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Old 11-04-2009, 19:57   #1 (permalink)
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Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

Hi all, I just picked up a '97 Thunderbird with the 3.8 V6. The car is great with one issue: When it's idling while in gear, the RPM's drop to about 550 with a deep vibration you can feel through the steering wheel. When I turn the steering wheel from side to side it gets a bit worse and the steering pump makes a whining sound as if it was low on fluid. Well, the resevoir is full, but the fluid is dark charcoal in color. Also, when I put it in neutral, the RPM's go back up to 900 and the idle is smooth. I would really appreciate any ideas on what this is, and suggestions to remedy?
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:52   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

Try that with the hood open and see if the engine moves exessively. The motor mount can cause the vibration. On the power steering issue, flush the system with a lot of power steering fluid. Even if you have to replace the rack or pump, the junk fluid will be flushed out.

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Old 11-05-2009, 16:08   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

Iv had this problem as well, it was my MAF.When i put it in gear, the MAF wouldnt read the correct air coming through and would cause it to run lean.
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:35   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

That vehical probably has V.S.P.S. Are you sure the electric solenoid isn't jamming up
and flooding the rake ?
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Old 11-07-2009, 00:39   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

vacuum solenoid pressure sensor?
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Old 11-07-2009, 13:22   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

Thanks to all of you (friendly folks here)! I'll pursue all suggestions.
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Old 11-08-2009, 14:20   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

It's Variable Speed Power Steering. Controled by the V.S.S. and the E.C.M. A little
complicated to explain in 10 words or less.
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Old 11-09-2009, 21:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration through Steering Wheel at Idle

I knew that, just wasnt sure if thats what VSPS stood for. lol
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