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Pontiac Repair/1992 Pontiac Grand Am SE. 6cyl 3.3 l engine power steering pump


QUESTION: My son just bought this car knowing it needed power steering pump and reservoir replaced. Bought one and installed. It literally burnt up in 2 minutes. Got part warranted and installed second pump. It burnt up too. Is there anything that would cause a new pump to literally burn up? Can't believe that I got 2 defective pumps.

ANSWER: Hi Susan.
What was wrong with the original pump? did this run out of fluid originally? if so what/where was the leak. What do you man "Burn up" pretty broad statement it was working and pumping and it power steering and then it quit? did it make any strange noise when the car was started? Strange question but by any chance where the parts you put in "cardone" brand by any chance? those are by far the worst aftermarket brand of parts I have ever seen. last question does this car have the variable assist option on it being that it's an SE my guess it yes and it has an electrical connector on the pump if that is the option this car has are you swapping that part over to the new pumps or are they on the pump already? if you have to swap that part from pump to pump I may suspect that being the issue.... Good luck :-}

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the quick response. I asked my husband (who was a mechanic from 1976-1996) the questions. First, the car doesn't have VES. When our son bought the car, last week, the ps bearing got so hot it melted the reservoir. My husband installed new ps pump and reservoir from O'Reilly.  It made a screaming/ whining noise, then smoked. He shut off engine and took off ps cap off and the fluid was boiling. O'Reilly warranted pump. Exactly same thing happened. O'Reilly says it us cardone ps pump.
   Is there anything else that could cause this problem? Thank you, Susan

Ok .
there is a restriction in the P/S system the pump is not getting enough fluid into it and that is why it's burning up the pumps. the original pump may have come apart and the debris may have wound up in the steering rack that is the only thing in the system that has small enough passages in it to plug up. so basically the inlet to the pump isn't getting enough fluid into it to feed the pump OR  the steering rack is plugged up and it is building up too much pressure and over working the pump. either way I think you have a rack that is causing the issue you have going on and being that it now has had 3 pumps in it the chances of debris in the system are VERY high. so if you replace the steering gear as well as pump #3 make sure you blow out and flush the lines out before another pump and rack are put into this car.  in the future try to avoid that Cardone brand part. I don't think that was the root cause here I think the first pump going out was the first nail in the coffin. I personally like NAPA and CARQUEST parts nothing else. but it's all where you live as to what you have access to . Hope that helps!

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Todd Puccio


General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.


Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician


Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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