97 Sable, 75k miles.
Last year in Jan 09, I spun out in the snow and had a minor collision with the center median. My steering has been a little wonky ever since, but not enough to bother me.
Few months ago there was a small pop and my steering alignment seemed to change and drift in the opposite direction it used to.
(The pop may have been in the front right, but I am not sure anymore)
2 weeks ago my steering started to get stiff, so I checked the steering fluid and it seemed fine, and it still drove fine.
Today, one more pop, sounded like it was in the front left near the wheel. And now I have no power steering.
I have no idea why.
97 Sable, 75k miles.
I don’t know either, but I would get this car into the shop IMMEDIATELY, since both your steering and other suspension components are defective. In other words, your car is DANGEROUS!
I agree. You were lucky this time. A pop like this cruising at interstate speeds could have resulted in a larger noise…the sound of a crash. Anytime anything on a vehicle gets “wonky” please have it checked out by a good mechanic.
The steering has been “wonky” for 16 months, but that did not bother you?
A few months ago, the steering became demonstrably worse, but you continued to drive this car?
Now, you have lost the power assist for the steering, so you are beginning to realize that this is a serious situation.
No matter what diagnosis anyone here offers, you have the moral and legal obligation to STOP driving this car immediately. Have it towed to an independent mechanic for evaluation and diagnosis. If you do not currently have enough money (probably several hundred $$, at a minimum) for repairs, the car needs to be parked until you do have the funds to repair it.
The defects could include any or all of the following:
The failure of any of these components would mean total loss of the ability to steer the car, and that is about as serious as it gets.
For you to be blithely driving this car more than 1 year after possible damage to steering and suspension components is…negligent to say the least. Not only are you endangering your life, but you are endangering the lives of countless others who share the road with you. And, if you cause an accident, the liability of having operated your vehicle with safety defects could be sufficient to wipe you out financially for the rest of your life.
Do yourself and everyone else a favor and repair this immediately or stop driving this car.
Yeah, don’t you think it is time to have someone look at it to see if the wheel is ready to fall off or something? You know you damaged the steering a year ago. You probably have a damaged steering rack.