I have a 1997 geo prizm that locks up the power steering pump mostly in cold weather until the car warms up. It does it itermittenly. What could cause this problem?
I’m afraid maybe nothing cheap. If it is like the old GM morning sickness of the mid 80’s, where the power steering wouldn’t work first thing in the morning, then be ok, it was the steering rack itself that needed to be replaced for about $500. The rack is a hydralic cylinder that moves the wheels based on moving the steering wheel. There is a spool valve in there that can wear and cause the pressure to not be there to move the wheels. If thats it, you just live with it unless its so bad it needs to be replaced. The pumps themselves last quite a long time and if its not making noise or leaking, probably not the problem.
If by “locks up the power steering pump” you mean that there’s no power steering, I think Bing is right.
But on the chance that you’re trying to describe something other than that, can you be more specific?