Volvo V50 A sports wagon that is affordable, sporty and best of all, useful for almost anything.

Intermittent Power Steering

  #1  
Old 05-13-2019, 12:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Default Intermittent Power Steering

Hi--

I've searched the posts and can't find anything that exactly matches the problem I'm having. I have a 2005 V50 T5 AWD, with ~120k miles. I was recently in a front-end fender (hood) bender, and the body shop replaced a bunch of items in front of the engine (this is important because of the location of the steering fluid reservoir). A week after getting the car back, I came home from work, shut the car down briefly, started it up again to head back out and got the "Power STeering Service Req'd" message along with no power steering. I drove it approx. 1/2 mile to my kid's school, shut it down, checked the fluid level which appeared to be low. I took my wife's car to go get the appropriate steering fluid, topped up the reservoir, and drove off. After about 1 minute of driving, the power returned to the steering and the message went away.

I've been keeping an eye on the fluid level, and it hasn't gone down since. Then, yesterday, I drove to a store, was in the store for about 1/2 hour, came out and started my car - same thing: no power steering, "Power steering service req'd" message on the dash! I drove it home, approx. 2 miles, and checked and confirmed the reservoir still had sufficient fluid. Let it sit for a few hours, then drove it to a friend's house and about 2 miles into the drive, the power steering came back and the message went away again.

Anybody have this issue? Thoughts on what i should look for? There's no unusual noise, and the steering works perfectly when it's up. There's no indication beforehand that there's anything amiss, and when the power returns, it's like it never went away.

Thanks!
Rick
 
  #2  
Old 05-14-2019, 11:15 AM
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Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 465
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I'm betting that there is air in the system. Normally you can clear that out by cycling the steering wheel back and forth, lock-to-lock a few times (recommend doing this on gravel or muddy / slippery surface to minimize the strain on the system).

OTOH, the fact that your system lost a lot of fluid is concerning, and could be pointing to another "real problem". Thing is, if fluid is disappearing, it's got to be going somewhere. If it's not dripping out (which would be pretty obvious on visual inspection with the splash panel off), it's probably stuck in the bellows at the end of your steering rack, covering your tie rods. That's a "bad thing" since it means your rack is leaking. At that point you have the choice of using some sort of snake oil sealant and hoping it works and doesn't screw anything else up, or replacing your steering rack.
 
  #3  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:17 AM
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Thanks, I'll try the air removal technique. I don't think it's losing fluid, the body shop replaced the reservoir when they fixed the front end and I might have mistaken "normal" fluid level for low as the reason the system quit the first time. The level hasn't dropped since then, which was a few weeks ago.
 
  #4  
Old 05-15-2019, 12:40 PM
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Location: Mesa, AZ
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Ahhhh, that makes sense. I'll bet the air removal technique will do the job, then. Good luck, and let us know how it works out (for future seekers' benefit).
 
  #5  
Old 05-17-2019, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the help, Habbyguy. I did the air-bleed op as you noted, and haven't had any issues since, so here's hoping it worked! If i have the same problem in the future, I'll post back here right away. In the meantime, if anyone else stumbles upon this thread and has the same issue, if you don't see any further response from me, you can assume that it's probably air in your system!
 
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