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Old 07-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #1
Kaya
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Default Power steering gave out during rain

We've had some terrible rains out hear in the NE. The other day, I was cruising down the highway in some severe weather. I was in the right hand lane and there was flooding everywhere. Anyway, I was going about 50 mph down 93 South and the power steering just went...just like that. This happened one other time, turning into a parking space (in the rain too). It was out for a good 15 seconds and I thought we were going to die! I had my 83 year old grandfather in the front seat saying "what do you mean you can't steer it?". Luckily, I was able to slow down without incident and it eventually kicked back in. Has this happened to anyone else out there? We are bringing it in tomorrow to be looked at AGAIN! Any feed back is appreciated.

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Old 07-21-2008, 06:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Wet slipping belt?

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Old 07-21-2008, 07:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

i havnt ever heard of this happening before.

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Old 07-21-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

This happened to me on Friday in heavy rains and light flooding. I lost all power steering but could still steer (difficultly). Water was getting up in to the engine area and I think the belt just got too wet and could not get any grip.

This can happen to any car - except for those with the electronic steering pump.

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Old 07-22-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Thanks for your thoughts. I knew it had to do with the weather... The wet belt sounds like the probable cause. It was also making a very loud "screaming" noise when it was happening. Any remedy besides staying out of the puddles?

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Old 07-22-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

The screaming sound you heard was most definitely the belt slipping. When the sound stopped, your steering came back? Sounds like a significant safety issue to me. I would at the least get it documented in your service records. Even if they say they can't fix it. Maybe there's an issue with the tensioner not keeping enough pressure on the belt to minimize this. As atated already, any wet belt can slip. But it shouldn't slip that easily.

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Old 07-22-2008, 09:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Bulletin #07-02-32-010:

Intermittent Stiff Steering, Steering Effort Hard, A/C Compressor Noise, Drive Belt Squeal/Chirp (Replace Both Front Inner Wheel Well Front Liners)


Condition:
Some customers may comment that after driving through a puddle of water, one or more of the following conditions may occur:

Intermittent Stiff Steering

Intermittent Steering Effort Hard

Intermittent Compressor Noise When AC is On

Intermittent Drive Belt Squeal/Chirp

Cause:
These conditions may be caused by water splashing onto the drive belt and causing the belt to slip on the pulleys.


Long story short, there is a newer design wheel well liner with an additional rubber flap on each side added to better protect the engine compartment, your Outlook may have been built before such liners were used.

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Old 07-23-2008, 04:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Good info! I prolly would never encounter this problem as I live in the desert SW. Rains for maybe 2-3 wks the entire year.

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Old 07-23-2008, 05:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

MaxSL2- Thank you so much for providing the bulletin info. This is a tremendous help.

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaya View Post
We've had some terrible rains out hear in the NE. The other day, I was cruising down the highway in some severe weather. I was in the right hand lane and there was flooding everywhere. Anyway, I was going about 50 mph down 93 South and the power steering just went...just like that. This happened one other time, turning into a parking space (in the rain too). It was out for a good 15 seconds and I thought we were going to die! I had my 83 year old grandfather in the front seat saying "what do you mean you can't steer it?". Luckily, I was able to slow down without incident and it eventually kicked back in. Has this happened to anyone else out there? We are bringing it in tomorrow to be looked at AGAIN! Any feed back is appreciated.
We have had the same problem several tmes over the past year and have reported it to NHTSA. We had the wheel well liners installed and it did not work. We were told that this is normal when driving in heavey rain/ puddles. I agree it is very scarry and extremely dangerous.

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Old 06-06-2009, 04:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

If there's enough water around to shut off your power steering maybe you shouldn't be driving.

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Old 06-07-2009, 02:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Many cars in the 70's and 80's were just as bad. My 1980 Buick Skylark had the same problem.

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Old 06-08-2009, 07:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
If there's enough water around to shut off your power steering maybe you shouldn't be driving.
Thanks for the helpful advice. Unfortunately, as pointed out above, the problem is a design flaw in the wheel wells that allow water into the engine compartment, and so your advice is perhaps misplaced in this case...

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
If there's enough water around to shut off your power steering maybe you shouldn't be driving.
So are you suggesting that I not go to work, take kids to school, etc. because it is raining? Hmmm do not think any of us spent that much money to purchase a new car only to park it in the rainy weather! As stated I drove through a puddle!

The new wheel liners were installed and unfortunately that did not fix the problem. Have been back several times with no luck!

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeDe View Post
So are you suggesting that I not go to work, take kids to school, etc. because it is raining? Hmmm do not think any of us spent that much money to purchase a new car only to park it in the rainy weather! As stated I drove through a puddle!

The new wheel liners were installed and unfortunately that did not fix the problem. Have been back several times with no luck!
Both posts say heavy rains/puddles. So yes, don't drive when you're having a flood.
Plus you can still steer a car (even a truck) without power steering

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Old 06-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harald View Post
Thanks for the helpful advice. Unfortunately, as pointed out above, the problem is a design flaw in the wheel wells that allow water into the engine compartment, and so your advice is perhaps misplaced in this case...
I definitely understand the concept but I think the OP and later commenters are understating the amount of water on the road.

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Old 08-06-2009, 11:07 AM   #17
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
I definitely understand the concept but I think the OP and later commenters are understating the amount of water on the road.
I do not believe telling someone you do not know personally they are a bad driver is the way to solve this terrible design flaw in the '07 Outlooks. Unfortunately, I have the same problem with mine. You do not have to be driving through deep water or terenchal rain, you just have to drive will the road is wet. It is extremely frustrating to be the one on the side of the road when it is raining and to be told by the Saturn dealership to purchase a $500 part to fix their own design flaw.
Unfortunately, this is only one of many problems with this vehicle.

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Old 01-26-2010, 08:12 AM   #18
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

I have had this problem with my 07 Outlook since November. It did not matter if it was heavy or light rain. The dealer talked me down the first time it happened as if it were nothing. Then when it happened again I insisted they look into it. They discovered that the 07's were not installed with extenders in the fender wells to divert water getting to the belts. They ordered them and installed on Dec 8. They told me it was not going to be an issue anymore. Well they were wrong. It happened 2x yesterday witin a mile from home. I called the service department and they don't have an answer. They told me to get Saturn Customer Service involved so I did. C/S took all my history and will get back to me after they speak to my service dept. This is a very serious safety issue and I hope to be able to let you know that Saturn is doing the right thing to address and correct it. Be safe.

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Old 01-28-2010, 04:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

Yes they do have a fix for this by adding to fender wells it is not a complete fix but have had less prob mine is 07 xr loaded

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: Power steering gave out during rain

On Thursday Saturn service went over my well extender installation and said it was done right. Today, Friday, the manager called me and said he found another memo that suggests replacing the belt if problem persists. It could have been damaged in prior episodes. I am set to go in next week for that repair. They still want it on a rainy day to drive it around and experience it for themselves. Will keep you posted

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