Car With 'Morning Sickness'

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

My '88 Accord DX with power steering has a difficult time turning. The power assist turns on with extra force when I turn the wheel slightly left sometimes. I could hear the pump belt slipping because of extra pressure on the pump. I then have to fight the steering wheel to turn back right. Or I have to turn fully left until I hear a click before the power assist lets go and I can turn the wheel right again.

Sometimes when I start the car, the wheel automatically turns fully left. When this first happened, I found a leaking high pressure hose and I replaced it. I didn't bleed it because I figured a few days of driving would take care of the air. But there has been no change in the steering and I don't think it's because of air in the hose. Also, I tightened the power steering belt and it doesn't slip anymore. It was already tight but it slipped because of extra pressure on the pump. Any ideas on what the steering problem is?

The problem could be with sticky valves in the rack itself. This is not uncommon. It's sometimes called "morning sickness". When the car is cold, the steering is very, very hard, then after a while it loosens up. If your car started like that and just got worse, then I would bet the rack needs to be replaced.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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