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The basic advice on any crank no-start is to find out if it is spark, air or fuel that is missing.
The relay click may not be very loud, but you should be able to at least feel it click if you have a hand on the relay.
Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.Ask follow up questions if you need to. AlvinC answered a question about my Ford truck that only someone with an in-depth knowledge of his subject would have known what was going on. Because of your expertise, you armed me with enough ammunition to win the battle with the dealer. I do know, after going though this with JustAnswer, that I can somewhat trust my mechanic but I will always contact you prior to going there.
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Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions. Rack & pinion steering has been around for quite awhile and remains the most common type of steering system in todays cars and minivans.
Fluid leaks around the pinion input shaft are also an indication of internal leakage that needs to be repaired. The appearance and condition of the power steering fluid in the pump reservoir can reveal a great deal about the condition of a rack. Other problems that can afflict racks include loose or torn bellows (boots), worn inner tie rod sockets, worn outer tie rod ends, and loose or broken rack mounts. Any time a steering problem is suspected, you should test drive the vehicle to confirm the complaint.
Start the dry park check by leaving the steering column unlocked and reaching up and rocking the steering input shaft from underneath the vehicle. If you find the steering pulls to one side while driving the vehicle, it might be due to an alignment problem or it might be due to a leaky spool valve that is routing pressure to one side of the rack.
If the steering feels stiff and requires a lot of effort, the rack piston seal may be leaking pressure or the pump may not be producing adequate pressure.
Normal operating pressures within a power rack generally do not exceed 150 psi when the wheels are straight ahead. Steering wander and looseness can be caused by play in the rack, rack mounts or steering linkage (worn tie rod ends or sockets). Once a rack has been removed from a vehicle, the power steering pump and lines must be flushed to remove all the old fluid.
NOTE: The Motorist Assurance Program now recommends changing the power steering fluid every 50,000 miles, or any time components such as the steering rack, pump or hoses are replaced. Flushing can be accomplished by raising the front wheels off the ground and pouring fresh fluid through the pump reservoir allowing the fluid to drain out the return line.
When installing the pressure lines on the rack, extreme care must be taken not to overtighten the fittings. Following the flushing procedure, refill the power steering pump reservoir with the type of PS fluid specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Next, disable he ignition and crank the engine over several times while observing the fluid in the pump reservoir. Another trick that can be used to purge trapped air from a rack is to raise up one side of the vehicle with a floor jack, then the other while cycling the steering back and forth.
On some systems, the use of a power steering pump air evacuator (Devac tool) is required to purge the air from the system.
Realignment of the toe setting will be necessary after replacing a rack, inner sockets or outer tie rod ends, so make sure the small outer clamp on the rack bellows has been tightened after the wheels have been realigned.
If you are replacing a General Motors center take-off rack, make sure the center housing cover washer goes between the inner tie rods and rack.
The GM variable ratio racks can be identified by letters stamped into the pinion dust cover, by inspecting the teeth on the rack itself, or by counting how many turns of the steering wheel it takes to go from lock-to-lock. If you are replacing a rack on an air bag-equipped vehicle, do not rotate the steering wheel while the rack is disconnected. Contamination can occur if the power steering pump is failing, if the hoses are deteriorating, or if the fluid is contaminated by moisture or other substances. Seal wear can allow fluid to seep out of the power cylinder into the end bellows on the rack. Though seal kits are available for many applications, installing seals is a delicate art that requires numerous special tools, and is not always successful. Damaged bellows should always be replaced because they protect the inner tie rod sockets from road splash and contamination.


This test involves rocking the steering back and forth with the full weight of the vehicle on the wheels (use a ramp type lift).
Either by pinching the bellows or by sliding the bellows back for direct observation, you should see no visible motion.
The spike mount is a simple rubber tube with a metal sleeve inside through which a bolt passes to mount the rack to the crossmember or firewall. If the control valve that shunts pressure sticks open, the rack may not have much assist at low speed.
The dry park check we described earlier should help you isolate the cause of the looseness. Long racks come completely assembled and ready to install with new inner tie rods, bellows and mounts.
Skipping this important step will shorten the life of the replacement rack by circulating all the contaminants from the dirty fluid right back into the new rack. Tilting the vehicle sideways causes the air inside the rack to rise toward the end of the rack where it can find its way out. If this washer is omitted or installed on top of the tie rods, the tie rod bolts will extend too far through the rack and contact the inside of the rack housing.
Most people want the same steering feel as before, so make sure you get the correct replacement rack for your car. Racks with standard gears typically have three plus turns lock-to-lock, while those with a low ratio gear will usually be less than three turns lock-to-lock. A coupling donut that is deteriorating with age poses a serious safety hazard, so be sure to replace it if it is not in perfect condition. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.
Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. This has been ongoing for about 40 000 miles, when I first start out in the morning, there is a surge under low power. This relay also powers the computer, and can be prone to the same problems I described for the fuel pump relay.Each injector has a red wire that provides the 12v power, the other wire provides the ground. The pump can still run with reduced voltage, but may not be able to deliver adequate fuel to start the engine.SInce you may be onto something with this stone noise, I recommend taking out the relay and inspecting the connection for signs of overheating at the terminals, which would be a sign of a bad connection due to corrosion. Morning sickness is a condition where the steering feels stiff when the car is first started on a cold morning. Worn inner tie rod sockets and outer tie rod ends will cause steering looseness and toe wear on the front tires, and can be replaced separately if necessary.
Also inspect the power steering hoses, fittings and drive belt, and the fluid level in the pump reservoir to rule out obvious problems.
By loading the rack and steering linkage this way, any play in the system becomes quickly obvious. You can attempt to rebuild it, or you can do what most sane people do and replace it with a new or remanufactured unit.
Long racks are a good choice for high mileage vehicles that have wear in the tie rod ends, and they save installation time. The ratio for a variable rack can vary, so pull back one of the bellow, turn the rack as far as it will go to one side and examine the teeth on the rack. The clockspring forms the electrical connection between the air bag module in the steering wheel and the rest of the air bag system. To check the strut mounts, turn each wheel side-to-side while the tie rod ends are disconnected from the steering arms.
Tomorrow I will get a tank of high octane, remove the top, go for a long long ride and enjoy my car. The gearbox man has done over 100 of these boxes, and says he has had problems with 5 of them all relating to the E320, 2004 - 2005 models, the smaller ones E220 are fine, he never have problems with the E220 after a gearbox rebuild, only the 320's. The presence of power steering fluid in either bellow, therefore, means the rack is leaking internally and needs to be replaced. A crack, tear or split in the bellows can allow dirt and moisture to ruin the inner socket. Deterioration of the rubber insulator around the sleeve due to heat, age or oil contamination can allow the rack to wobble slightly on its mounts creating looseness in the steering or increased feedback through the steering wheel. If the wheels are up against a curb or if the steering wheel is turned hard against the stop, it can climb to 700 to 2,000 psi depending on the application. Fill the pump reservoir with the correct type of power steering fluid required for the vehicle, then crank the engine over (after disabling the ignition by grounding the coil wire) or turn the pump by hand.


The ones that are not protected from the elements by a plastic sleeve are usually the ones that have to be replaced.
If the steering is not centered when the rack is installed, it is possible to overextend and break the clockspring when the steering is turned all the way to one side or the other. This is lovely to drive , very economical and surprisingly nippy for such a solid little car. It would be a good idea to check the condition of these items and replace the socket and relay if necessary. This problem is most common in Saginaw racks on older General Motors FWD cars and is caused by wear in the spool valve housing. If nothing is done about the problem, the bellows will continue to mushroom with fluid until one or the other bursts, releasing the fluid that has been mysteriously disappearing from the pump reservoir. Rubber bushings can be replaced if worn or damaged, but broken or cracked mounting ears require rack replacement.
It takes special tools and know-how, and leaves you vulnerable to comebacks should the rack you rebuilt turn out to be a leaker. Short racks cost less, but take more time to install because the tie rod ends also have to be installed. Add two quarts of new PS fluid to the pump reservoir (be careful not to let the pump reservoir run dry), then reconnect the pressure line to the pump. A broken clockspring would prevent the air bag from deploying in an accident, and would also cause the air bag warning light to come on. Full service history , garaged from new , RWC and REG , .Can be seen in Frankston , about 50 minutes from Melbourne. I took it to the Merc dealer who said it needed a new gearbox and torque convertor - cost ?3800-00. Center wear is caused by wear between the rack and pinion gears, and can allow steering wander when driving straight ahead.
That is why the bellows should be inspected every time a vehicle is up in the air, and replaced immediately if found to be defective. Most manufacturers and rebuilders thoroughly test their racks before they are shipped to make sure they are leak free and operate properly. Also, when the relay is disconnected, you will see two terminals in the socket that are larger than the others. And they give you a warranty, which is something you do not get when you rebuild a rack yourself. Some lines are designed to swivel after they have been tightened to provide flexibility during installation and to accommodate engine vibration. Just make sure to double check the electrical connector and harness for any loose, broken or damaged wires. Also, the fuel pump relay can be manually activated to test the relay and pump, by grounding a wire at the EEC test connector. Overtightening the line fittings can strip the soft aluminum threads in the rack and damage housing. This bypasses the relay and should cause the pump to run strongly with full battery voltage measurable at the pump. Can any one give me some advise, damned if I want to spend ?3800-00 on a new gearbox if its only something minor that needs doing. The test connector is not plugged into anything, it is just laying there, sometimes it will have a protective cover on it. Had a quote from an independent to overhaul the gearbox with a years warrantee for ?1500-00. So that means there are splices on the injector ground wires, and the splices sometimes can develop problems. Be careful when using the jumper wires, you can spread apart the terminals by jamming the wires in there, and that can result in a loose connection when the relay is reconnected. I have had the car since 104000 miles and have not had any transmission problems other than this fault.
When the FP terminal is grounded, the fuel pump relay should click, the fuel pump should run, and good fuel pressure should be present in the fuel rail. If you have some crimp-on terminals that match the fuel pump relay terminals, use the crimp-on terminals to make a jumper wire; that would be ideal. Apparently only Merc dealers can replace the transmission control module, as it has to be reset with a star machine after replacement.



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