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Advise for a problem with my Vauxhall Zafira.
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# 1
comping cat
Old 02-11-2008, 9:21 AM
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Default Advise for a problem with my Vauxhall Zafira.

While we were out yesterday, the steering on my Zafira suddenly 'tightened' and it was very difficult to turn - not sure if it is a problem with the steering wheel or the wheels. We stopped at Tesco (it took me a while to reverse into the parking space as the wheels/steering wheel made it very difficult to turn) and when we re set out home, at first the wheel was back to normal, but within a minute or so, it had stiffened up again.

Now as someone who knows nothing about cars, im just looking to see if anyone can tell me what they think the problem is, and how much it should cost to put right. Then, when i ring the garage tomorrow, i have some idea as to what to say and what to expect. i always worry as a woman on my own, with a very obvious 'i havnt got a clue about cars' that i could be ripped off (local Vauxhall dealer tried it before, changing my tyres and charging me without even asking - luckily i know a really good local family tyre firm so knew i was being overcharged - the problem my car has at the moment, i wouldnt have a clue!!!)

Thanks in advance.
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# 2
vikingaero
Old 02-11-2008, 9:26 AM
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Sounds like the power steering rack is kaput. But then without seeing the car it could be as simple as the drive belt which is slipping. What model and reg is your Zafira?
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# 3
Conor
Old 02-11-2008, 9:35 AM
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Low power steering fluid. You do check it don't you? If you've checked that and it's OK then loose power steering pump belt is next. After that, faulty pump or faulty rack.
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# 4
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Old 02-11-2008, 9:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingaero View Post
Sounds like the power steering rack is kaput. But then without seeing the car it could be as simple as the drive belt which is slipping. What model and reg is your Zafira?
Its a year 2000 W reg, 1.6, 5 door Comfort (i think thats right!)
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# 5
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Old 02-11-2008, 9:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conor View Post
Low power steering fluid. You do check it don't you? If you've checked that and it's OK then loose power steering pump belt is next. After that, faulty pump or faulty rack.
No, afraid i wouldnt know how to check that (im a bit pathetic, im pleased that i know how to check and refill my oil, but thats about it)

The car has just passed its MOT (September) would they have checked it then? Or would that be a service job (due in Feb)
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# 6
oldagetraveller
Old 02-11-2008, 10:15 AM
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No they wouldn't and yes it should be checked at a service but it's also the drivers' responsibility to check levels, engine oil, water, brake/clutch fluid, power steering fluid, tyre condition/pressures etc., on a regular basis
Reference to the vehicle's handbook should reveal where all these various things are.
The Conservative Party is a bit like double cream. Rich, thick and full of clots!
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# 7
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldagetraveller View Post
No they wouldn't and yes it should be checked at a service but it's also the drivers' responsibility to check levels, engine oil, water, brake/clutch fluid, power steering fluid, tyre condition/pressures etc., on a regular basis
Reference to the vehicle's handbook should reveal where all these various things are.
Oil, water and tyres i can do (and do)- have never checked the brake fluid or power steering fluid, so will have a look in the book this afternoon. Hopefully it will just be that and nothing too serious.
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# 8
dillydilly
Old 02-11-2008, 10:32 AM
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ha - I probably know a bit more about car engines than the majority of car owners, but I wouldn't have a clue about the current state of my power steering fluid levels - it never moves so I never look at it - its not like oil which burns off over time, it just stays there (same with brake and clutch fluid). Which suggests there probably is a fault with the power steering motor
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# 9
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catowen View Post
Hopefully it will just be that and nothing too serious.

Well, even if it is " just that ", the fluid will be leaking from somewhere, so it will still require attention.
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# 10
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillydilly View Post
ha - I probably know a bit more about car engines than the majority of car owners, but I wouldn't have a clue about the current state of my power steering fluid levels - it never moves so I never look at it - its not like oil which burns off over time, it just stays there (same with brake and clutch fluid). Which suggests there probably is a fault with the power steering motor
If it is the power steering motor - how much would you expect it to cost?
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# 11
oldagetraveller
Old 02-11-2008, 10:40 AM
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I've just checked the 2007 version of the Zafira handbook on Vx website (there's no other version there), to their shame and with my apologies to you, there is no mention of where and how to check the electro-hydraulic steering reservoir. Unless it's well hidden away somewhere in the book? I suspect they want you to trot off to a main dealers for them to top up the fluid at an inflated price?
Hopefully it is just a low fluid level, if so it's gone somewhere! At 8 years old it's possible though that something more expensive is amiss.
The Conservative Party is a bit like double cream. Rich, thick and full of clots!

Last edited by oldagetraveller; 02-11-2008 at 10:46 AM.
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# 12
cajef
Old 02-11-2008, 11:34 AM
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I understood that later Vauxhalls used EPS (Electronic Power Steering) in which case there is no hydraulic pump or fluid.

http://www.just-auto.com/article.aspx?id=92107
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
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# 13
oldagetraveller
Old 02-11-2008, 11:57 AM
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The Corsa and my Meriva use this electric system but not the Zafira. The OPs is a 2000 car anyway. The 2007 handbook specifically refers to an electro-hydraulic system. That is the laterst version as there isn't a 2008 edition on Vx website. Whether there is and Vx now fit the all electric system to the Zafira I don't know. However, I test drove a 2008 Zafira last January and that had electro- hydraulic steering, I asked. Hopefully they don't as the EPS system is prone to v. expensive faults! I'm dreading the day when the steering column mounted motor fails on my car, quite a lot do.
The Conservative Party is a bit like double cream. Rich, thick and full of clots!

Last edited by oldagetraveller; 02-11-2008 at 12:00 PM.
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# 14
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:04 PM
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I was not sure which Vauxhall models had EPS, I knew the Corsa used one as I had one that went faulty and cost a fortune to repair, fortunately it was a leased car and under warranty so it was not my bank balance that was affected.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Last edited by cajef; 02-11-2008 at 12:16 PM.
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# 15
Conor
Old 02-11-2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catowen View Post
Oil, water and tyres i can do (and do)- have never checked the brake fluid or power steering fluid, so will have a look in the book this afternoon. Hopefully it will just be that and nothing too serious.
It's dead simple. The reservoir usually has a cap on it with a dipstick attached to the underside with a high and low level in. They only need a little fluid to top up so no need to go buying huge bottles of the stuff.

If the fluid is low, once you've topped it up start up the engine and move the steering fully to the left then fully to the right a couple of times, turn it off and recheck the level.
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# 16
Conor
Old 02-11-2008, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillydilly View Post
ha - I probably know a bit more about car engines than the majority of car owners, but I wouldn't have a clue about the current state of my power steering fluid levels - it never moves so I never look at it - its not like oil which burns off over time, it just stays there (same with brake and clutch fluid). Which suggests there probably is a fault with the power steering motor
Power steering fluid also gets contaminated. It should be a clear light cherry colour.
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# 17
hewhoisnotintheknow
Old 02-11-2008, 4:43 PM
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some cars are belt driven some are battery powered

When my battery went the first thing to go was the power steering
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# 18
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Old 02-11-2008, 8:12 PM
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Any idea how much this might cost - will be going to a local garage, not a Vauxhall dealer (they def charge a lot more down here in the South West!!!)

Im assuming it will be a problem with the power steering.
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# 19
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Old 04-11-2008, 1:10 PM
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Car in the garage - its the alternator!!!
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# 20
oldagetraveller
Old 04-11-2008, 3:03 PM
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Could be there's some kind of cut out for the motor which drives the steering hydraulic pump when the alternator is not pushing out enough electrickery causing a low voltage in the battery? That would make sense of the diagnosis!
I have heard of instances with EPS (all electric) systems giving problems too when there's a duff battery/alternator.
Maybe it is an EPS system? If so I stand humbly corrected!
The Conservative Party is a bit like double cream. Rich, thick and full of clots!
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