I have a 2001 Jaguar Vanden Plas. Some time ago, the power steering would go out when the weather here in florida got cold. Then, as it got warmer the steering would come back. Lately it is out all the time, but the other day I parked the car out in the sun for a few hours where it warmed up and the power steering can back temporarily. Can you tell me whats wrong and what can be done to fix it?
This symptom is called “Morning Sickness”.
Morning sickness is a condition where the vehicle will be hard to steer in the mornings or when cold. In many cases it will feel as if the power steering is not working at all. The cause of this problem is fluid bypassing worn o-ring seals in the sector shaft (where the shaft from the steering wheel connects to the rack & pinion) or grooves actually worn into the rack. After driving the vehicle and warming the fluid, the problem will usually go away, until the next day.
That is often a sign that the rack and pinion steering is going bad,especially if it it gets stiffer in colder weather.Now is the time to have the fluid drained from the power steering system and replaced. It may still be salvageable.
If a complete renewal of the power steering fluid will not fix your morning sickness issue, then you might want to try a “Fix in a can” product out there in the marketplace. In general, I do not believe you can permanently fix a mechanical issue by just adding some magic potion out of a can. But for a temporary fix, or just some relief of the symptom, you might want to give it a shot. You have nothing to lose at this point in time anyway. This might or might not work, but $10-$20 on a few cans of that stuff, will be a lot cheaper than $1000-1500 to replace the power steering rack in your Jag.