Ihave a 1987 chevy celebrity w/133000 miles and recently the car develops a couple problems 1.-the steering wheel sometimes is really stiff when i try to turn to the right side. 2.my brakes started to fade even though the brake pads are less than a year old. the steering wheel fluid is full but its very dark. is that a potential problem? should i change it? and today i checked the brake fluid and it was low, i filled it up but there didn’t seem to be a differnce. should i wait longer? how can i check if there is something wrong with the brake line if there isn’t a puddle of brake fluid everymorning? thanks for you help.
The believe the steering fluid is supposed to be clear. I would recommend you have it replaced.
Contaminated fluid may have fouled the steering rack making it hard to turn the wheel.
The brake fade may be from air in the system. Are you certain there are no leaks?
If no air in the system and no visible leaks, you MAY have a master cylinder or booster fault.
Note: if I’m wrong, I’ll soon be corrected. If nothing else, this will get your post answered.
Usually when you get loss of assist on a rack and pinion steering system, the rack and pinion has to be replaced. One thing to check is that the power steering belt is tight. If this problem seems to crop up more when it is cold, you have the classic symptom of a failing rack. If the rack has not been replaced since the car was new, it is probably about time for it.
yes you definetly want to chane the fluid,dirty fluid will wreek havok on ur rack and pinion aswell as the pump itself,which the problem may be in the pump to if the fluid has been contaminated for along period im sure u have done some damgae to seals and bearings…You also may want to bleed ur braking system…if it ran low theres a good chance an air bubble or two has entered ur brake line and bleeding thm will correcdt tht problem
With the number of issues, I would actually suggest asking around for a good mechanic if you don’t have one already. It just looks like you might want to do a whole lot of checking and maintenance.
Then, if they start telling you things, like that you need to replace the steering rack (generally pretty pricey) you can come up here for second opinions.
Steering racks on GM vehicles of that era tend to be problematic, especially after the wear and tear of 100k or more, so I would not be at all surprised if the rack and pinion need to be replaced.
As to the brakes, it is possible that you are experiencing brake fade due to excess moisture in the brake fluid. The moisture (water, actually) will boil if the brakes heat up sufficiently from hard use, and then brake fade is the result. If the brake fluid has not been changed in several years, this is something to consider.
Your repairs cost much more than the car. Getting a different car is the most practical solution. Get away from that thing before it hurts you.