Chevrolet Cavaliers have power steering installed as standard equipment. The power steering is assisted with hydraulic pressure generated by the power steering pump. The pump circulates the fluid and makes turning the steering wheel very light and responsive to the touch. A sure sign the power steering pump is failing is when steering becomes more laborious; also look for leaking power steering fluid puddled under the car. Removing a power steering pump is not a difficult project and is the first step to repairing the power steering system.
The serpentine belt on the front of the Cavalier's engine provides the power to operate the power steering pump. You have to first remove the belt to free the power steering pump's drive pulley. Underneath the Cavalier is a spring-tensioned pulley keeping the serpentine belt taut. Use a socket wrench to grab the center hex nut on the tension pulley and turn it so the belt becomes loose. Remove the belt from the pulley and then from the other wheels and pulleys on the engine.
A tube runs from the pump to the power steering assist mechanism in the Cavalier near the front axle. This hard tube has two fittings on each end for a connection. Use a box-end wrench to disconnect one end of the tube underneath the Cavalier. Be careful because some power steering fluid will leak. Just hold your finger over the hole and set a container underneath the tube and wait for the fluid to drain.
Once the fluid finishes draining use the box-end wrench to disconnect the tube from the power steering pump. The tube is bent and twists to make its way through the engine bay from the pump to the power steering assist. There's no need to remove it from the bay. Just push it aside.
The power steering pump is bolted directly onto the engine block. To remove the pump, unscrew the fasteners securing it to the engine. There may or may not be thread lock compound used to seal the bolts onto the engine. If the bolts do not easily turn use some force to break the thread lock. Do not worry about doing this. Breaking thread lock is the only way to get a bolt free. Once the bolts are out, lift the pump out of the engine bay. Again, though, be careful because as you move the pump some remaining power steering fluid may drain from the access port where the tubing was connected. You might want to get a shop towel to hold over the port when moving the pump to avoid a dripping mess.
- "General Motors Chevrolet Cavalier & Pontiac Sunfire: 1995 thru 2004 (Haynes Repair Manual)"; John Haynes; 2005
- "GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-00 (Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual)"; Nichols/Chilton Editors; 1999
- Photo Credit hand on steering whell image by Andrzej Borowicz from Fotolia.com
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