Question about 2003 Ford Explorer

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Power steering troubles

Don't understand why steering wheel so difficult to turn at 0-1 mph. Plenty of PS fluid, no leaks visible or on driveway...While driving, its seems to be okay though.

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  • seaupwr Aug 04, 2008

    Sure, but the steering wheel is really tough to move, as if the car was off. I don't normally turn the wheel while parked, but it now makes getting out of parking spaces really difficult!
    U-turns are fun too!
    I'm guessing it has something to do with the pressure, or a vacuum leak of some sort ?!?.
    I let the car run a bit more when I start it up to develop any fluid pressure but it doesn't seem to work.

  • Anonymous Aug 12, 2008

    I started out with the same problem. One year later here is what is going on.

    Cracked Applique on hatch. Split leather seat, side molding came off, Heat does not work, High AC does not work, replaced U joints, replace all four wheel bearings, replaced transfer case ($ 1700.00) AC compressor makes noise, back windows do not roll down, car stalls with sudden stops, Lift gate hinge broke and glass fell on my head, rotors out of round. Did I mention the car has less than 100k highway miles. All service done as scheduled.

    Good luck your you Ford......I'll never buy one again.

  • Anonymous Aug 26, 2008


  • Anonymous Mar 13, 2014

    change the reakapion twice on truck seal keeps going out after driving about 1/2 hour drive steering gets very difficult what am I doing wrong



1 Answer

The steering gets easyer as you accelerate is normal when moving slow the weight of the vehical . the rpms are slower makes them feel hard to turn

Posted on Aug 03, 2008


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Something wrong with Power Steering

1. Check that the serpentine belt is still intact and still in position over all the pulleys on the engine including the power steering pump.

2. Check the power steering fluid level. If very low or empty you obviously have a significant power steering fluid leak which could be from a ruptured flexible hose, a leaky hose connection, a leak from the power steering pump itself or leaks from the fluid seals in the steering rack. If the PS pump has been run with very low fluid it will have been pumping air and will be damaged.

3. If the PS pump itself has failed you will obviously lose PS assistance and a bad pump would need to be replaced.

4. Since you have not checked anything on the car no one here can tell you the likely source of your particular PS failure.

5. The steering wheel should still turn but if the car is not moving it will be extremely heavy and difficult to move.without PS assistance so don't attempt to drive it in its present condition.

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Heavy steering (not caused by neglected low tyre pressures) is usually related to a problem or failure with the power steering pump system.
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1. Is the serpentine belt slipping on the power steering pump pulley because it is old and worn and needs to be replaced? If it is slipping it will likely be slipping on other pulleys also.

2. You have allowed the power steering fluid to run low and the PS pump is starved and is sucking air. Running the fluid low will damage the PS pump and the steering rack. Low fluid in the PS reservoir is normally a sign of a fluid leak in the system. A leak could be on a system hose, in the PS pump or in the steering rack.

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I hope you are using the right PS fluid for your vehicle! Have you checked that?

Power steering systems are tricky. Whenever you add fluid, you should (with the engine running and PS pump turning), turn the wheels ALL the way, both left and right while creeping as slow as a snail on an open parking lot ... at least twice (like R-I-G-H-T, then L-E-F-T, then R-I-G-H-T, then L-E-F-T)! Then re-check the PS fluid level again, and if still low, repeat the whole process! DON'T turn the steering wheel too fast!

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At a stop......Try revving the engine up with the brake on.
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