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Help please...Hard to turn steering wheel

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by plowzilla, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Anybody ever have this problem. When I apply the brakes and try ro turn the steering wheel, it is like there is no power steering at all. This is worse when the plow is on. Especially when I go to clean a lot and the pavement is dry. IS there something connecting the power of the brakes with the power steering??? It is a 2002 F250 with tow package & V-10. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Are you in 4 wheel when you do this? Maybe a frozen caliper?
  3. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    You are correct in stating that the two systems are interconnected.

    Your truck has what's called a hydro boosted braking system. This is a very common set up on trucks now a days and most manufactures are using it.

    Here is the basics of how it works:

    You're power steering pump supplies pressurized fluid (just like any other power steering system) to the steering gear box to assist in movement of the wheels.

    The fluid then travels to a device called the hydro boost. This is located just below the brake fluid reservoir. The pressurized fluid is supplied the hydro boost by not used until you press on the brakes.

    When you press on the brakes the pressurized fluid is assisting the master cylinder to move, thus creating power brakes. When the brakes are applied the hydro boost uses up a good amount of fluid volume.

    In your situation the most likely cause is that you're power steering pump does not have enough capacity to supply and run both at the same time, therefor you may be looking at a pump replacement. The situation is more so amplified during plowing simply because of the added weight on the front.

    Hydroboost brakes will be found on any turbo diesel, this is due to the fact a turbo diesel can not create a normal vacuum as a gas motor can, therefor conventional vacuum assisted power brake systems can not be used on diesels.
  4. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I appreciate the info. Do you think the hydroboost could be a problem as well?
  5. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    I just had the power steering pump go out on my truck, brakes went out too! It was replaced under warranty. Now that it is fixed, I have noticed it much harder to turn the wheels when stopped/braking.

    Could they have put a "less powerful" pump in?

    2001 Chevy 2500hd w/ 6.0L gas motor.
  6. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    Couple Questions:

    When you are not applying the brakes and just steering how does it feel, is it hard to steer at low speeds?

    When you are driving at anything other than slow speeds where you are having the problem, do you still have the issue with the brakes/steering?

    It is possible that there may be something wrong with the hydroboost, but unlikely for you're case. Since when you apply you're brakes you are using a lot more volume, you're pump can't keep up and therefor you are having a hard time steering.

    Here is also a good write up on how a hydroboosted brake system works.
  7. Doakster

    Doakster Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 650

    That seems odd....they may have swapped out to a different Power steering fluid that runs differently at low speeds, also they may have gotten some dirt a junk in the system. I would recommend doing a fluid flush and seeing if that helps. I run Mobil Synthetic Automatic Trans fluid in mind and if seems to work well for the low speed issue you are talking of. You're truck has hydroboosted brakes as well.
  8. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Hey Doakster, sorry about the delayed response, I have been kind of busy. No it is not hard to steer at low speeds. I I haven't noticed any problems at other speeds. Also, I appreciate your help and the info you sent.
  9. zorro7

    zorro7 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Hey there. Have a a 2004 F350 with almost the same issues. My issue is that if I am not moving I cannot turn the wheel. Even in neutral, not touching the brake, and reving the engine. I've changed the steering gear and just recently the power steering pump. Marginal improvement. The only thing left is the hydroboost. I know this info is not a help to you, but just know you aren't the only one. At least you can steer when you don't have the brake on. I can't steer unless I'm moving.
  10. jayw

    jayw Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I had the same problem on my 02 f250 powerstroke it was hard to turn the wheen when using the brakes and it was the hydo boost thank god it was covered under warrenty if yours is not covered then be prepaired for a slap acroos the face when you hear the price for it.The power boost lines are also know to swell as well.I replaced the hydroboost last year and about 3 weeks ago the powersteering pump went since .These truck are know for being tuff to steer at low speeds and mine still is some what but since replaceing the pump i have noticed alot much better brake petal and better braking