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Re: 1998 ford escort 2.0 lx sedan power steering
Most likely the problem is the steering rack, it is a very easy repair, but you will need to have the front end aligned after you are done installing the rack assembly, make sure all the old fluid is flushed from the system or the new rack will fail from debris left over from the old failed rack
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The power steering fluid resivoir is located on the right hand fender up front under the hood. The pump is mounted below the altenator on the front side of the engine. The lines go down the right side of engine compartment to the power steering rack located at the bottom center behind the engine. Hope this helps, let me know.
There are 2 things that cause power steering to go stiff. The power steering pump itself either from failure or "lack of fluid" and the rack and pinion assy under the car.
Most of the time the failure is the power steering pump itself. The teflon rollers fail inside the pump and it either stops providing an output pressure or it seizes up. You can loosen the power steering pump belt then try to rotate the pump by hand. It should move by hand. If it feels like it is intermittently locking up as you rotate, it the teflon rollers have failed and the pump will need to be replaced.
Position the vehicle on level ground. Run the engine until the fluid is at normal operating temperature. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and right several times. Position the wheels in the straight ahead position, then shut off the engine. Check the level in the reservoir; it should be at the FULL mark. If fluid is required, remove the cap and add fluid until it reaches the FULL mark.
If its a winding sound its the power steering, if its a clunking sound you should check your tie rods Idler arms (well check the entire front end suspension if you hear knocking, odds are if one part is bad the others aren't far behind) Good luck
try autozone.com to see if they have your car listed for diagrams pictures and step by step instructions if your car is not listed then try your local library they have all the car manuals and even copy them for you
stick your head behind the fusebox, you will see the switch as come out slighty of its clip, simply push it back in a couple of clicks and then watch the plunger in the switch as you push the pedal, ideally get someone to watch the brake lights to make sure they come on at the correct time (not too soon or late)