Power Steering Problems?

The 2005 Toyota Camry I’ve had for 5 months has been doing strange things to me for pretty much the entirety of the time I’ve owned it.

At first, I would feel the steering wheel lock up every now and then while taking left turns - I would easily rotate it to the 9 o’clock position, but on it’s way back to 12 it’d pause briefly and need a jerk to get it to continue to 12 o’clock.

We took it to our usual mechanic who said that the pinion had cracked. We replaced it. I have never had it have the left turn problem again.

But a few weeks after that fix I started my car and found that even putting all of my weight into it, I couldn’t turn the steering wheel very far. I walked around the car to make sure nothing was stopping it and checked the steering fluid in case of a leak.

We called our usual mechanic, who guessed a broken steering pump or shards of the old pinion in the steering fluid blocking it from getting to the pump. He also said to rev the engine.

I did, and I could turn the wheel easily again.

A month later and I found unable to turn the steering wheel again until I revved the engine. So I took it into a local shop who couldn’t find anything wrong except worn down front brake pads.

Am I doing something wrong when I get in the car, or did this mechanic miss something?