were a company rep of some sort trolling imports.
 

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Loosen your "belt", if I didn't know any better I'd think you were a company rep of some sort trolling imports.
I have no idea what you're talking about. Sharing experiences on an automotive forum is kind of the point. You can install whatever parts you want on your ride, and I'll post whatever I want.
 

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Take it easy, gentlemen.
 

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Definitely, I thought the loosen your belt comment might help, but it seems to be getting tighter and tighter and I'm not wearing one.
It's not helping the OP, which is what we should all be collectively striving to accomplish.

You both have alot of experience to help remedy Smunson999's dilemma, but remember it's ultimately his decision on what advice to take or not to take any at all.
 
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