What is causing a steering void?


Asked by Sep 05, 2012 at 10:01 AM about the 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am that has a problem that has me stumped. When the car is turned to the right, there is a point that the steering wheel seems to hit a void. It makes the driver feel that they have lost control. This only happens on a sharper turn.

7 Answers


This could be a bad strut bearing. Dose it seem like the steering will not return to center after the turn? Then, a bad strut bearing would be my educated guess. Not sure what you mean by loss of control?


You might have an issue with your power steering rack, or your suspension has some wear and play in it. Have it looked at and repaired ASAP, as this is a safety issue.


The steering always returns the center. I thought it could be a worn gear but the wheel always returns to the original position so that doesn't make sense. If there was a spline missing the wheel would change positions as that spot was hit. When I say that there is a loss of control, I mean that there is no feedback from the steering wheel when that spot is reached. It almost feels like there is so much power steering that it is too easy to turn. I would equate it to turning the wheel while the car is jacked up and running, the wheel turns that easily. This happens at any speed. I noticed it the first time pulling into a parking lot. So I would think it has something to do with the rack. Would air in the system cause something like this?


It sounds like you have the optional speed sensitive steering. This system has an electronic variable orifice on the pump, and a column mounted sensor. Have the vehicle checked by a reputable tech. The column mounted sensor might need to be tested/replaced, and also he can check to see if the vehicle speed is being interpreted correctly by the control module. If you see an electrical connector/wires attached to your power steering pump, you have this system.

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I will have that checked. The variable-assist power steering could definitely cause the problem I am seeing. Could this be tested by simply disconnecting the power to that system?

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I'm not sure, as I only worked for Pontiac until 1997, and didn't have exposure to any problems/diagnosis on these. My best educated guess would be that you could try disconnecting the connector at the pump, and it will either go full easy or full stiff when steering. One would think that GM would have built in a safety if the system failed by losing electrical power? There may also be a fuse for this. check your owners manual. This may also set a light on/error code though?

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What kind of power steering pump does a 2002 Pontiac grand am gt take? The one with the EVO component or the one without?

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