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SRX
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have searched literally hundreds of threads here and elsewhere about power steering related issues with the SRX and other Caddy's. I am the new owner of a pretty cherry used 04 v-8. I am trying to determine the best probability for a steering issue before I start throwing parts at it.

The steering is stiff. I have a feeling that the power steering works, just not very well. My best guess is that there is something wrong with the variable assist solenoid, but I don't know of a positive way to check it 100%. The pump makes no noise. There is some apparent seepage of fluid but I haven't been able to check for sure where that is coming from. At any rate, it doesn't look severe enough to cause loss in steering performance.

I unplugged the variable steering solenoid and got the error message, but no effect on the steering either way. Plugged it back in and the message goes away but no change in steering.

The gold colored 'cap' for the solenoid isn't firmly attached, (this is the point where the wiring plugs into the power steering rack. It swivels, ie the plug in point can be turned rather easily. Is that normal.

I just bought the car this way, so I don't know what symptoms it exhibited that led to this.

One thing, I seemed to have normal steering for a couple of minutes while I was screwing around with the cap that the wire plugs into. But I couldn't get it to replicate again.

Any suggestions on running this down further would be greatly appreciated before I buy a new rack only to find out it was a pump or vice versa.
 

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SRX
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104 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Bump. Any suggestions? Has anyone changed out the steering rack themselves. I'm pretty sure that is the culprit, and if I don't figure out a better way to troubleshoot it, I will start there.
 

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11 CTS-V Sedan, 07 Corvette Convertible
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Do you have a shop manual or subscribed to one online? As part of the diagnostic, you must first locate and correct any leak issues. Second, the solution for steering to hard, steering to easy, problems is the replacement of either the power steering pump, or the steering gear. To determine if it is the pump or the gear, the pump is tested to determine the flow rate at different pump pressures.
 

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SRX
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your reply. I suppose the power steering pump flow test is not something that I can just take the pump to somebody for? I'm almost certain there is something wrong with that variable assist solenoid, it doesn't seem right to me that it should be loose and able to be turned so easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So the magnetic coil that controls the variable assist seems to be bad, according to what I've been able to find on the internet it's supposed to show 2 ohms of resistance if it's good, open if bad. It reads open. I cannot believe this little, easy to change part isn't available somewhere, somehow without buying the entire rack. You can buy a rack without this part attached, but you can't buy this part alone. Has anyone found a solution to this dilemma?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just updating this in case anyone stumbles upon it in the search in the future. I played with the magnasteer solenoid a couple of times and never saw any improvement. I think it truly is a non-serviceable part. I suspected it was either the rack, or the magnasteer unit that was the problem, but wasn't sure if it also couldn't have been the pump. Long story short, It wasn't bad enough to make replacing the rack a huge priority, and so I didn't do anything with it all summer. A couple weeks ago, the pump blew the seal and I had to deal with it.

I replaced the pump, and that didn't fix the stiff steering, so I did replace the rack, and the Magnasteer solenoid. All better now.

I think that the restriction in the flow, may have led to the pump failing; in hindsight maybe I shouldn't have waited to fix the rack. Could have saved the $150 the pump cost. GM parts direct had the pump but it took a very long time, next time I would use one of the recommended vendors from this site. I got a decent deal on a rebuilt rack. All in all it wasn't a bad do it yourself job, used the gmpona service manual website to get the steps and got it done in one afternoon. PM me if you are running into this and I'd be glad to share what I learned.
 
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