When I crank my Mx6, the steering is as stiff as it is before I crank it up. Once I reach a speed of about 20MPH, I think I feel the PS becoming active and the car steers properly. Parking the car, driving 70mph, etc. the steering stiffness seems fine. But when I park the car and turn the engine off and then crank it again, the problem repeats itself.
Thanks in advance for any help diagnosing this problem.
Many Mazda 3 owners have had a similar problem and Mazda is attributing it to dirty (never changed) fluid. When was the last time you turkey-basted your PS fluid? I do mine every 5 years or so (15,000 miles). Remove as much fluid as you can and replace with fresh stuff. Repeat after driving a bunch of times. Your power steering pump will appreciate it.
Thanks for the advice. I will do it tomorrow. I am ashamed to say that I am the original owner and the car has about 180K miles and I have never changed the PS fluid. Is their any preferred brand?
Thanks again for the advice.
I think the power steering fluid in our cars is just automatic transmission fluid.. I looked it up.. DEXTRON II or M-III.. Electronically controlled power steering it takes a quart.. Non electron-controlled .9 quart.. KIRK
There's a lot of variables in the power steering system on the GT models. It can be the speed sensor, control box under the seat, old fluid and poor belt tension like stated. And that doesn't cover a bad rack, pump or worn out suspension parts.
Flushing power steering is one of the most over sold and unnecessary service items. If your problem is caused by bad fluid, I'd say it's due to a major failure internally that's contaminating the fluid and it's too late.
I'm fairly sure there is a technical service bulletin for Mazda 3s that attributes streering wheel issues like sudden high effort to never-changed power steering fluid. A coworker had his Toyota Camry steeting pump go because of never-changed fluid. Like any lubricant, power steering fluid must be changed periodically - not every year but definitely more often than every 10 years.
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