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If it is belt driven power steering it will not work with the engine switched off, engine must be running for power assistance to work unless you have electric power steering.
However, with the wheels in the air they should move unlless you have another issue, in which case you will need the assistance of a trained mechanic
Battery drain caused by a short to ground (frame or body) somewhere. Most likely this short is intermittent, which makes the dash lights flicker, similarly the power steering assist. Most likely the trunk switch issue is the "short to ground" . Visually inspect carefully all wiring in near and by the switch, and Air Shock Pump. I like the new very bright Led flashlights for this kind of thing. You may also discover the short by observing the trunk electrical in the dark while the engine is running thus viabration causing the intermittent behavior. You may see flashes from the short (if you are lucky) Otherwise it will take a lot more inspection and checking. Good luck, hope it is the easier to find in the trunk.
If you have no major leaks, then it is the power steering pump or the rack and pinion. If the pump is whining, I would replace this first. Some of these have power assist. This could be at the pump or rack. The pump or rack will have a wire/plug going to it. If it does, I would check the plug first and make sure you have voltage(12) and ground.
The average person does not have pressure gauges or the specs for power steering pressure. These readings would show if the power steering pump pressure is correct and then pointing to the problem being inside the rack and pinion unit.
You may be able to take the pump into a hydraulic repair shop and have its performance taken. Although they may not know what rpm your pump needs to be turning for a given pressure performance.
Could be a procedure for air bleeding is special. There was a procedure for Ranger or Chevy S10 type trucks which had strange elevation requirements for fluid to be "burped" with hoses hung higher than pump case. Once air escaped higher elevated hose, system was primed.
Make sure of simple things, like fluid is correct type. Maybe some other Expert will supply more answers.
-- from the 1990-1999 Lumina / Silhouette / TranSport Repair manual ---
1992 Pontiac TransPort Power Steering Pump
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Disconnect and cap the power steering pump hoses.
Remove the accessory drive belt.
Remove the power steering pump pulley using a suitable puller tool.
Remove the pump mounting bolts and remove the pump from the vehicle.
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
Fig. Fig. 1: On some vehicles, you must use a puller to remove the power steering pump pulley
Fig. Fig. 2: Power steering pump mounting-early model vehicle shown
Fig. Fig. 3: Power steering pump mounting-late model vehicle shown
Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Tighten the pump mounting bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
Bleed the power steering system to remove trapped air. Air in the system could cause noise and or damage to the pump.
This procedure requires the help of an assistant.
With the engine OFF, the wheels off the ground and turned all the
way to the left, fill the fluid reservoir to the FULL COLD mark on the
fluid level indicator.
With an assistant checking the fluid level and condition, bleed
the system by turning the wheels from side to side without hitting the
stops. You should repeat this at least 20 times, making sure to keep the
fluid level at the FULL COLD mark.
Fluid with air in it has a light tan appearance. This air must be
eliminated from the fluid before normal steering action can be obtained.
See Figure 4
Fig. Fig. 4: Power steering bleeding procedure
Start the engine, and while it is idling, recheck the fluid level and add as necessary to reach the FULL COLD mark.
Return the wheels to the center position. Lower the front wheels
to the ground and continue running the engine for 2 or 3 minutes.
Road test the vehicle to make sure the steering functions properly and is free of noises.
your power steering belt might be loose or may have stretched due to weather related issues, or may have the adjustment worked loose. suggest you adjust the tension on the belt[power steering belt] youneed to have it tightened. you may even need a replacement pump. is it leaking fluid onto the ground? if so, it may be a loose hose or a busted hose. if you are mechanically inclined, please repost with specifics on if it's leaking fluid or belt is squealing? otherwise,i suggest you have it looked at from a professional. hope this helps and if you need further assistance with replacement of power steering pump, or directions of the belt tension,just ask. we will be happy to assist!
Power steering does not seem to have any assist when at a stop.
1. The power steering assist is speed dependent and should be quite easy when stopped/low speeds. This is controlled by a solenoid on the side of the steering gear box.
2. Check for faults in all control modules. The general module is what controls current flow through the solenoid. Clear all faults and see if power steering operation is normal.
3. At the servo, check for power and ground from the general module. If none present, check wiring back to general module connector X254, pin 9, Black/White and pin 11, Black/Red.
4. Replace solenoid as necessary.
5. Disconnecting the solenoid will remove the variable assist function, but the steering system should still have considerable assist. If it does not with the solenoid disconnected, consider hydraulic faults as the most likely cause. A failed power steering pump is much more likely than the steering gear.
Defective General Module Defective Power Steering Control Solenoid Defective Power Steering Pump Damaged Wiring
If your cousin has access to wiring diagrams he will be greatly advantaged in diagnosing this issue
Support front wheels off ground. Chock rear tires, get an assistant for safty. Start engine (do not put in gear) step outside of car and manually turn wheels left and right by hand. Cut off engine. Turn key back to release steering lock. Manually turn wheels by hand again. If it requires the same ammount of strength to turn wheels, then Rack and Pinion is bypassing internally. Solution... replace rack & pinion.