Hi all! Finally finding a bit of time to post on here again after several weeks of work travel…
Drove my '89 XJS to work today and noticed that the power steering was whining something awful (it had made a little noise now and again during extra tight turns before but today was substantially different–loud squeal at the slightest turn). It was cold this morning (about 25F) but I’ve driven the car in such temps before without having this issue. The noise on its own makes me think to check the power steering fluid level–I know where/how but didn’t this morning as I understand it’s best checked when the engine is cold? By the way there was no change in the symptoms below between a cold and a warmed up engine.
Despite the noise, I still have the whole range of steering with powered assistance but at a few random points along the range the wheel would become very stiff very very briefly almost like it was locking (not just hard to turn as is no power assist but actually locked in place) but then it would free up and the noise would continue but the wheel was easy to turn as usual again.
So what’s going on? Presumably I’m low on fluid and will discover that shortly? Is it normal for low fluid to allow generally easy turning save for at a few random spots along the rack?
And here’s the real puzzler to me–there’s positively no fluid leaking to the ground beneath the car. If it’s losing fluid (which I suspect it is and will be confirming soon) then where is said fluid going?
Hoping this isn’t a whole steering rack job but fully aware it might be! If I’m lucky and it’s just lines/hoses in the system, which ones (and where) are best to check and rule out first?
Thanks very much!