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Unread 02-16-2003, 02:35 PM   #1
Silver1.8T
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Steering locking....need some help...

I have recently moved my 96 ZJ limited to Vermont where it is very cold. Recently when starting my car after it has been sitting in the cold over night or longer, the steering wheel will not move. It is not the same as when the steering locks when the car is off and you have to jiggle the key. This is when the car is on and you can move the wheel very little but it is not driveable. Then miraculously it starts to work. The first time it happened it took about 10 secons to go back to normal, then the second time it took about 45 seconds. Is this a serious problem with the steering rack or something? Or could it just be something freezing or something? Could low power steering fluid cause this? Thanks alot.

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Unread 02-16-2003, 03:19 PM   #2
Beachead19
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I would definatly check that power steering fluid. It sounds as if your level is low, so the fluid that is in there is taking longer to do its job. Also check and see if the bearings on the power steering pump are squeeking, that could mean you will have a failure really soon.
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Unread 02-16-2003, 05:17 PM   #3
Silver1.8T
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checked the power steering fluid and it is at the proper level. How would I check the bearings?
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Unread 02-16-2003, 06:49 PM   #4
Beachead19
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With the engine running, if the bearings or anything else are worn, the serpinetine belt spinning on the pump will make a squeeking/grinding noise.
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Unread 02-16-2003, 06:52 PM   #5
crazynut52
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Same Problem!

I have a 96 ZJ and have the same problem with cold weather and my steering on startup, I have also heard about other people having the same problems with the're ZJ's. I believe this is a common problem
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Unread 02-16-2003, 07:10 PM   #6
Silver1.8T
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There does not seem to be any squeeking or such. Is this something I should be worried about? Coult the steering rack fail??
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Unread 02-16-2003, 07:20 PM   #7
crazynut52
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long time

My ZJ has had this problem since I have owned it, 1.5 years. I dont believe it is getting ready to fail as it has not worsened in this time, but it is definitley an inconvience. If there is a solution I would like to hear about it. The dealer told me not to worry about it, as it was very common, unless it remains a problem when warm.
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Unread 02-17-2003, 12:19 AM   #8
Swamp Boy
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Make sure your belt is tight ..I have never had this problem
maybe its the cold weather .you could ask auto parts store if there is some type of additive to either remove water or prevent freezing/gelling or you could just move to a warmer climate..
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