I am the original owner of a 2002 Elantra GLS, with < 50K miles. She is in great shape. However, recently I have had a power steering problem that I can't entirely rule out the steering rack and I would like to have any insights on this problem before bringing it to a mechanic.
At start-up (in any weather) and until the engine warms a bit, the steering wheel AND the PS belt/pulleys bind and produce a shrieking noise when binding. This only happens when the car is NOT moving. If I (a) move the car when cold and turn the steering wheel all is fine and (b) if I wait for the car to warm up a bit, the steering does not bind, even in park. The binding occurs whether I am turning the steering wheel left or right. Otherwise, the power steering is as good as it was the day I took the car home from the dealer.
The fluid level is fine and;the quality of the fluid appears fine. The PS pump is 2 YO (rebuilt), as well as the belt. As to the belt, I am not certain of whether it is tight enough and I have had a couple of issues with belts before (noise) but never had any binding.
The fact that this problem goes away when the fluid warms up makes me think it is a steering rack issue but I am hardly an expert.
Any feedback would be very much appreciated!