Power steering Lock up at startup and Idle - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Power steering Lock up at startup and Idle

Hi! all,

My 96 impala, power steering locks up at start and after it returns to idle with some delay.
There are no leaks and there is fluid.
It used to just lock up at start when the outside temp was less than 5c. Now it locking up every time no mater what temp.
I have to generate 1500-2000rpm and it will free up. when it returns to idle there is some delay but it will lock up again. Any ideas experience with this. Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 05:32 PM
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Your water pump weep hole is dripping on the serpentine belt. Very common. Replace your water pump.

Old cars, just like classic rock... 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 01:28 AM
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Your water pump weep hole is dripping on the serpentine belt. Very common. Replace your water pump.
Hi haha
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Since I did not say my water pump was leaking, I thank you very much for your response. New water pump was already ordered. I am going with this though I did not think it could cause such slippage with the belt and tensioner in good condition. I will also replace the steering fluid.
Thanks!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MacLaren View Post
Hi! all,

My 96 impala, power steering locks up at start and after it returns to idle with some delay.
There are no leaks and there is fluid.
It used to just lock up at start when the outside temp was less than 5c. Now it locking up every time no mater what temp.
I have to generate 1500-2000rpm and it will free up. when it returns to idle there is some delay but it will lock up again. Any ideas experience with this. Thanks for your help!

I had the cold start problem for years starting from when my '95 Impala was brand new and there was no water pump leak involved. The dealer's service department always said that they couldn't replicate the problem, so they never did anything to fix it. It was finally resolved when I had the power steering pump rebuilt by Lee Power Steering. Be wary of replacing your pump with a parts-store rebuilt pump - I tried that while my original pump was off for the rebuild, and the parts-store pump was even worse. It whined constantly and caused the fluid to foam, so it came off and went back for a refund.

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1995 DGGM Chevrolet Impala SS (original owner!)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 11:00 AM
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while a weeping WP will get coolant on belt causing it to slip thus making the PS not function as it should.....before you put in a WP look under the car at the WP...there would be a coolant drip/drop if this was happening

If no drop or evidence of coolant leaking I would hold off on the WP replacement and look into the PS pump.

Drop belt so you can hand spin the PS...does it turn freely? If so that is a good sign, if not than replace

"If" the WP is in fact leaking, very common, than there is also a very good chance coolant has gotten into the Opti. Since WP would be coming off pull the Opti off and then cap & rotor to inspect for any possible coolant contamination in Opti. If it is there carefully clean it out. At that point if the Opti has 100k mi on it than a cap & rotor replacement would be prudent. MSD makes a very good C&R..not Opti but a good C&R

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks,
Water pump is very bad. Opti has no issues car starts and runs great. New water pump to arrive @16th.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 10:52 AM
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Thanks,
Water pump is very bad. Opti has no issues car starts and runs great. New water pump to arrive @16th.
Your Opti can still "work"....but weeping/leaking WP's expose it to coolant that gets inside it and eventually will cause problem. The coolant that enters opi gets slung to the outside edges and on/into optical sensor. Then that coolant gets sucked through the vent hoses and check valves and clogs the later stopping opti ventilation. All VERY common effects of a leaking water pump.

IMHO it would be prudent to at least pop the cap off the opti once WP is removed to look

If there is crud in Opti it can be cleaned out. Use a skim coat of dialectic grease on the large O rings that sandwich between Opti base & cap

Some people even chose to install a gutted zerk 90 degree fitting into the WP weep hole with a length of vacuum hose attached to that that "diverts" and future WP weeping away from opti….and belt.

and some chose to go EWP to prevent WP from being a leak source at all.

\'96 BBB 383/T-56
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-03-2018, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Success, thanks to all for your advice. Installed new pump and she purrs!.
Issues I had I think I should pass on. I made a rookie mistake and did not replace the thermostat seal. This leaked as the rubber was hard. Replaced and all is good.
The big problem was with the purchase of the new pump. I bought through EBAY. The supplier was MikesAutoparts, seller ID patrickMahoney, contact Darren 503 774 8841.
[/U]Pump was from DNJ. The packaging was poor and pump and Gaskets arrived damaged. Darren offered to options to correct the issue and I opted for his option A. They then opted not to pay me as promised in the option A. They asked EBAY to resolve and EBAY went in my favor and requested a refund. They would not refund per EBAY decision. EBAY has refunded me out of their pocket. GOOD company this EBAY!

Watch out and beware of this Seller and DNJ company. PS I sent DNJ an email about the packaging. No response!!
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