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For a year my cars power steering would stop working and the power steering light would come on. When I would pull over to the side of the road and turn my car off and restart it the power steering would come back and the power steering light would go away.This past August my power steering stopped working completely. I had the steering rack replaced which seemed to bring back the steering.

There is now a RECALL for my car. It is for a cracked flange of the drive belt automatic tensioner which could result in the belt to fully detach and could cause power steering issues.

Is it possible that the drive belt issue could have done some damage to the steering rack which caused the power steering issue?

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  • "Can the detachment of a drive belt affect the steering rack" Yes if it is the power steering belt! Please post the Make, Model and Year of your vehicle.
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 19:20

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It's unlikely to have caused damage.

When your power steering fails, it simply means that the rack isn't receiving power from the engine to assist you in turning the wheels. You can still muscle the wheels around, with more effort, but this shouldn't harm the rack.

It's possible that the intermittent power to the power steering pump caused it to start and stop in a way that the pump was running dry, though I doubt this. Running the power steering pump dry can certainly cause damage.

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  • Okay, thank you!!! I lost my A/C in June. Could this have to do with the belt issue? I read that it can cause A/C issues and power steering issues?
    – Jdixon
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 17:50
  • It could. My E36 uses the accessory belt for both power steering and the AC compressor, so the same belt failing would affect both.
    – Hari
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 19:19

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