2001 Hyundai 4 cyl. Sonata steering problem

Discussion in 'Hyundai Sonata' started by ROCKSROCK, Jan 15, 2006.



    We are having an occasional problem with steering while turning. Once
    in a while it seems that the power steering cuts out during a turn and
    it becomes difficult to turn the wheel. It responds again after I make
    the turn. The dealer can not find the problem. Any similar experiences?
    ROCKSROCK, Jan 15, 2006
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  2. The classic causes of that are low fluid level and belt slippage (which
    you can usually hear). If the car has computer-controlled,
    speed-sensitive steering, it may be an electronic problem.

    Out of curiosity, has the dealer tested your alternator? Voltage
    fluctuations can adversely affect control computers. Since you seem to
    be having multiple problems that could be electronic in nature, that's a
    reasonable possibility. Do your dash lights ever change brightness for
    no apparent reason? That would be another indication of a voltage
    problem. If the alternator and battery are OK, check the ground
    connections throughout the car, particular the main grounds for the
    battery and engine, and any under-dash grounds for the computer modules.
    Brian Nystrom, Jan 15, 2006
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    hyundaitech Guest

    This car won't have anything electronic in the steering, so that can be
    ruled out. I've seen a similar issue in Elantras a couple times, and they
    required new steering pumps. I'd recommend checking the fluid and all the
    belts before jumping in that far, though.
    hyundaitech, Jan 16, 2006
  4. That's good to know. I know that the Elantra's power steering is pretty
    basic and purely mechanical. That leads me to a somewhat odd question
    that I hope you may be able to answer.

    I really don't like power steering, having owned vehicles with manual
    rack and pinion steering for 30 years. I find the Elantra's steering to
    be over-boosted and too vague on-center. Since it IS rack and pinion and
    the steering ratio is similar to manual rack and pinion steering, I'm
    tempted to disconnect the pump and drain the fluid from the rack. With
    the hydraulic fluid removed from the rack, it stands to reason that it
    should feel and function just like a manual rack. Does this sound
    reasonable to you?
    Brian Nystrom, Jan 17, 2006
  5. I'm not asking for you to "bless" the procedure, as I understand that
    you might not want to condone such a modification. All I'm asking is if
    you think the idea is mechanically sound? If nothing else, it's easily
    reversible if it doesn't work.
    Brian Nystrom, Jan 17, 2006

    hyundaitech Guest

    In most cases, there's significant extra effort required over manual
    steering. Any car I've ever driven with broken power steering was far too
    hard to steer. This is partly because power steering racks tend to have a
    different gearing ratio than manual racks.
    hyundaitech, Jan 17, 2006
  7. I suspect that a lot of the extra resistance is due to the fluid in the
    system. Turning the wheel forces it through the valving, which is hard
    to do without the assistance of the pump. It definitely seems that there
    is something more than just the steering ratio involved, since the
    steering effor is still quite high when the vehicle is in motion. At
    3.15 turns lock to lock, it's not that high anyway

    That's the reason I was wondering if draining the rack - so you'd only
    be pushing air through the valves, rather than oil - would effectively
    make it work like a manual rack. Have you ever tried anything like this?
    Brian Nystrom, Jan 18, 2006

    Matt Whiting Guest

    No, but I can't imagine it would work for long. With no oil in the
    rack, it is going to fail eventually from lack of lubrication.

    Matt Whiting, Jan 18, 2006


    Fluids, belts and electrical all OK. Any other ideas why the P/Steering
    goes out sometimes while cornering?
    ROCKSROCK, Jan 18, 2006
  10. After some digging, I actually found a few articles on this type of
    modification. You're correct that you need to keep some fluid in the
    rack, since that's what lubricates it. However, it CAN be disconnected
    from the valve body on the steering column. On the rack, the ports on
    either side of the piston can either be connected to each other or to a
    small fluid reservoir via a "T" fitting.
    Brian Nystrom, Jan 18, 2006
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