Heavy stearing/no power stearing at low speed

grog68

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
I must point out I am a complete dim whit when it comes to cars (well most things really)

I have a 2003 Vauxhall Astra Bertone (G) which was serviced and MOT'd at the end of April. I didn't drive it for a few weeks after but now have noticed that when I am at slow speeds, ie turning into a street etc the steering has got extremely heavy and it's hard to turn the wheel.

My first thought was the tyre pressures so I checked them and they were all higher than the owners manual suggested so I let some air out and brought them in line with what the manual stated hoping, as dim whits do, that this may be the problem. It wasn't the steering is still really heavy at low speeds.

The next thing I have thought about is the steering fluid, here is my problem, I can't find the reservoir for the steering fluid, and to be honest if low I wouldn't know what to put in it if/when I find it.

Does anyone know where I could find it and do I just top it up if it's low or would it need the old stuff drained. I would prefer not to take it to the garage if it's something that's simple to do. I have mobility issues so getting under the car is not really an option.
 
Sponsored Links

dt99

TK Veteran
I had something similar on an old car and I needed a new power steering pump as it had a leak on it. Basically I was told by the garage that you should never need to top-up power steering fluid, sounds like you have a leak. I would honestly take it to a garage, any decent one should not charge you just for having a look.
 

pabloescaban

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
the resevoir for power steering fluid is usually easy to see, I had a very slight drip on one of my cars that went on for years, so small it wasn't worth fixing, it took over 6 months to lose 150ml of fluid so I used to top it up a few times a year as when it dropped, the steering went the same as yours
look here to see where the resevervoir is and pick up a bottle of fluid from the car factors place for a few quid:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=vauxhall+astra+power+steering+reservoir+location&client=opera&hs=1y4&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWlMuZ8KXcAhVBa8AKHfVHBAcQ_AUICygC&biw=1700&bih=822
 

grog68

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
I had something similar on an old car and I needed a new power steering pump as it had a leak on it. Basically I was told by the garage that you should never need to top-up power steering fluid, sounds like you have a leak. I would honestly take it to a garage, any decent one should not charge you just for having a look.
Thanks, yes the garage I use doesn't charge me to look, and they have even told me how to do something small myself in the past, will give them a call. Was it an expensive job? the wife already thinks I've spent to much money keeping it on the road over past 2 years.
 

dt99

TK Veteran
Thanks, yes the garage I use doesn't charge me to look, and they have even told me how to do something small myself in the past, will give them a call. Was it an expensive job? the wife already thinks I've spent to much money keeping it on the road over past 2 years.
Mine was about £280, but that was on an old crappy Rover 25. That was supply/fit.
 

BeakyFord

TK Veteran
get your garage to check it over, could be as simple as low fluid level or a weak pump, Astra's are relatively easy to work on & parts are cheap so unless you are a numpty & take a 2003 motor to a dealer your bill shouldnt be so dear
 

grog68

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
Mine was about £280, but that was on an old crappy Rover 25. That was supply/fit.
Ooh that's not going to go well with her in doors:)

the resevoir for power steering fluid is usually easy to see, I had a very slight drip on one of my cars that went on for years, so small it wasn't worth fixing, it took over 6 months to lose 150ml of fluid so I used to top it up a few times a year as when it dropped, the steering went the same as yours
look here to see where the resevervoir is and pick up a bottle of fluid from the car factors place for a few quid:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=vauxhall+astra+power+steering+reservoir+location&client=opera&hs=1y4&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWlMuZ8KXcAhVBa8AKHfVHBAcQ_AUICygC&biw=1700&bih=822
Thanks for the images, actually found reservoir now, took cap off and can't see into the bottle as there is a small reservoir at top which is empty.
stearingfluidres.png

I've read there are different types of steering fluid, green or red or something, would anyone know which to use? does it matter?

get your garage to check it over, could be as simple as low fluid level or a weak pump, Astra's are relatively easy to work on & parts are cheap so unless you are a numpty & take a 2003 motor to a dealer your bill shouldnt be so dear
I'm a numpty but not that much of a numpty LOL, looking at pic above it looks to me to be low fluid level so not sure if worth topping it up first and see how it goes or go straight to garage.
 

BeakyFord

TK Veteran
with so much fluid lost I suspect a leak from one of the high pressure pipes, garage only for repair as you dont want to mess with these pipes, get the car checked over sooner rather than later
 

grog68

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
problem solved, phoned garage and they said bring it down, took it down and took a look, added some fluid for me and hey presto all good. He gave impression that he thought it looked like it hadn't been filled during the service although he didn't say those exact words.

I'll see how it goes.
 

BeakyFord

TK Veteran
the fluid is going somewhere but IF the garage didnt see any obvious leaks you have nothing immediate to worry about so just monitor the level for a few weeks to be on the safe side
 

grog68

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
the fluid is going somewhere but IF the garage didnt see any obvious leaks you have nothing immediate to worry about so just monitor the level for a few weeks to be on the safe side
Yea will monitor, just think it's a bit of a coincidence that it started not long after having a service.
 

BeakyFord

TK Veteran
Im having a hard time thinking a garage missed checking fluid levels on a service...!
for the level to have dropped so low that you cant even see which color fluid was used without finding any leaks screams lack of maintenace let alone servicing, fluid levels, lights & tier pressure should be checked by yourself on a weekly basis as a safty measure
 

grog68

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
Im having a hard time thinking a garage missed checking fluid levels on a service...!
for the level to have dropped so low that you cant even see which color fluid was used without finding any leaks screams lack of maintenace let alone servicing, fluid levels, lights & tier pressure should be checked by yourself on a weekly basis as a safty measure
I do check my lights, tyres and oil, although not as regular as I probably should but never thought about the power steering fluid before now. I've had the car 21 months and in that time had a minor service at Halfords when I first got it and then have had two full services at local garage when the MOT was done. So yes it appears to either be a leak that appeared and emptied the reservoir within a few weeks of the last service or for whatever reason it wasn't checked/refilled during the service.
 

BeakyFord

TK Veteran
if it had dumped the fluid so quickly the garage would/should have noticed fluid trails/splatter when they inspected the car so best guess is its a small leak that isnt yet noticable from an under the car inspection, just check it often & IF you notice it getting worse book it back in at the garage & ask them to check the high pressure side as the leak is most common down at the rack
 

pabloescaban

TK Veteran
Forum Supporter
like I said earlier, I had a Picasso for about 8 years, the first time i took it for MOT he said there was a minor leak on the power steering.
I used about 2 or 3 500ml bottles over the next 8 years as the drip was in a horrid location and didn't warrant a £300 repair.
If it's pi$$ing out, you'll see stains on the road/drive and it needs sorting asap...mine was loosing an eggcup full each month, not financially viable to bother fixing
 
Top