Driving your Pontiac Grand Am with a damaged power steering pump can be extremely dangerous, as you run the risk of reduced control or difficulty in steering. In worst case scenarios, you might even lose control of the steering altogether. Read the following guide to learn how to change the power steering pump in your Pontiac Grand Am.
The first thing you need to do is identify the components of your Pontiac Grand Am's power steering pump. The best thing to do in this regard is to dust off the manual and read the relevant sections. If you no longer have the manual with you, you can pay the local library a visit or take a short trip to an auto store. You might also want to search for a copy on the internet; if you find one, download and print the pages that you need to have with you.
First of all, before you start tinkering with the power steering mechanism, make sure that your air bags have been disabled. If they are enabled while you work, you run the risk of tripping up one of the impact sensors, which will activate the bags and cause damage to your steering wheel. This might also result in injury.
With your Pontiac's air bags disabled, you should also be certain that your ignition is switched off and that your front wheels are oriented straight ahead. As for the air bag's fuses, you may have to detach all of them. Feel free to refer to the manual if you have any doubts. When you have done all of the above, give yourself a few minutes, then you can start changing the power steering pump.
If the Pontiac you're working on has the purge valve or the emission-EVAP-canister, you need to take that out. Also detach the following from the engine's compartment: the duct, which you can find at the compartment's top part, and the air cleaning mechanism. Use a ratchet or wrench to detach the solenoid valve.
If your model has the 3.4L engine, remove the drive belt and take out the engine's upper mount. Again, choose the right sized ratchet or wrench for the job. Before you take out the mount, be certain that you have floor jacks positioned to carry the entire weight of the Pontiac's engine.
Position a pan under the pump of the power steering system. Detach the clamps that connect the hoses to the pump and then remove the hoses. Use your wrench to detach the bolts away from the pump. Next, take the pump away from the engine's compartment. You can just use your hands for this.
Install the new pump, and put the mounting bolts back in their place. Torque them to about 19 foot pounds. Connect the hoses with the new pump, and attach the solenoid valve as the duct and the air cleaner that you removed earlier. Reinstall the upper engine's mount. And then, put the drive belt back in. You can now take out the jack stands.
Fill up the new pump with fluid, with the help of a funnel. Start the engine and rev it up, Test the power steering by repeatedly turning the wheel from one side to another. Keep adding fluid until there is no air left in the system.
Congratulations! You have just changed the power steering pump in your Pontiac Grand Am.