Dear Doctor: I have a 2005 Subaru WRX STi that I purchased in 2007 with 36,000 miles. It now has 82,000 miles and for the past year or so, the steering tends to cut out on me. I noticed it happens more on turns when I’m either accelerating or going over bumps. I’ve had a few instances where I couldn’t turn and had to back up and use both hands to turn the wheel. Would bad belts do this, or could it be the steering box? Rick
Dear Rick: There have been some problems with air entering the power steering system from a faulty inlet o-ring. This causes a loss in pressure, because the pump has passed the air in the pressure line. Have the technician check the inlet o-ring for wear.
Dear Doctor: I have a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix with the 3.8L and Magnasteer. When pulling out of the driveway at a slow speed the steering makes a buzzing sound while turning the wheel. This does not happen while driving at normal speeds. I flushed the power steering fluid with no change in the noise. I found Technical Service Bulletin #01-02-32-001 that states to lubricate or replace the intermediate shaft. Could this resolve the problem? Ralph
Dear Ralph: I’ve replaced a lot of power steering pumps on these vehicles. The buzzing sound is usually from a faulty power steering pump or air in the system. The intermediate lower steering shaft has been a problem for GM vehicles since the 1990s on both cars and trucks. I have also seen small o-rings on power steering lines cause air to leak into the system and cause noise. A full check of the system is needed.
Dear Doctor: I’ve leased a 2010 Toyota Prius for three years. I only drive 5,000 miles per year and I am concerned that the brakes will freeze up due lack of use. Besides driving unnecessary miles, what should I do to prevent this? Are there stainless steel replacement parts for these brakes so they will not freeze? The recent auto reviews in “Consumer Reports” show a poor rating for this model-year. Tom
Dear Tom: Every magazine has an opinion. Most of the time, I do not agree with car and consumer magazines.