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Pontiac Grand Am Steering Questions

kdeezlekdeezle Posts: 12
edited July 2014 in Pontiac
i have a 99 grand am. i got in the car today and started it, and i cannot turn the wheels. it feels like i have no power steering. it almost feels like the steering is locked, but i can turn the wheel just a little bit. the resovoir has some fluid but i filled it with no change. can someone please help me with this problem


  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    "it feels like i have no power steering. it almost feels like the steering is locked" Do you mean that you turn the steering wheel a little and it just stops hard and won't go anymore? Even if the the power steering is out you would be able to turn the wheel, but it would be much harder.
    If that's the case, then I would think that the steering lock has failed to release when you turned the key, or, more remotely, something has broke or come loose in the steering linkage or rack/pinion and is binding it up.
    If you can turn it but it's hard to turn then the power steering has gone out.
  • kdeezlekdeezle Posts: 12
    what i mean is that when the car picks up speed, then i can turn it but it takes all my strength. the wheels will turn though. i have to build a little momentum
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Then in that case it sounds like the power assist to the steering has gone out.
  • kdeezlekdeezle Posts: 12
    where is it located and is it a hard job?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    When I said "power assist" I wasn't speaking about any specific part, but the power steering system itself. It could be lots of problems - failed pump, valve, seal, etc.
  • kdeezlekdeezle Posts: 12
    i found out the pump shaft is cracked. I am replacing the pump do you have any idea how much the fluid capacity is or how to flush the lines
  • I have a 1995 grand am with a Quad 4 16 valve motor. i had a power steering hose go bad on me. i'm not sure how to describe the hose but its the one that meets up to the pump and has a screw in nut that coonects to the other end of the hose like a brake line has. then the other end goes down near the fire wall into the rack. well it took me a good 30mins to remove the old hose. got the new one and had no problems bolted up the first end,but i have spent hrs trying to get the nut on the other end to go into the power steering rack. they are the exact parts cause i looked at them at the store and looked over them both several times during the install. anyone have any tricks to get the other end of the line into the rack. i have small hands and its so tight that i'm having a hell of a time trying to bolt the nut up. HELP.... i hate grand am's
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I did that job on the same car. I removed the wiper motor to get better access. Also, I used a crows foot open end wrench to get the coupling nut most of the way on, then a fitting wrench to tighten it.
  • well i'm using a open end box wrench which is the same tool. not sure what a fitting wrench is? okay i will remove the wiper motor. what a pain in the butt.

  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    A crows foot is sort of like an open end wrench that has been cut off short, and has a square hole in so you can put it on a ratchet or ratchet extension bar. That way you can reach into tight spaces.
    A fitting wrench is like a boxed end wrench with a slot cut in the end. The slot allows you to slip it over the line and put it on the fitting, but still have mostly six sided contact. That way it doesn't slip and round off the fitting like an open end wrench does.
    I remember that even with the wiper motor removed it was still tight.
    If you think this is a job you should have seen the ritual that was required to change the power steering hoses on my 88 Taurus. It was at least 2x harder.
  • hmm okay i will try to get a chance to work on it and let you know what happens.
  • okay listen to this.. my buddy comes over we remove the wiper motor and yes we do have more room. but when i was removing the plastic cover on the window as i go to pull it up a crack runs half way up my wind shield.. i was like Mother Trucker... we still couldn't get the line to go on?

    also curious if you had any issues with water getting inside the car just where the floor mats go. the doors are never wet so its not the door seals. thats plastic peice up on the wind shield is warped badly and i put silicone around it. its not coming from the underneath of the car cause it gets very wet on the floor only whe nthe car is sitting. so its either the wind shield needs replaced or the plastic piece on the window or both.. thanks again for your help.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    If you pried on the cowl between it and the windshield when removing it then any imperfections (rock dings, etc) can easily cause the windshield to crack.
    Water leaks on the front floor have been discussed many times. Could be a leaking heater core or the drains on the bottom of the fresh air intake box under the cowl being blocked by debris just to name a couple.
  • forgot to tell you that day i got the hose on. nope its not my heater core or the open flap,its clean with out anything blocking its opening.
  • i have a 2001 grand am gt v6 3.4L. i was having some probs with my power steering, thought the pump was going out, after some searching found a leak where the metal part of the fluid return line connects to something on the lower back side of the engine on the driver's side. there are two lines where it is actually leaking. not sure exactly what both are, if i'm right it's where it connects or splits off to the stearing gear. i used an 18mm hex wrench and tried as hard as i could to loosen it up, but couldn't do it. does it have to be cut off?? which direction should i turn it--i know it should be the left but neither direction even budged it. please help!!
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Sounds like your talking about the connections at the rack and pinion. Usually the hoses fail at the crimp where the rubber hose is crimped to the metal tubing, that's where they flex when the engine torques. Are you sure it's the return side? The pressure side is more apt to develop leaks. Anyway it's a tough area to get to. I haven't had to replace any power steering hoses on a later model Grand Am, but I did on a 95, where I had to remove the windshield wiper motor to get access. A long time ago I replaced both hoses on a Taurus (now that was an interesting job), where the only way to get access was to remove the left front tire and reach through the fender liner where the tie rod came through. You really need a fitting wrench to loosen and tighten the fitting, otherwise you risk rounding off the flats on the fitting and getting into real trouble. Once it's loose then you can use an open end wrench or crow's foot to get it off the rest of the way. Counter clockwise to loosen (as long as your facing it) and of course clockwise to tighten.
  • i have a 94 pontiac grand am w/ adjustable steering wheel. In the adjuster, there is play (movement) in the steering column. How do i tighten it?? :lemon:
  • I got a 1999 GRAND AM SE car and got problems with the steering wheel? What causes the steering wheel to vibrate? When I'm driving and it's on a stoplight the steering wheel is vibrating and it's making a sound which is annoying??? Anyone knows how can this be repaired?? Thanks
  • bdz1bdz1 Posts: 2
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