Chevrolet Suburban Power Steering

kllkll Member Posts: 1
I need some help, I have a 2001 Chevy Suburban with 47000 miles on it. I went to drive it yesterday and it is hard to turn. There is a little fluid leaking from the under part. I am thinking it is the power steering due to it being hard to turn. Does anyone know if this is true and if it is, could this just be due to low fluid? And if not, does anyone know the price range for fixing the power steering in it?


  • maad4maad4 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Sub 2500 4x4 and recently experienced a power steering squealing problem. After taking it to the dealer they informed me that the pump was bad. Unwilling to pay them the $675.00 dollars to replace it for me I decided to start calling my buddies. Sure enough one of the had a friend who worked for an auto parts supplier and got me the pump for about $80 bucks with exchange. The job took me about 2 hours and I had to borrow a pulley remover from Autozone but it saved me almost $600 bucks. The job is a little messy but so what thats 600 bucks. By the way the squealing went away and it is a lot easier to turn.
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    kll said: is hard to turn. There is a little fluid leaking from the under part. I am thinking it is the power steering due to it being hard to turn. Does anyone know if this is true and if it is, could this just be due to low fluid?
    Let's do the math. You have power steering fluid leaking from the unit under your vehicle. Your steering is now hard to turn. Answer: Obviously if the fluid is low on fluid the unit will not perform properly. How much to fix? Best to get an estimate from a good indie repair shop. That will be cheaper than going with a dealer. The PS unit normally is an easy fix or replacement.
  • jmdbjmdb Member Posts: 2
    Have a 99 burb with 69k has a "wobble" in the steering wheel at speeds of 30-35 mph. Feels fine once past 35 mph. Tires have been balanced and tire wear normal. Any clues? Thanks
  • k25002haulk25002haul Member Posts: 6
    your front tire(s) could have slightly shifted belts.will be felt 5-10 mph and up if severe.30 mph if small defect.past that speed tires level out if balance is ok. i am a dealer tech and own a tahoe + 97 tahoe had same slight shake at about 30 mph. - tom m. -
  • eclark2eclark2 Member Posts: 1
    The service engine light came on ran the codes and the codes came back the #2 transmission solenoid had failed. Looking for location and information on changing the #2 transmission solenoid. EEC
  • cleudardcleudard Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 1500 burb 4wd 5.3. My steering used to get hard only in the summer when the car was hot. The problem went away the rest of the time. Well, it is summer now but I'm getting tired of this problem. The pump is probably 4 yrs old & there are no leaks. Is this a variable assist system? Is there a speed sensor used?
    Is there a P.S.filter where I can't see? Or do I just need to bite the bullet & throw another pump at it?
  • psandovalpsandoval Member Posts: 1
    does anybody or can anybody tell me what is wrong with my steering,i have a 2000 suburban 4x4 that makes left turns fine,but to make a right turn i have a very hard time,please direct me on what to do,thanks.
  • arriearrie Member Posts: 312
    Power steering system consists of two parts. One is the pump and the other is the power steering unit.

    You say turning left is light as it is supposed to be but turning right is a work out.

    Obviously pump is working as left turn is ok so you need to look at the power steering unit, i.e. possibly replace it. Should not be too expensive job either.

  • paul120paul120 Member Posts: 1
    On my 2002 Suburban, lately the power steering has started to go light (as if over-assisted) when on the road, both low speed and highway. It may get light so that it is hard to control, or even so light that you can spin the steering wheel with one finger and feel nothing. My friend with an 01 says they notice the same issue. What's up?
  • staceyrenastaceyrena Member Posts: 2
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I'm guessing that your ignition switch is malfunctioning.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • blackpacific1blackpacific1 Member Posts: 27
    We have the same problem. In turns the power steering will suddenly become over assisted. It happens both left and right. I have the power steering pump out while replacing the intake manifold gasket, and I plan to replace the corroded power steering hoses, but I don't want to replace the pump unless it is the problem. Any insight would be appreciated.
  • sharp_1sharp_1 Member Posts: 1
    I've been having the same problem for about 2 years now on my '02 Suburban. I've also had the hard right turning problem for about the last 3 years and for the last 5 years have been dealing with a seemingly loose steering linkage (feels like a small knock in the wheel when going over small bumps).

    All of which I have brought to my dealer for diagnostics:
    1) The loose linkage was "repacked" with grease about 4 years ago under warranty and came back about a year later after the warranty ran out of course.

    2) The right turning issue was diagnosed as a bad steering gear which would entail replacing the steering box at a price of well over $1K

    3) The free feeling wheel I was told is related to the steering gear box. Dealer told me none of the items are safety issues but would cost $$$$'s to repair.

    So, at 158K miles, I have made the executive decision not to do any steering repairs until either something starts leaking on my squeaky clean garage floor or I hit a tree. We'll see how that far so good!!!

    We still love our Suburban by the's by far the best out of the 5 we've had to date.
  • dsharplessdsharpless Member Posts: 5
    I have '00 burb. While moving power okay lft & rt. Sitting still in driveway at idle, hardly can turn wheel left w\2 hands. Right okay. Pump, Gear, or rack? Or should I remove radiator cap, slide new truck under cap and install cap.
    Thanks for any help!
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    lol....good one.
  • dsharplessdsharpless Member Posts: 5
    Edit to posting #16.
    Drove vehicle on highway today. Wheel turns right okay, left with very little hangup at highway speeds. when stopped at idle, wheel very hard if at all turning left and turns fine to the right. If u give it throttle while sitting still and turning left the wheel snaps loose and u can turn the wheel. the steering column area inside the vehicle makes a moderate to loud noise while trying to turn left sitting still (like air pressure escaping.) Hope this helps! Thanks for the Help.
  • dsharplessdsharpless Member Posts: 5
    Well I thought I'd try something diff and go online and ask for some help diagnosing
    something in the car repair world that I haven't fooled with much. This is my 3rd online repair site and no answer from anyone. I guess this world will never change! There is nothing free anymore, not even info. Maybe my wife will hit a tree and I will kill 2 birds with one stone. Don't have to fix power steering and she'll be gone. Damn thats wrong! Have fun all u backyard mechanics..
  • nikkita123nikkita123 Member Posts: 1
    Hi we were leaving church this morning and the power steering just stopped working. There was no warning of any kind. There seemed to be a bit of an alignment issue but nothing sever. When warm the fluid level reads at the cold level not the warm. If there was some power fluid still in the SUV would the power steering just stop working?
    Should i go buy more power steering fluid? or would that be a waste of time?
  • dan98982002dan98982002 Member Posts: 1
    Did you find out what was wrong I have the same problem with a 2004 burban?
  • dsharplessdsharpless Member Posts: 5
    Hey Dan, It does turn one way not the other right! I pretty sure mine needs a steering gear. I read( maybe it was here) if it turns one way or the other then the pump is working. There is an EVO switch on bottom backside of pump and a mechanic told me to unhook the switch and I should have power assist. This is the same mechanic that told it may need a rack. I DON'T HAVE A RACK! He also told me it may need a pump after I told him I replaced the pump yesterday. Ill definitly keep u in mind when I fix mine. I used to do alot of mechanic work but never did much steering, so this one's got me stumped. Oh, unhooking the switch didn't help. The gear is gonna run me $215.00 from pep boys or auto zone here in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • arriearrie Member Posts: 312
    Power steering working in one direction but not in the other means the pump is working, i.e. if the pump is out it does not work in either direction.

    If you are a hands-on self mechanic like I understand from your post try to disassemble the steering gear if you have time for that. Why I suggest this is that at least in my Tahoe there is some kind of a limit switch built in the gear. When I turn the wheels all the way right or left I hear some sort of a click or pop sound and power steering assistance stops. This obviously is to stop power steering from forcing the steering linkage against the end of travel limits.

    If this limit switch gets stuck it means that power steering assistance does not work in direction the switch is at.

    Unfortunately I cannot tell you anything more about this as I have not had any problems with mine.

  • dsharplessdsharpless Member Posts: 5
    Thank you Arrie for getting back to me. Sorry if i sounded like a real [non-permissible content removed] but I Don't have much patience. I just want to fix it and move on to something more fun. Pretty much ur telling me I need a gear and everything I've read and my suburbans symptoms it all points to gear. My luck if I tear it apart all those little ball bearings will go everywhere around the worm gear. Take Care and Thanks Again!
  • dlaceydlacey Member Posts: 2
    The problem I had was very similar. It turned out to be the wheel lock when I shut off the truck. The switch went bad so I couldn't start the truck until I had cranked the wheel all of the way one way or the other. Hope it helps.
  • mainardmainard Member Posts: 1
    While out in the woods, I slid into a rut and it messed up the steering somehow. When the wheels are straight the steering wheel is upside down. It still dives fine and handles well. There is no play, no wierd sounds and there is nothing bent underneath. Besides the steering wheel issue the only other issue that I noticed is that it won't turn all the way to the right. Anyone have any idea?
  • theplayer906theplayer906 Member Posts: 4
    I have replaced the P.S. pump, Hydroboost, the Variable steering canceling kit. when i press the brakes it firms up the steering to almost impossible to move. makes a whining noise when hitting the stopps. fluid level is fine, any information will help.
  • geardrivengeardriven Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1999 Suburban for weekend lake duty. The truck had a nasty steering fluid leak and I quickly found it to be the steering gear. Additionally, when test driving I noticed that the steering was too tight at 12 o'clock and constant input had to be given to keep it staight. I realized that the previous owner or a shop may have over-tightened the gear adjustment. Anyway, I replaced the gear and pitman and upon completion my truck drives MUCH better, tracks straight, and no leaks. THE PROBLEM, crooked steering wheel (11 o'clock while straight). I didnt notice (couldnt have) this before due to the goofy steering adjustment.
    While I would think that I may have mis-aligned something during the replacement its kinda hard to do. The pitman can only be wrong 90 degrees at a time-so thats straightforward. The connection for the column to gear input shaft seems to be the more likely culprit but it only seems to go back on when the flat (keyed? bevel?) area on the spline matches the column joint. AM I RIGHT ON THIS? Can the column and gear input be a spline or two off? With the 11-12oclock steering wheel it could not be more than a spline. Again, it just didnt seem to want to mate back up any other way.
    Yes, I marked them when removed but used new parts so had to transfer the marks from the old parts the best I could.
    If the mentioned spline CAN BE INDEXED, do I need to do it at the column or by turning the rest of the steering. I realize the precautionaries (air bag) of turning the disengaged column-but 1 degree? I strapped the wheel during replacement but really dont understand the risk or whether a 1 spline index change would matter.
  • janssuburbanjanssuburban Member Posts: 1
    Turned on cold 2002 suburban with no prior steering problems. Turned wheel hard right to back into driveway and power steering failed. Any fuses or simple possible fixes far fairly handy owner ? What would likely cause such a failure? Guessing its related to my maxing the turn . Any help would be appreciated.
  • jerry610jerry610 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Suburban power steering hard to turn either direction just had lube and oil change day before. it is hard to turn either direction and Ideas?
  • 01sub01sub Member Posts: 1
    My 01 had the same problem, it all started with old pump and replacement blowing seals, then steering was to loose feeling. Seals in steering box started leaking,all caused by the speed sensor valve in powersteering pump. $10.00 part, hard to get to!!! To much pressure is causing your problem, replace before it blows out all your seals!
  • leahbrownleahbrown Member Posts: 1
    My Suburban drives just fine, BUT it does have a power steering leak. That's not the problem though. The problem is from time to time when you steer to the right it seems like it get's stuck on something. I give it a little jerk to the right and it works past it. Completely lost here folks on what it is and what to do short of going to a mechanic which I do not want to have to do. If anyone could help us out it would be greatly appreciated thanks so much! ~Leah~
  • marty89marty89 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 suburban 1500 4x that I've been trying to fix / improve the steering for some time. It had lots of play in the wheel, tended to wander, and had what sounds like a similar issue to the right turn problem described. I replaced the pitman arm, the idler arm, and tie rod ends (with some, but little improvement). However the "jumping problem" to the right (after what was an initial lack of response in sweeping right turns) turned out to be the steering speed sensor. Some of the discussions reference it, as the EVO sensor. This was not a very expensive or difficult fix and I was happy to not have the truck jumping to the right anymore. I don't know if this might be your issue, but it is worth looking into.
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