Question about 1998 Buick Century

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The steering in my 98 Buick Century is hard to turn at low speeds. Is this a steering pump issue or the rack and pinion?

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Your PS pump is fine.

This vehicle has:

Variable-assist power steering: A power steering system that uses valves and speed sensors to vary the amount of steering assist according to engine or road speed. At slow speeds more steering assist is delivered and steering the wheels is easier; necessary for parking, etc.. At higher speeds, steering assist is reduced and more steering effort is required to steer the car, giving the driver greater feel of the road. Also known as Speed-sensitive power steering.

Loss of current to the magnetic coils would cause a loss of power assist at low speed. Coil resistance can be checked with an ohmmeter, and should read about two ohms. An infinite (open) reading indicates a bad coil (requires replacing the rack since the coils are not serviceable). Checking for shorts between both sides of the coil assembly and rack housing is also recommended.

Best wishes

Posted on Jan 01, 2011

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