Running A/C makes steering wheel lock up -
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-05-2018, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 3
Running A/C makes steering wheel lock up

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and wanted to ask for some advice on an odd mechanical problem I've been having. I'm not a mechanic by any means, so please forgive any errors of imprecise wording or outright mistakes.

So, My Xj Cherokee (4L) has developed a new, interesting problem. For the past few months, whenever I ran the A/C (or window defroster), I heard a terrible screeching noise until I cycled it on and off a few times. Now, it is still making that noise, but when it does my steering wheel locks up like it would if the engine wasn't running. I haven't tried cycling the A/C on and off to see if it eventually goes away.

Also, when I run my vents (no A/C or defrost) I still get the noise, but my steering wheel doesn't lock up.

I'm a little perplexed by this issue. I keep saying that I'm going to "take a look" but I don't really know what it is I'm looking for, not in this case at least.

Maybe this is a simple fix and I'm just a dolt lol. Let me know what you all think, and thanks!

tiltedfedora is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-05-2018, 01:14 PM
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2014 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8,290
Your defroster utilizes the AC compressor, SO it is likely a compressor or just a loose belt (less likely) issue.
SO check belts, may be loose.
Another check would be to unplug the AC compressor for a test - A seized compressor or AC clutch an improper AC charge could create a HIGH pressure problem, as belt slips creating the noise and lack of PS.

When I see the price of OEM I think aftermarket.
When I see the quality of aftermarket I think OEM.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-06-2018, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 3
Thanks jtec!

I will definitely be checking the belts and compressor soon. Its very helpful to know that either could cause a high pressure problem that affects the power steering; and I certainly wouldn't have guessed that on my own.

Thanks again!
tiltedfedora is offline  

air conditioning , cherokee 4.0 engine , steering , weird

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