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Sudden loss of power steering

Old 02-22-2018, 12:25 PM
  #1  
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Default Sudden loss of power steering

I've searched through various forums / threads and have not found a solution to this issue.
Maybe related or not, here's a little background: Last year I had a loud groaning from the PS pump and found a lot of reference to the wrong PS fluid. I found a great DIY flush process (wish I could find that again!), did the flush and have had no issues since. Two weeks ago I brought the car to the dealer to have them address a high temp code issue, which turned out to be the coolant sensor. They replaced the sensor and a cracked coolant reservoir tank too.

Yesterday I was driving in traffic and, when I turned a corner, I had a complete loss of power steering. Luckily I was able to wrestle it around the corner and had to manually bring the wheel back to center. Driving straight with lane change turns was not a problem, but when I had to make a 90 degree turn, again no power. This morning was much better with only a little extra effort needed.

I've seen a lot of reports of this but no definitive solution. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:34 AM
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You didn't mention checking the fluid level, although if you have done a fluid change yourself, I assume you did check it. The fact that in the past the pump made noise means either air is in the supply line to the pump, or something is defective with the pump. A less likely reason is the rack having a fault. If the fluid is OK, I'd change the pump.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by turbo510 View Post
You didn't mention checking the fluid level, although if you have done a fluid change yourself, I assume you did check it. The fact that in the past the pump made noise means either air is in the supply line to the pump, or something is defective with the pump. A less likely reason is the rack having a fault. If the fluid is OK, I'd change the pump.
Turbo, thanks for reply! Looking back at my post, I realize I'm missing a lot of info. First off, my car is a 2004 A4 Cab, 3.0 Quattro.
The fluid level was at the line under "Max", but reading through other posts, I see that the level should actually be at the top of the "M" in the word max. I did this and it made a huge improvement! Still not 100% though. So, taking the next step today and replacing the reservoir. When I did the flush last year, the res was a mess - someone had used "regular" PS fluid in it and it coagulated. Also, and the filter was floating loose in the res. If adding fluid improves the situation, but doesn't cure it, I'm thinking there's a crack in the res or the filter is again floating loose maybe causing air. I'll also check the hoses that I replaced when I did the flush. I'll report back on this.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:21 PM
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So after replacing the reservoir and flushing the PS system, I still don't have full power steering. BUT I do have a better description of the issue - if you turn the wheel slowly (lane change at speed, slow maneuvers, etc) there's pretty good power. If you try to turn the wheel quickly or a lot at once, it's totally manual and you are wresting a 4,000 pound iron lump around a corner. No wheel return either.

Now I'm wondering - could it be the Servotronic? Does my car have Servotronic?? With no noise coming from the pump, I'm hesitant to start replacing that. Any thoughts on this Servotronic path?

Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:08 PM
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I have a much newer A5 (2010) but have a similar issue with recent loss of power steering...but it's not yet to the point where I can't make low-speed turns and maneuvers. Feels like it's stuck in the more aggressive driveSelect mode. I've tried the different settings but none of the three make much of a difference now; whereas before I could definitely tell how much smoother the comfort mode was versus the Auto or ______ (can't remember the stiffer one).
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:41 AM
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Rev the engine in neutral. If the steering is easy when the RPM is high, then it's a signal that your PS pump is just about to fail. Just had same problem few months ago. Change the pump and then there was no problem.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:53 PM
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******** Follow up ********
After replacing the PS pump, everything is perfect again. Well, wasn't quite that easy - I found bits of rubber in the old pump, remnants of a hose gone bad. I was a bit hesitant to install the new pump wondering if there were still bits of rubber in the system, but I went with the assumption that the pump had caught all the bad bits. After I installed, the new pump I did a thorough flushing using the correct fluid and made sure the system was full once I was done the install. It's been about 6 months and all has been perfect with the steering. Hope this helps the next person!

Now on to the latest issue.... car in limp mode and the PRDS lights lit up solid. <sigh>
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:07 PM
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My issue turned out to be rusted/corroded joints in my steering shaft. By not tilting or telescoping the steering wheel often, the upper joint eventually binds, while the lower joint is susceptible to rusting/corroding via the elements. I lubed the bottom joint and it helped a great deal, but the upper joint was still pretty bad, so my mechanic felt best that they replace it. Cost me a good amount of money...wasn't too happy about that...but now the next owner will be able to tilt and telescope the wheel just fine.

NOTE: So if you ever go to make slight tilt and/or telescopic adjustments to your steering wheel but it doesn't seem to want to lock into position, you're likely in the same boat...your Audi doesn't want anyone else driving it.
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