Steerage issue on 2002 Chevy Silverado 1500 w/Z71

The vehicle: 2002 Chevy Silverado 1500 w/ Z71.

The problem: Steerage issue. No problem exhibited while driving. However, at stop or very slow there is a loss of power steering but only when turning the wheels right. There is also an audible sound when turning to the right. Kind of a whooshing or air expulsion?


Here’s a little more info. Bought used 2 yrs. ago. So, no true idea on maintenance or use. 135k mileage. I replaced the belt and tensioner as I thought, perhaps, that might be a simple fix and it was due anyway.
I’m just puzzled. Power steering? Linkage? 4wd?
Any advise to at least point me in a direction towards a diagnostics would be appreciated.

I’m actually thinking it might be a problem w/ the steering box… Time to get myself a Chilton’s.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

OK. Get this. There were two other factors I was unaware of.

The first was a possible hiccup in the revolution sensor. Had no idea they even made them. A mechanic told me that on a Chevy a customer had complained that the steering was perfect at any other time except when he went into one specific curve on his way home. Then it seemed there was a loss of power steering. Never happened any other time. So they test drove the truck. Sure enough the ONLY time it happened was on the curve that he specified. Boom! Revolution sensor.

Another mechanic told me that when I get home to my truck to over inflate the front tires to 60 psi. If the inflation corrected the steering then I simply needed new tires. I assured him that I still had another 4-6 months on them judging by my estimation of the wear line.

Which of the two would you guess was the solution to my trouble?

If your vehicle has a steering wheel speed/position sensor it could cause what you describe.

But first find out if it has this sensor.

Rockauto lists this sensor for your vehicle.


Fix #1

Because the second one is idiotic and stupid, if anything, the tires should be easier to steer because most of the gripping tread is gone.

Stay away from the person who told you to inflate your front tires to 60 psi. He is not a real mechanic in any sense of the word.

This is unlikely to be the cause, but I’ll toss it into the mix for consideration. Some cars the idle engine rpm increases when turning, so that the power steering pump remains at proper pressure, and also so the load from the pump doesn’t bog the engine at idle. Maybe this function isn’t working on your car. It might be a vacuum controlled operation, and something in the vacuum control for that function is leaking.