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Old 11-25-2007, 05:07 AM   #1
67Coronet383
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Power Assisted Steering.

1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS 2.0

I'm having an issue with the power steering. The symptoms are something like the following: When the engine is cold & while driving, the power assist seems to be either very little - or none at all. While cold and idling, it's fine. When the engine is warm, the power assist is always good. So basically, I get little to no power assist in my steering while driving around cold.

The power steering fluid is nice and clean, and only Honda power steering fluid has been used. The fluid level is right up to full, and there are never any bubbles in the fluid reservoir nor is the fluid ever foamy. There are no power steering leaks at all. There are no pinched hoses either. The fluid was flushed ~8Kmi ago.


Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:11 AM   #2
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C'mon someone has to know something. ;-)
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Coronet383
1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS 2.0

I'm having an issue with the power steering. The symptoms are something like the following: When the engine is cold & while driving, the power assist seems to be either very little - or none at all. While cold and idling, it's fine. When the engine is warm, the power assist is always good. So basically, I get little to no power assist in my steering while driving around cold.

The power steering fluid is nice and clean, and only Honda power steering fluid has been used. The fluid level is right up to full, and there are never any bubbles in the fluid reservoir nor is the fluid ever foamy. There are no power steering leaks at all. There are no pinched hoses either. The fluid was flushed ~8Kmi ago.


Thanks for your time.
1. Did you have this problem before performing the flush? My guess is no and if that's correct then you can start looking for a bypass caused by the cleansing action of the new fluid or maybe junk in the cut-off valve orifice or pump flow control valve or a speed sensor with an internal leak.

2. The first steps you should take are to disconnect the center shaft and see if that makes any difference. If not then you at least know the problem is 100% up front. Next step would be to take P/S pressure readings from a cold start at idle and while driving to see if theyíre in spec or at least what the difference is.


Holla back, yo!
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwhobo
1. Did you have this problem before performing the flush? My guess is no and if that's correct then you can start looking for a bypass caused by the cleansing action of the new fluid or maybe junk in the cut-off valve orifice or pump flow control valve or a speed sensor with an internal leak.

2. The first steps you should take are to disconnect the center shaft and see if that makes any difference. If not then you at least know the problem is 100% up front. Next step would be to take P/S pressure readings from a cold start at idle and while driving to see if theyíre in spec or at least what the difference is.


Holla back, yo!
Nope, I didn't have the problem before the flush. The shaft seal of the pump was leaking (common problem for those pumps) so I replaced the seal and flushed the fluid.

I will do what you suggested. I'll also try to find out more about the issue as far as symptoms.

I have one more piece of information. I noticed on rare occasion the problem would occur at idle when cold too. When this happened, the fluid reservoir will be empty except for fluid passing through at the bottom. With the car shut off, it's at the proper level, as well as while running when I have good P/S. Does this sound like more evidence of junk in the cut-off valve as you suggested?


Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67Coronet383
Nope, I didn't have the problem before the flush. The shaft seal of the pump was leaking (common problem for those pumps) so I replaced the seal and flushed the fluid.

I will do what you suggested. I'll also try to find out more about the issue as far as symptoms.

I have one more piece of information. I noticed on rare occasion the problem would occur at idle when cold too. When this happened, the fluid reservoir will be empty except for fluid passing through at the bottom. With the car shut off, it's at the proper level, as well as while running when I have good P/S. Does this sound like more evidence of junk in the cut-off valve as you suggested?


Thanks.
Stop right there. Before you do anything else, add three ounces of fluid to the reservoir and try it in the morning (or whenever itís cold again). I think you just identified your problem and didnít even know it.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwhobo
Stop right there. Before you do anything else, add three ounces of fluid to the reservoir and try it in the morning (or whenever itís cold again). I think you just identified your problem and didnít even know it.
Alright, I'll do that and post back.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:50 PM   #7
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Alright. I just got through doing your suggestion.

I added the extra fluid, cranked up the car, and drove off. Smooth steering through 1st gear, second, getting a little stiff and by the time I am in 3rd gear it's pretty stiff. I immediately pull over, and the P/S is normal feeling (didn't turn the wheel much, was at idle) and the fluid was were it was when I started off (motor running). This was all in a half mile drive. Drove another mile and the car was warmed up and the power steering was good at all speeds.



Here is a good bit of information I've come to realize. Every now and then, and I mean very rarely, the power assist will fail to taper off with speed. For instance, I'll have full power assisted steering at 60MPH making the steering very, very, very light to turn.


Whatcha think?
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:33 PM   #8
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I'm still confused by a statement you made a few posts up. The reservoir should never be empty, especially when the engine is running. My immediate thought earlier was that the fluid level was extremely low. At speed when cold it couldn't return to the reservoir fast enough to pressurize the system. Sitting at idle it was just barely keeping up and when warmed up the expansion of the fluid allowed it to create pressure. And Iím not so sure that that still isnít the case.

Has the system been properly bled? Even if it means substantially overfilling the reservoir, I think that may be where the problem lies. You can clean up the mess later.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwhobo
I'm still confused by a statement you made a few posts up. The reservoir should never be empty, especially when the engine is running. My immediate thought earlier was that the fluid level was extremely low. At speed when cold it couldn't return to the reservoir fast enough to pressurize the system. Sitting at idle it was just barely keeping up and when warmed up the expansion of the fluid allowed it to create pressure. And Iím not so sure that that still isnít the case.

Has the system been properly bled? Even if it means substantially overfilling the reservoir, I think that may be where the problem lies. You can clean up the mess later.
It has not been bled. But, there are absolutely no bubbles or foam in the fluid.
I did substantially overfill the reservoir this morning when I did what you suggested. All the way to the top. That's about how much you said to put in I suppose.

I'm confused too. That's why I posted the thread. It doesn't make sense how the reservoir can be at a perfectly full level, then be all but empty except for the fluid swirling around at the bottom. When that happens is when I have no or little power assist. Then full again.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:40 PM   #10
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Thanks for the pic, jedimario.

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Old 12-10-2007, 05:19 AM   #11
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Well, I have not really done anything towards it since the beginning of this thread. The fluid has been at the same proper level continually, & strangely the problem seems to be subsiding. It has been warmer out lately, so I think it somehow is affected by temperature. I'll know that for sure when it goes cold again.



I am experiencing an intermediate shakey steering wheel at ~65MPH +/- 3MPH. The wheels were recently balanced, all the tierods and balljoints are tight, alignment is good, and the hub bearings are good. The CV axles were replaced with "rebuilt" ones 20Kmi ago when I did the rebuild. The steering wheel will go left and right approx. 3/8" back and forth at a fairly fast pace.
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