My 2000 Model 323f Mazda AT, 1.6L suddenly has problem on power steering. Yesterday morning, I started the engine and after half a minute started driving slowly. While backing and doing the curves, the steering wheel becomes hard (somewhat getting stuck). I don't think it is loosing power. I have experienced loosing power and I can still turn the steering wheel just harder than usual.
This however is different. It is like getting stuck intermittently (very short intervals) and then works again. I tried driving slowly again to pick up more RPM and power steering seems back to normal.
When I arrived at the office and do the parking, I experienced the same issue while doing the curves and while backing (reverse gear). I check the power steering oil and the level is ok. I observe no leaks as well. No unfamiliar sound anywhere as well.
Before I go to a mechanic, do you guys have any idea what might be causing this? I just bought this car 3 months ago so I have no idea of the history. But in the 3 months driving it, this is the first time I've experienced this. It's like it is happening on low RPM only.