Question about 1994 Pontiac Grand Am

7 Answers

I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?... Thanks for your time...

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  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I did check the tie rods, they are all in good working condition, the wheels remain in the correct alignment... They ride and turn correctly... Any other thoughts?...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel spinned easy as it should, but seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel spinned easy as it should, but seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    I have a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4 DOHC, auto, 2dr... Driving home the other day making a left turn at low speed, the car was hard to turn, steering wheel spinned easy as it should (so it?s NOT the power steering pump), but seemed to travel much further than usual with very minimal steering actually happening at the wheels, almost hit another vehicle, acted like one wheel wasn't turning, yet seemed to turn fine right... The next morning, tried to go to work, made first left, VERY noticeable, doesn't want to turn, makes a large clank before I got it home, which was of course 4 left turns later at like 5 mph... Still acts like one wheel isn't turning... I lift vehicle, inspect rack & pinion, everything's tight, nothing's broke or leaking, and wheels seem to turn fine with steering, no loose wheel bearings or noticeable wear... What could be causing this?...

    Thanks for your time...

  • TURBOSCHILZ Sep 01, 2010

    That sounds about like it, I'm kind of guessing that it's the rack itself that's giving me the problem... Visually, everything is fine, not under load, everything turns great with basically no play anywhere, no leaks, no broken parts, so I'm guessing the internals of the rack are fried... It is a problem that I haven't come across before, and I've been wrenching on cars for 22 years now, but this is only my 2nd front wheel drive vehicle, so I'm a little new to the rack and pinion system you might say... Any other advice or checks that I can do to be sure?...

    Thanks again...
    Jeff

    1996 Camaro SS
    1994 Grand Prix GTP
    1987 Buick Grand National
    1981 Camaro Z28
    1977 Ford F150 XLT
    1971 Chevelle SS

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7 Answers

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  • Pontiac Expert
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Hello! A steering rack mount is either broken or has excessive play...Guru.........Saailer

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

  • David Burbee
    David Burbee Sep 01, 2010

    Hello! The solution I offered (broken or excessive play) needed to be eliminated as a cause...In order to give you the best possible service; The most common cause is given first...I'm investigating the problem further...Saailer

  • David Burbee
    David Burbee Sep 01, 2010

    Hello! The steering system functions normally when not under a load...Since the pump is not leaking the problem is in the steering rack itself...Inspect the power steering pump fluid for bits of metal shavings...A sure sign the rack is worn and needs to be replaced...

    Would you be so kind as to re-rate my solution..............Saailer

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First, check your power steering fluid. Now check the P/S drive belt or serpentine belt. Replace as necessary if it is a serpentine. Tighten a drive belt or replace if needed. Check the steering rack mounts for looseness or broken mounts. The P/S pump may also be failing. Look carefully at the wheel spindle where the tie rod connects. The steering rack may be worn out and need replacing.

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

  • NOT ME Sep 01, 2010

    Like I stated I think you will find the problem is with the Rack if all else checks out ok.

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Hi! Have you checked if the tires are touching the fender or the wheel well?

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Sep 01, 2010

    Could be lacking power steering fluid which can cause dragging during turns. You may need to fill it up to the right level.

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I would take a good look at your tie rod ends and steering linkage. Make sure none of the rubber boots are ripped or none of the linkages are bent or out of adjustment.

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

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  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Sep 01, 2010

    Symptom: Hard to steer. Wheel is hard to turn, especially while moving at slow speed.



    • Low power steering fluid - add fluid as needed.

    • Loose or worn power steering belt - tighten or replace belt.

    • Bad power steering pump - have checked for pressure and replace if needed.

    • Leaking power steering rack - inspect steering rack for leaks and replace rack if needed.

    • Tie rod ends may be bad and could be jamming up.

    • Steering Linkage could be bound up or bent.

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Sep 01, 2010

    I still believe the steering knuckle or balljoint or tie rod end.

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Sep 01, 2010

    That is about all there is too it. The GM's to tend to cause these problems. Especially in the trucks with bigger wheels but does sometimes happen in their cars. I would double check rack and pinion and steering knuckle.

    You can go to autozone.com and register for free. Then login to the account, choose your vehicle, then click the "view repair manual" link to view a nice free repair manual with schematics and more! I find it very helpful.

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The gears in the steering box may be worn out or the shaft is slipping on the spline

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

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  • Pontiac Master
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I would check the pulley on the power steering pump. Sounds like it could be spinning one way on the shaft.

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

  • Dar
    Dar Sep 01, 2010

    I guess that's a "no" ? Then i would have to say your pump is shot, and by-passing. Good luck.

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It could be due to maladjusted tie rods, that actually pull or push the wheels inwards or outwards. Have them reset with the help of special devices.

Posted on Sep 01, 2010

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