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Old 03-09-2010, 01:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Neil -

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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Hi,

I think power steering and power brakes on a small-ish car are completely unnecessary. Just do the engineering to let them work "manually" -- it would be more efficient, I'll bet!
I agree that manual steering should be an option. I think you need to have different gear ratios on rack-and-pinion, but that's about it.

At 2400 lbs in my car, I do like my power brakes.

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Plus, do you know hard it is to parallel park while texting with manual steering?
Now, that was funny!

All the other points about manual steering are true - that would be the ultimate ecomod (esp. from the factory with the right ratio).
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't have any problems with manual steering in my car.....

and it weighs almost 3800 lbs! My wife even drives it!!! It is only 3 turns lock-to-lock. AND has 3° of castor!!! I think we should have a GTG at night and pull out everyones power steering!!!!! Just don't get busted....think how much we would help the world! LOL
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Interesting. Maybe this summer I'll pull the motor and see what my options are. Maybe cooling fins or forced air might make it last longer.

I read somewhere that the main cause is underinflated tires that cause the motor to work harder than normal. Not an issue in my car. ;-)
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Here's how we can get "power" brakes without assist (electric or vacuum): make the master cylinder more powerful, and add mechanical leverage!
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Clev -

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Interesting. Maybe this summer I'll pull the motor and see what my options are. Maybe cooling fins or forced air might make it last longer.

I read somewhere that the main cause is underinflated tires that cause the motor to work harder than normal. Not an issue in my car. ;-)
Oh yeah, I thought of a fan too. You should look under your dash to see if you can see it. Shine a light on it and see if it's covered in dirt/dust/cat hairs/gummy bears.

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Old 03-09-2010, 06:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Just how dirty is it under your dash?? Maybe you could vacuum out the inside of your car once in a while. I've seen dust, but nothing like what there would be under the hood. It seems like a circuit breaker or fuse should protect the motor if it gets too hot.

I had a full size '69 Ford van that had no power steering, and that was OK out on the road, but it was very hard to park.

"Power" brakes run on vacuum. Just how much power can they rob? Especially for a hyper-miler??
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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thatguitarguy -

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Originally Posted by thatguitarguy View Post
Just how dirty is it under your dash?? Maybe you could vacuum out the inside of your car once in a while. I've seen dust, but nothing like what there would be under the hood. It seems like a circuit breaker or fuse should protect the motor if it gets too hot.

I had a full size '69 Ford van that had no power steering, and that was OK out on the road, but it was very hard to park.

"Power" brakes run on vacuum. Just how much power can they rob? Especially for a hyper-miler??
I think that is exactly what causes the loss in power steering. The motor overheats, the control module disables it, and the car steers like a brick. I have read that the temporary fix is to wait until the motor cools off and start up the car as normal. You will have power steering until it overheats again.

The "dirty motor theory" is based on something I read here :

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Hello -

I just read this and I wonder if it's the ultimo-cheapo solution. It's for a Cobalt, but they are the same design (right?!?!?!?), sooooo :

The Chevrolet Cobalt: Power Steering Problems - Second page of comments
The Chevrolet Cobalt: Power Steering Problems - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com
Quote:
jstar (Guest):
Nothing needs to be replaced to fix this problem. It is just an accumulation of "dust" from the brushes inside the motor that is causing an intermittent short. My wife's car was doing the same thing. We could not go 100 yards without the steering going out. After checking all the post on the internet it didn't sound right to me that the steering column or even just the motor would need to be replaced if it is resetting when you turn the key off and back on. All you need to do is remove 2 bolts that hold the PS motor in place on the steering column, and 1 electrical connection. The motor will slide right out. Once the motor is removed, remove the 2 bolts that hold the back housing (black can) on to the front of the motor. you don't have to worry about any brushes or anything falling out, everything is self-contained. Once this is apart you will notice a lot of soot built up inside. This is what is causing the problem. Get a can of electrical motor cleaner, or brake cleaner from Add a ... [rest of post is missing] ...
Comment Posted on 08/25/2009 at 6:08:23 AM
The comment was cut off, but it appears that in some cases, the motor just gets "dusty" and needs to be cleaned. A dusty motor can overheat. The bottom line is, if the motor has not completely burnt out, it may just need some TLC.

...

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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"NHTSA opened an investigation Jan. 27 into approximately 905,000 Cobalt models in the United States after receiving more than 1,100 complaints of loss of power steering assist, 14 crashes and one injury." So one customer in a thousand complained to the NHTSA, and 13 customers per million crashed (presumably while parking).

A friend of mine had a 1994 Ford F150, whose power steering lines rusted through. He lost power steering assist until he got around to repairing it. The NHTSA didn't get involved in that case, and I fail to see the difference.

IMO, an extended warranty would be more appropriate than a recall.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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...SHORT-cuts have LONG-ramifications:

* Toyota is learning it now with their accelerator pedals and regenerative braking.
* GM is about to learning it with their electric-motor steering.
* Ford had their Pinto and police-cruiser gas tanks--but I doubt they "learned"(*)
* Chrysler has their .....[ fill-in the blank ]......


(*) apparently their lawyers' advice is simply: (a) don't get caught; (b) if you do, deny, deny, deny; then (c) settle out-of-court for pennies-on-the-dollar.

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