1996 Camry Stiff steering

camrydude2camrydude2 Member Posts: 4
edited August 2017 in Toyota
have a Toyota Camry from 1996. Has about 240k miles. always taken good care of it. everything runs good except the power steering. It was hard to turn for a few weeks then it went back to normal. Now its hard to turn again. Any idea what could be going on?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Gee, on a car with that many miles on it, there's a long list of possibilities. Have you checked for fluid loss? Has the fluid ever been flushed and changed?
  • camrydude2camrydude2 Member Posts: 4
    No power steering fluid loss. Changed the fluid twice. Once emptied the fluid out and put in a sea foam trans tune which says it cleans hydraulic systems. Ran it for a day then emptied it out and refilled with proper power steering fluid. It's funny because it's like a commons cold. As I type this the steering is now fine again. But it might get stiff again in the future.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    When the power steering is working, turn the wheel to the lock and listen to the sound the system makes. That sound is fluid having to bypass the rack through the pressure regulator in the pump. Then when the power steering stops working can you hear that same sound as you try to turn the wheel?

    I have a gage and shut off valve tool that allows for testing of the pump and the rack. The pump should be able to produce 1200-1500 psi against the shut off valve in the tool and the system should reach just about that same pressure when the steering is turned to the stops. It allows for an either/or test. Not every shop is going to have this tool, let alone already have or be able to create adapters to be able to hook it up to a given car. If you are looking for a guess the steering rack is far more likely to act up like this.
  • camrydude2camrydude2 Member Posts: 4
    I will have to give it a listen when it stops working again, currently it is still working fine.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    Memorize what it sounds like right now when the steering isn't being turned, when it is being turned in the normal range and when it hits the steering stops. Then report what is different when the problem occurs. There is room for this to not result in a direct answer, but a chance that it could.
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