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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last few days I have noticed that the steering has become very heavy at low revs, like when parking. The a/c on or off makes no difference. Am really pi$$ed because I "bruised" my rear wing/fender at lunch time backing into a spot and couldn't turn the wheel.:nono;

Maybe I will reboot it all with my BSR box tonight. Any ideas?
 

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Check belt tension and fluid level. Obviously any puddles under the car are a bad sign.

I'd have to read more about out power steering systems. I'm not even sure if it has variable assist based on vehicle speed. I would assume that kind of feature would be accomplished with valving inside the pump to regulate line pressure. If we have that, a valve could get clogged, stick open or closed, etc.

If valves are present there will be electrical connections to the pump as well as hoses. The valves will be solenoid controlled. That opens the possibility for electrical problems. The solenoids will be controlled by one of the modules. Maybe ECM or BCM (body control module). Usually vehicle speed governs the degree of steering assist. So some element may not be getting reliable speed data.

In one recent thread here, there was a report which sounded like drift in the vehicle speed sensor data. This is apparently possible, but your speedometer would also give the wrong reading.

Someone here will undoubtedly know off the top of his head if we have speed-dependent steering assist.
 

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From the press blurb:

The rack and pinion steering system for the 9-3 Sport Sedan continues this tradition. The hydraulic pump is camshaft-driven and the rack is mounted low down at the back of the front sub-frame. The geometry and tuning of the front and rear suspensions also combine to give the steering its distinctive feel, linearity and responsiveness. At just 2.97 turns from lock to lock, it is the quickest steering yet fitted to a Saab car. For variants with the 1.8i naturally-aspirated gasoline and 1.9TiD engines, an electro-hydraulic power steering system is fitted as standard, giving less assistance at higher speeds and contributing to lower fuel consumption.
 

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JWLANKY said:
For variants with the 1.8i naturally-aspirated gasoline and 1.9TiD engines, an electro-hydraulic power steering system is fitted as standard, giving less assistance at higher speeds and contributing to lower fuel consumption.
So, David, you have the 1.8 with a PPC upgrade, correct? I can't remember what engine goes in a Euro-spec Vector.
 

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JWLANKY said:
The hydraulic pump is camshaft-driven and the rack is mounted low down at the back of the front sub-frame.
I just changed my oil two weeks ago. I was thinking, "I don't remember a belt for the power steering... or do I?"

At any rate, you'd hear squeal if a belt were slipping.
 

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ctrlz said:
So, David, you have the 1.8 with a PPC upgrade, correct? I can't remember what engine goes in a Euro-spec Vector.
No. David has the 1.8t (which is a 2.0t 175bhp detuned to 150bhp, which has been ppc'd to 204bhp the same as the 2.0t can:eek:), not the 1.8i which is 1800cc n/a garbage (sorry 1.8i owners, but it is).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm back with you.

Thanks for the brainstorming. My misssus had me try and fix a Word XP problem...:roll:

My steering problem is still very much there.
I have the 2.0t Vector 175 bhp on which I have added the stage 1 for 204.

At tick over speeds, 700 rpm impossible to turn the wheel, 225x45 Rossos.:cheesy:
have to rev at 900 or more for steering and then all seems fine.
I detuned to normal 175 toight and same story!!
Waited for the oil to cool and checked level. Nearer low than max but that's OK.
No leeks or any other problems. Makes parking a real pain and am scared it might stall on me. So I guess Iam going to have to visit Saab Rive Gauche pdq. Again thank you all for you input .. and I will post more when I have news.
 

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That's strange, I thought our cars use EHPS (Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering) ie. it is not driven by the engine at all but an electric motor. It would be very obvious if it fails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So looks like no one knows what the problem is :(

Guess I have no alternative to go and see my "friendly" dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bad news..

My Saab dealer tells me that he is ordering me a new pump "from Sweden" and that he is fully booked for next 10 days...

Apparently the more recent models., '04 and '05 have electric assistance at low revs. My '03 is hydraulic only.
 

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DavidMorgan said:
Apparently the more recent models., '04 and '05 have electric assistance at low revs. My '03 is hydraulic only.
Well, this is good news... or is it?

I never know what to make of this kind of information. Does this mean there might be some kind of silent recall or replacement going on? Can the early style pumps be expected to have a short lifespan, or just lousy performance at low revs?

See if your dealer has any opinion on this matter. A lot of us have '03's, and I'm really not expecting to have to replace a power steering pump one year out of warranty! That doesn't sound like an inexpensive undertaking at all!

I wonder if the pumps are wearing prematurely, and after a while, only produce adequate pressure at higher rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll keep you advised but I think it will take two weeks to fix it. Luckily I am still under warranty... bought my car in October 2005 with ZERO miles and it had 2 years warranty from June 2005. A strange SAAB deal with a great discount.... So I have one of the first cars and warranty until June 2006!!
This really is the first problem only 6,000miles of mainly urban traffic and no racing :roll: .
Maybe there was a design fault in the '03s and that is why they added the the elctrical assistance on the later models..... just a guess.
But whatever I learn I will pass on.
 
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