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New Guy here, trying to find if anyone has ever ran into steering problems with a 95 Caprice 9C1 or similar model. The problem is every so often the steering basically looses power and turns into manual steering,usually when I go to make the first turn after starting up. Then after strong arming the first turn I make (so far) ,it goes back to normal and drives fine.
Caught me off guard a few times and I thought I was gonna have a heart attack. I took it to a shop and they replaced a seal in the power steering pump. (It wasn't leaking) It seemed to slow down the problem but didn't fix it. Now the mechanic says he'll have to get it to do it all the time for him to know what is wrong. It's so few and far between acting up that I think that won't be possible (Like once a month). He said that he thought it might be the Power Steering Sensor and that would be another $200.00 installed. The seal cost me $85.00. I just bought new wheels and tires for it and cash flow is low now (so what else is new?). Guys I could really use some advice if anyone is familliar with this problem. Should I have him flush the fluid or replace the pump? the Sensor? Any input would be greatly appriciated.
Thanks, SD
 
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First of all you might be surprised at how easy it would be to do it your self!(provided you either live in a warm climate or have access to a heated garadge),and go to a auto zone or other like store were you can get a manual that you can trouble shoot with and try to fix it your self.call around to garadges and ask theyre appinion like your gonna bring it to them and it will help you narrow down whats wrong with the car,Ive had the same thing happen to me with a mustang and it was a clogged powerstearing resivuor (sp?) and once that was cleaned out it worked fine.But I would look into saving your self some funds by doing stuff your self,Your car will live longer.lol...good luck and let us know what the problem is once you get it narrowed down.Check the power stearing pump and resi. to see that every thing is atleast getting to where it needs to go before you start replacing things.
 
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Thanks for the reply capricedriven. Good advice. I'll go get myself a manual today. I live in the East Coast and I'm lucky 2 be able to drive let alone work on the Caprice.(come on Spring!)I think I might have found the problem.
I've had the waterpump replaced so I thought that ruled out anti-freeze getting on the serpintine belt causing it 2 slip, but after checking under the hood 2day I'm seeing a possible anti-freeze leak somewhere. It's not enough for it to need any refilling of the overflow container but it's detectable none the less.I'll check things out and let the forum know how things work out.
Thanks, SD
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Steering problems like yours are usually the first sign of a weeping waterpump, keep in mind that the heater hoses are right there also so if one of those is loose or leaking it could cause the same problem.
 
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Cool an dhopefully thats what it is,see how just taking a step back and looking can help.Its saved me ALOT of funds doing it that way instead of just running it into the garadge and saying "help" Then you sually end up paying fr stuff that you dont need.Not saying all garadges are dishonest BUT I dont trust any one who tells me its this that and the other and at 60.00$ and hour youll owe 1,000,000.and 53 cents.lolGood luck and keep that beast on the road as long as the engine runs!theyre the last of theyre kind!Unless you want to go to Arabia then you can still buy a new caprice SS calssic.lol,Thats to much $$$ just to go there much less buy a car!lol...Think of the shipping and handling on that!lol...
 
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Discussion Starter #6
i'm encountering the same problem. when you step on the gas with authority and let off, does your steering kinda lock up for a split second and you hear a squealing noise?
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Not getting that belt squeel your describing. My Caprice (so far)acts up after the first 10 min. or so,Woody9C1. When it does the steering pretty much locks up when you are trying to make a sharp turn, (Left,Right,U)Then after I make the turn it starts to steer normal again. Still working on this
 
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Man you R so right capricedriven, they get U 1 way or another. Yea, I never would have guessed this Beast could be so much freakin fun 2 drive. I love it and I'm gonna get it looking and running nice.(eventually!) Thanks, SD
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I ran into this problem but not on my car it was on my brothers bonneville SSEI like 2 months ago his car would do the same thing as this. we would run the car for the first few miniuts and the steering would lock up. so finally last week the power steering basicly went out for good. I replaced the pump on saturday and we drove it like 100 miles with no problem at all. it was even harder to replace on his car because his is front wheel drive. if you end up needing to replace it do it yourself i did it without a manual.
 
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Thanks 4 your response MUSCLE9C1. I replaced tha belt yesterday (the replacement was a bear to work on the tensioner,TIGHT!)Everything seems OK for now, but it's really too soon to say for absolute sure if I'm in the clear. If not, I'm sure it won't hurt to change the Steering Pump. (Thanks for the lowdown on the difficulty meter) The car has like 160,000 miles of Cop Crusin' miles, but rides like a dream. Thanks SD
 
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Discussion Starter #11
...my '95 Caprice would do that very infrequently. I always suspected that the P/S system might need to be bled since the steering worked great. I would suggest bleeding the system.
 
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Yea, Marlon that was what I was going to get done before I called around about this. Funny thing is nobody said anything about the Belt that I spoke with, and after replacing it, the steering has not given me any problems (Knock on wood!)yet. The belt wasn't really that worn looking but aparently streched out enough that the tensioner (probably wore out 2) was ineffective. Like I said this new belt is TIGHT as a... well it's pretty darn tight.
When I was driving through puddles (we have been getting some serious bad weather) the steering was locking up. Other times it was just out of the blue. I still want to do as you suggested and bleed the system. Thanks 4 your input to my plight. SD
 
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What's up SnowDog!!!
You have taken the words right out of my mouth!!!!! I own a 1995 9C1 with about 210,000 km's and I am experiencing the same EXACT promblem 110% !!!!! 5 days a week the stearing works fine, and then poof, It just freezes, just like that. I drive for a few minutes, and the problem is gone. I could not have written your question better myself, they are the words out of my mouth. When i first bought my car, the garage told me my water pump was slowly breaking and leaking, and as i read your responses to your question, many people relate this problem to a faulty water pump....this may be one solution. I as well, do not have any squealing noise when turning. I find that the only way the problem goes away is with a few moments of driving. When i start it up in the morning, it jams 2 times a week. Some days it works just fine but it acts up again when the car is stopped at a red light or is not moving for a few moments. I have not yet gone to see a mechanic, I as well just dished out a ton of cash buying the car, and adding a few extras. Please keep me posted with all your solutions and findings.
Good Luck!!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
What's up SnowDog!!!
You have taken the words right out of my mouth!!!!! I own a 1995 9C1 with about 210,000 km's and I am experiencing the same EXACT promblem 110% !!!!! 5 days a week the stearing works fine, and then poof, It just freezes, just like that. I drive for a few minutes, and the problem is gone. I could not have written your question better myself, they are the words out of my mouth. When i first bought my car, the garage told me my water pump was slowly breaking and leaking, and as i read your responses to your question, many people relate this problem to a faulty water pump....this may be one solution. I as well, do not have any squealing noise when turning. I find that the only way the problem goes away is with a few moments of driving. When i start it up in the morning, it jams 2 times a week. Some days it works just fine but it acts up again when the car is stopped at a red light or is not moving for a few moments. I have not yet gone to see a mechanic, I as well just dished out a ton of cash buying the car, and adding a few extras. Please keep me posted with all your solutions and findings.
Good Luck!!
 
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I'm hangin' in there Dog!!!
Dreams I have 2 say that I really got a kick out of reading your post. Thanks for adding yet more detail 2 this evidently common yet peculiar problem. Since I had the water-pump replaced by a mechanic this past summer, I pretty much ruled out the possibility of the anti-freeze belt causes the belt 2 slip scenario,but after looking at the belt I figured that even though it looked good as far I could tell, this would be a cheap and easy part for me to replace. It has made an absolute difference in the steering not freezing up (especially when driving over the humongous puddles that have been plaguing the east coast as of late),and this Forum has helped make it possible for me 2 take the first steps in getting familiar with and tackling some of the repairs that will save me a lot of aggravation and of course CASH. THANKS GUYS!!!
 
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Discussion Starter #16
well, i'm glad it seems good... i was gonna say, it seems like the belt - the advantage of a serpentine system is you only have to take off one belt - the disadvantage is, if it starts to expand, crack, or slip, all your accessories suffer, and the first to feel it is the power steering. i had the same thing happen at one point, with a real slippery belt. power stearing would go out on a turn, as more strain was put on the equipment, but not enough torque on the pulley.

the belt should be changed basically twice a year for optimal performance. it's easy and cheap enough, so i don't mind it that much.
 
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Snowdog,
Thanks for posting your problem with your power steering. I also have 95 9C1 with the same problem. I thought I was having the problem (Temporary loss of power steering)because I park on an incline and I just figured it took a few seconds for the power Steering fluid to circulate. Over the past 6 months I have replaced the power steering pump, serpentine belt, and the water pump. My PS problem occurs anytime I leave the car parked more than 12 hours and is gone after I move about 100 feet. So I do not know where to go from here. Thanks again for bringing this subject up.
 
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