Slow speed steering noise, '99 Linc Continental

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, ALSeptember 24, 2012

When I'm stopped and turn the wheel all the way, (either way,) to leave a parking spot, there's a weird rubbing/squeaking noise that is loud enough to startle people standing nearby. It sounds like a "rubber noise" to me, and only happens at barely-moving speed. The PS fluid has been checked, and there doesn't seem to be any trouble controlling the car but this noise is making me crazy. Could there be a pebble stuck somewhere? A worn bushing? Just need to oil something? My BF is very good at fixing things, but his time available to figure out the problem is what we have trouble with, so trying to get some ideas for him to get to the 'fixing' part sooner.

Thanks so much for any suggestions or experiences you might have!

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I suspect that you turned the wheels all the way to the stop, the power steering pressure went to maximum, and the drive belt slipped. The horrible sound was the belt slipping. Does the sound stop if you stop forcing the wheels against their stops. If so, the obvious solution is to stop forcing the wheels. The other item that needs attention is the belt. If the belt is worn out, replace it. If the belt tension is too low, have it adjusted.

A properly operating PS belt has enough grip to force open the relief valves in the system when the wheels are forced against their stops. Sometimes, extra hissing of the fluid squirting through the relief valve can be heard. One should refrain from continuing this action.

I do not know what you've got under the hood but assume the PS pump is driven by a single V-belt. It could also be driven by a flst belt with several small Vs on its inside surface (serpentine belt). Both types of belts wear down and then slip in similar fashion.

A properly fitted V-belt does not touch the bottom of the pulley groove. The belt is supposed to ride on the 60 deg flanges. Traction comes from the friction of the belt with the angled flanges. If the belt wears down enough to ride on the bottom of the groove, it looses much of its traction and can slip more easily.

For a single V-belt, the top of the belt should be flush to above the pulley flange. A belt riding too far below the outer edge of the flange may be touching bottom and loosing traction.

For a serpentine belt (one with many small v-grooves on the inside surface) a similar function is in play except it is harder to see. When the small Vs wear down, the top edge of the pulley begins to touch the bottom of the belt vs and the belt begins to loose traction.

A worn PS belt should be replaced because you could expereince sudden reduction of power steering in an emergency situation.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:34AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Wow thank you so much for this info! This has been going on for a while. Although the car is still in really good shape, it does have about 206K miles, so a worn belt is extremely likely. I sincerely appreciate your taking time to share this info and this should be just he nudge "honey" needed to get out there and take a look. I don't really understand it, but he will. Will let you know what we (he) find!


    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:47AM
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