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shine on.
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10,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My car is an uber piece. Everything seems to be goin out on it. 94 grand am..

It's always had some sort of shorting or basically just and electrical problem. Fuses never blow, something else just isn't right. The locks don't work and before my mom sent it in to get fixed the locks and windows, and dome lights wouldnt work. Well now its just the locks, not sure about the dome lights. But this isn't it.

Last week sometime, probably tuesday or wednesday, I went to get gas and some groceries or whatever, just typical drive. I come back on campus and there is smoke coming from under the hood, and through the vents. It stunk like ass. (not literally) So Thursday after classes I head out to my car and go on a cruise, watching the temp and oil pressure carefully but nothing was out of whack. After driving for maybe 10 mins I come back and theres the smoke again.. I lift the hood and see two black hoses up behind the engine that are wet, right by the trans fluid rod or whatever you wanna call it.

So I call my grandpa because he was pretty good with cars and stuff, and by this thread you can probably tell I'm car illiterate for the most part. I know basic stuff but not too much else. He thinks its the coolant and my car is known for having a coolant leak, but its full so.. My buddy thought it could be the heat core, but after running my car today, the heat worked fine. Also, today I drove it one more time, just to see if I could figure anything out (dunno why I thought this, I knew I wouldn't figure it out) and I found out.. my power steering is either not working, or kind of working. Well.. it's definitely not working. But when I turn the wheel it makes like a whining/grinding noise. Not so much grinding, but I'd turn the wheel to where I wanted it and it would kick back to where it was. Hmmph. So I drive back to the parking lot and with much effort, manage to park the damn thing. It starts smoking.. again and the same two hoses that were wet the last time it was smoking, are wet again.

So basically.. car enthusiasts (dooms, jin, 1337, 2 legit, whoever else knows what the **** is up) I ask for your help. It's not fun being able to not drive places. :tup

Also.. I have a legit garage I can take it to, but it's an hour south of me (being in college and all). My friend is pretty good with cars too but we'll see if I can persuade him (with cash and probably beer) to come up and help me fix this. (Basically I give him money, he fixes it, I watch, then we drink beer).

So yeah.. any suggestions and/or help is very much appreciated.
 

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Registered
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904 Posts
Instead of watching him, why not have him supervise for the same deal *cash and beer*?? THat way u aren't so illiterate.

J/c, didn't u mention this car having problems b4 u bought it?
 

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shine on.
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10,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Or I can have him fix it, I can watch, then I can ask questions as he goes. That's how I roll...

But no, there weren't alot of problems up until probably a year and a half ago. My mom bought it when I was like.. 14? It was hers for a while. I'm 18 now.. hence the college thing.
 

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shine on.
Joined
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10,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'll grab some paper towels and go check the power steering. I could be leaking oil.. Dunno though because when I got my rotors replaced last week they put in another quart because it was low. I'm due for an oil change too.
 

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Premium Member
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13,027 Posts
Not really sure on the smoking issue but the grinding noise is most likely either your wheel bearing or brake pads.
 

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We The People
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5,925 Posts
Martix might be on to something.

The whining could definitely be caused by low (or no) power steering fluid. It's pretty bad for your pump, so I'd check it and fill it if it needs it. And that explains why your temp & oil gauges aren't going nuts.

PS fluid is clearish and is pretty sticky. What color is the smoke? If it's a hole in the power steering line, you might get away for a decent price or it might rape you. Depends on which line it is (high or low pressure), how 'specific' the line is, where the line is, what else is blocking the line, etc. If it's the pump, it'll be ~$100ish, probably more, improbably less (plus labor).

By the way - welcome to the Grand Am. Lots of problems...

-Jin
 

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Taking Back Control
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2,191 Posts
no, i doubt itd be that, if it was wheel bearings youd be able to feel it, especially on the front. if its grinding noise, the bearings on your power steering pump pulley are probably shot, along with the pump itself. I'd say thats the root of the problem. if its that, make sure your belt isnt too tight because thats what makes the bearings go out in the first place (next to just normal wear and tear.)

try taking your belt off and pull on the power steering pulley and see if theres any play in it forwards or backwards. if its okay, start following the hoses and look for punctured lines or pinched lines. after you figure out the problem and fix it, i'd suggest a fluid flush and fill.
 

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shine on.
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10,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Time for a new car :shrug:
I thought you'd be the most helpful. =(

I'm in need of a new car, I know.. I need this to get me through til late summer most likely. Unless my mom gets sick and tired of hearing about **** being broken on it. I've put more money into it than its worth, which is never fun, especially when it continues to break and isn't fun to drive, or fast.
 

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shine on.
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10,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I am tomorrow before class. It has to be it, I'm guessing. Then I'll hitch a ride to pick up some fluid, and see if I can make it an hour drive to where my friend can help me.
 

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Imperator
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19,071 Posts
I've put more money into it than its worth, which is never fun, especially when it continues to break and isn't fun to drive, or fast.
That's my thought, if you're putting more money into than it's worth and it's still leaving you stranded it just isn't worth hanging onto. There are plenty of cheap older cars out there that would be less problematic.
 

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Registered
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4,618 Posts
the problem is most of the time you have to drive that one around while you save money for the new beater... lol i swear to god old cars KNOW when you're looking at a replacement... when i was going to buy my bike, my jeep threw a fit and the leaf springs broke.. lol
 

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shine on.
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10,745 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
There was absolutely no PS fluid in the resevoir. I poured in some nice new fluid, clearish blue.. It had some stop leak mixed in which I thought wouldn't hurt for the purpose of me driving 60 miles south. I started her up, let it idle, and there's still noise when I turn the wheel, but its a fluid movement and its working again. Does the noise mean the pump is shot? Kind of like a whining any time I turn or step on the gas.. Should I check the trans fluid? My grandpa told me that the whining when you get on the gas could be trans fluid.. I don't know.
 

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We The People
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5,925 Posts
There was absolutely no PS fluid in the resevoir. I poured in some nice new fluid, clearish blue.. It had some stop leak mixed in which I thought wouldn't hurt for the purpose of me driving 60 miles south. I started her up, let it idle, and there's still noise when I turn the wheel, but its a fluid movement and its working again. Does the noise mean the pump is shot? Kind of like a whining any time I turn or step on the gas.. Should I check the trans fluid? My grandpa told me that the whining when you get on the gas could be trans fluid.. I don't know.
Yes, check the tranny fluid as well.

If there's still noise when you turn the wheel, it's most likely one of two things:
1.)The reservoir is still low. You filled it up with the car (and thus the pump) off, so now that you've driven it around a bit, check it again. It might need more.

2.)The pump is bad or going bad.

Oh, and also pumps will whine if you turn the wheel while completely stopped (or some do).

-Jin
 

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We The People
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5,925 Posts
Oh, I should add a third option, which would be you have a leak in a hose that is draining the fluid, causing the pump to whine. In this scenario, the pump might still be fine, but without getting it fixed it will definitely go bad.

-Jin
 
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