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98 Malibu LS Power Steering Problem

I recently had the high and low pressure tubes on my power steering fail causing a total loss of fluid. After about a week of living with manual steering, I brought it in and had the tubing replaced. Everything worked fine, though the steering felt a bit sloppy to me. Today, on my way home from a 100 mile trip, the car decided that turning left just wasn’t something it wanted to do. So to turn left, I would have to back up and turn the wheels to the right. Not exactly an efficient way to drive in traffic. Do I try to get the car back into my mechanics place to see if he can fix it for a reasonable amount, or should just bite the bullet and look for a newer car? BTW when I had brought the car in for the tubing replacement, they showed me where the bracket holding the strut on the left had begun to crack, probably from driving without the power steering.

No PS was not the cause of the crack. I think the problem is some debris got in your rack and pinion valve before or during the hose changes. It is blocking one of the internal valve ports. Not sure you can teardown the valve, you may have to replace the rack and pinion gear.

Unless you left something out, it appears you drove the car for a week without any P/S fluid in the system and, therefore, the power steering pump could be damaged. A damaged pump could be source of the debris.

I’m now more worried about that crack. Please explain in greater detail. The strut is the upper control for your suspension and holds the wheel in place. If that crack opens up completely, you could lose that wheel, and control of the car.

Where is the crack? The strut is held in place at the top by the upper strut mount attached to the car chassis. The strut bolts at the bottom to the steering knuckle. Is the crack in the strut, or on the steering knuckle, or on the chassis. I’m hoping the shop showed you the crack.