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Subaru Outback Steering issue

Some months back, the steering started to become very stiff every 1/4 of a turn on the wheel. So it would get stiff, then loosen up, then get stiff, and so on. Mechanic said it was the rack and pinion so we had it replaced. Immediately following that, the Power steering pump went out so I replaced that.

After the power steering pump was replaced, everything worked great...for the day. The next day the steering was still stiff every 1/4 turn. I took it back to the mechanic and he put another rack and pinion in, this one was New(the other was remanufactured). Upon testing the new rack and pinion out, he noticed that the stiffness was still present.

We have also replaced the Left Strut and strut mount, but not the right side(due to financial constraints). Is it likely the the front Right strut mount is causing this??? What else do I need to check in to??? My mechanic(soon to be former mechanic) has pretty much thrown in the towel.


  • edited November 2009
    Year and mileage?

    Last steering and suspension service?
  • edited November 2009
    2000, 133k mileage. Just got the car in June with no service records but a clean Carfax. All the other steering and suspension service was listed.
  • edited November 2009
    Sounds like the universal joint in the steering shaft (from the wheel to the rack) is binding.
  • edited November 2009
    ohhh, that sounds interesting, thanks for the other possibility!!! I'll look into that some more.
  • edited November 2009
    Do you live in an area where they salt the roads? I do and had a similar problem with a 2002 Town & Country. Turns out it was a serpentine belt tensioner pulley that had frozen place from corrosion and as the belt wore it was unable to provide tension to the belt that drives the power steering.
  • edited November 2009
    That's interesting, Although I just replaced the power steering pump so the belt should have tension. The car does have rust damage, thus we've replaced the: CV axles, ball joints(ooth sides), entire wheel assemblies(both sides), rotors(all), and the strut mount on the left.
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