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2014 Impreza Touring Hatchback, CVT
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366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last few days I’ve been having some issues with my power steering. Yesterday was -6C (not too cold) and if I would try to turn my wheel when stopped I would get a loud chirping noise and the steering wheel would shudder. If the car was moving at all it was fine. Today was -23C and it was doing the same thing. After driving for 30 minutes or so the problem seemed to have gone away.

I checked the level of the power steering fluid and it was fine. I’m wondering if the fluid could be frozen. I had the belt replaced a few months ago. Is anyone else having an issue with power steering this winter?
 

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2010 Forester
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217 Posts
I'm not a power steering fluid expert, but PS fluid does have viscosity and that viscosity will increase as the temperature decreases causing the fluid to flow slower through the steering system. When the fluid warms up, it would flow better which is probably what you experienced after that 30 minutes. If you haven't changed the PS fluid in a long time, maybe you should and use a synthetic fluid that is compatible with what's spec'd for the vehicle as they tend to have better performance under a wider range of temperatures. Also, the PS pump could be getting weak or not pumping efficiently due to contaminates in the fluid (some companies sell after market filters for the PS fluid).

Regards,
paul...
 

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2006 Forester LL Bean Auto
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3 Posts
Having that same issue recently in our new to us '06 ll bean. I think the owners manual called for dexron 3 ATF as the proper fluid. Will look into changing out the fluid with a syn version to see if that solves the prob.
 

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2010 Forester
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217 Posts
Having that same issue recently in our new to us '06 ll bean. I think the owners manual called for dexron 3 ATF as the proper fluid. Will look into changing out the fluid with a syn version to see if that solves the prob.
Even if you change it out with the required fluid, that should improve things as your PS fluid was probably never changed in that vehicle. Also check belt tension/condition to make sure the pump is adequately performing. I've always changed out Dexron III on other cars I've owned every 30K miles for the PS system and never had any steering problems during Boston MA winters.

Regards,
paul...
 

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2014 Impreza Touring Hatchback, CVT
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366 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I brought the car in last week to get checked out. Apparently there are two bolts that hold the alternator tight and one of those broke off. It moved a bit which loosened the belt and made the steering harder. The shop had to order a part from the dealer but in the meantime adjusted the belt and tightened the remaining bolt. It's been fine the last few days.
 
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