By - Lucas35man_
Could be a few things;
The power steering assist solenoid (at the steering rack) could be intermittently faulty, or more likely its wiring/connector is intermittent.
You could be running low on power steering fluid, maybe check your fluid, do a flush or something. Make sure you're using Dex 3 ATF AND NOT "POWER STEERING FLUID". These cars are supposed to use Dex 3 ATF as the fluid, NOT "power steering fluid", which is a well known problem-causer with these systems. Could be a failing power steering pump or a bunch of debris floating around in the power steering circuit.
The cluster sends the speed signal to the power steering system in order to demand more or less power steering assist according to vehicle speed. It's possible the cluster or any of the wiring after that is intermittently faulty.
u/Boorkus this makes so much sense, another problem that I'm facing is that my speedometer doesn't work properly. most of the time it doesn't work but it would randomly go to 60mph and then go down again. could it be because the speedometer isn't working it's messing with the power steering?
This is almost definitely your problem. I had the same issue. Speedo was intermittent, steering effort was occasionally varied. Had my cluster rebuilt and I haven't had an issue (with that) since.
Download the service manual (found in the sub's sidebar).
Look up how the speedo system works, look at how the signal travels from the speed sensors to the cluster and rest of the car.
It's likely that the cluster has a bad solder joint, but impossible to say for sure without going through the full diagnostic process and tracing wires.
If your hicas doesn’t get a signal from speedometer it will go into fail safe mode sort of and that’s your heavy steering. Getting onto a highway sometimes brings it back to life while the Speedo starts to work, hicas light on dash stays on but power steering comes back.
Probably the selenoid of the steering wheel, the one that controls the stiffness In low speeds.
Usually bad connections in the speedo circuits. The power steering computer gets information from the Speedo it’s self and when the signal is lost it goes into high speed(aka stiff) mode as a fail-safe.
Could also be the speed sensor in the trans it’s self.
Also when your steering goes stiff, does your speedo still work?
no it doesn't
Does the odometer keep working or does it also stop working?
If it keeps working while the speedo doesnt, its likely a bad solder joint/connection somewhere in the cluster its self and can many times be fixed with just reflowing cold joints with a solder.
If both stop working, it could be something with the speed sensor its self, the gear that attaches to the speed sensor, the wiring, or maybe even still a bad connection in the cluster.
Random tip on this in addition to what's been said - If you're leaving a OBDI/CONSULT reader connected, disconnect it. I have a cheap eBay one and it causes the power steering to go into fail-safe mode for whatever reason. I've shared this tip with a couple of other people that helped them too.
I'm interested where you sourced said OBD1/Consult reader
It looks like this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/224589849646 I use it with a laptop and a program called ECUTalk. I think some people have gotten the Bluetooth ones to work too.
I have a bluetooth one but it didn't work I'm gonna buy one and see if it can cooperate with my smart double din
Does your hicas dash light come on?
How fast are you driving?