1991 Accord power steering not working when cold start

The other day, temperature below 20F, the power steering worked a bit to the left but not at all to the right. After a few blocks and some twisting the wheels left and right, it came on and worked fine. Same
for the next day. In the afternoon, after sitting outside all day, same thing.
I probably won't keep the car much longer since a number of things are starting to fail, but I'd like to nurse it through the winter. The fluid hasn't been changed in a few years, nor the belts.
It could be low or just old fluid, or maybe the belt? But I don't hear any issues with the belt, no squealing. I looked in the reservoir and I can see some fluid. I bought some new fluid from Autozone - the one for Hondas although I doubt if it's original Honda fluid.
The writing on the reservoir says (on a cold engine) add fluid to the top when the fluid is below some line that I didn't see in the dark. So I actually cleaned out the garage and for the first time since I moved in 20 years ago, left the car in the garage overnight.
No problems this morning, but I suspect that it will be trouble this afternoon since it's 8F out.
Any ideas on what to do? Flush?
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4ax.com:

What kind of fluid is in there right now?
--
Tegger

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wrote:

I don't know. I would think Honda since I used to have them to the big maintainence projects, but I don't think it's been changed in a decade or so.
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OK.
But the fluid level ought not to drop so far as to go allow air into the system, even after 10-years. I suspect you have a fluid leak -- which likely means split boots.
If the boots are split, then you need a new rack to cure this once and for all.
If I were you, I'd go to the dealer and buy a pint of the real stuff (Genuine Honda PS Fluid). The aftermarket stuff you bought is not a good idea even though it's marketed as "Honda compatible", and may cause further damage.
Top-up the reservoir with Genuine Honda PS Fluid.. If the problem goes away, then just keep topping it up as the level drops. If the problem does NOT go away even with topped-up fluid, then you need a new rack.
--
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wrote:

I took it to the mechanic who flushed and filled it with Honda stuff. If it works, great, if not, all I need to do is have it limp along for a few months. There are also two oil leaks that showed up, one on the side of the timing belt and one near the transmission. The car looks like shit and doesn't drive all that well - I mean it gets me places but I'm starting to be concerned about the safety as it gets so old.
In all likelyhood I'm going to be moving to Florida in a few months, so I doubt that it's going to make the trip with me. There are lots of cars down there that folks give up because they can't drive or maybe breathe.
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On Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:45:36 PM UTC-5, dgk wrote:

Not sure if this is still the case, but there used to be a lot of classic cars in Florida. Lots of 1970s, 80s Cadillacs, etc.
Good luck, I hope the problem is solved with the fluid service.
If you decide to leave the car behind, the good news is that there is probably some High School kid who will jump on it to fix it up and make it good for a few more years to come. Even if they put "Mini Me" wheels on it. :)
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On Sun, 1 Feb 2015 10:19:16 -0800 (PST), "David E. Powell"

Thanks. This morning it was 10F out and it just barely started. I let it run a few minutes and the steering was fine. The car is really falling apart though. The seals around the windshield must be going because I'm getting ice forming on the inside of the window. That's pretty cool. Water leaks into the trunk from somewhere. And of course the more serious rack problem and oil leaks. But I'll give it to someone who will be happy with it.
I think I'd get about nothing if I donate it for a tax writeoff. I'd guess that any car that runs would be worth a thousand or so but it's so old that it isn't on the blue book any more! I just checked the sites and they only go back to 1992. Well, if it was 1992 it would be worth $900.
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wrote:

I wasted $70 flushing out the PS fluid but it didn't help. So it's something worse, and a rack sounds too expensive to fix, especially since there are also oil leak(s).
Hopefully it makes it another few months. Ah, the steering isn't going to suddenly stop working, is it?
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If it's been stable up to now, chances are it will stay that way for a long time.

It won't "stop working", but the boost may go away suddenly, making the car difficult to steer, like a very heavy manual steering. I'd be careful going around turns, and be ready for any sudden loss of boost.
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wrote:

Two hands on the wheel.
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