Steering wheel tightens, car turns off..?

I recently bought a manual '96 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS about three weeks ago. It stayed at the mechanic for a thorough check-up before I started taking it to college this week. Anyway...

Since I started driving it on Tuesday something weird has been happening to it. When I'm driving, the steering wheel stiffens and it makes it really hard to turn and all of the light on the dash (seatbelt, oil, battery, SRS, etc) light up and finally my car turns off. All I do is turn it back on and keep driving normally, but obviously this isn't normal so I would like to fix the problem.

At first I thought it was a little low on power steering fluid (because of the steering wheel tightening) so I added a little on Friday but the same thing happened.

The car got an oil change two weeks ago, power steering fluid, engine oil, and coolant have all been checked and the battery is new. Any suggestions to what the problem could be? I would greatly appreciate it.

4 Answers

  • Tony
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The first thing that came to my mind is the power steering pump may be dragging down the engine. Obviously when the motor stalls the lights will come on, but not the seatbelt lights. So this sounds a little weird. Or it could be a problem with the steering box (the gears that turn the wheels when you turn the steering wheel). There could be a valve issue going on causing back pressure to drag down the motor. But I would imagine the belt would slip before killing the motor.

    Take it back to the mechanic and ask them what they think. Obviously this can't be driven this way, it's not safe. Have the engine stall at a critical moment - say crossing railroad tracks - and you could end up in a very bad spot.

    Hope this helps.

    'av'a g'day mate.


  • 8 years ago


    Your probably going to a Low RPM and then stalling, that is why the steering is tightenng first.

    This probably has something to do with a Crank Sensor getting old, get your codes checked, this can be any number of sensors so just don't start changing parts, a code check will give a mech an idea where to look if this isn't a mechanical problem.

  • 8 years ago

    this sounds as if the vehicle is stalling ,and many reasons could be for that but i suspect a vac leak or a faulty or dirty idle control motor. if the engine does die you will be out power steering and the lights will come on until demands are met such as oil pressure so restarting it will meet those demands to turn the lights out.

    if the car has been serviced and air filters good plugs good , check for hoses that are cracked loose broken and if comfortable check the IAC idle air control ,

    they get carboned up after a few years and need replacing or they can be cleaned

    but it is not recomended and they are fairly cheap. thats what i would check first and they dont usually throw a fault code.

    Source(s): autoteh 30 years
  • 8 years ago

    sounds wierd....i do have a 1999 eclipse....but this has never happened to me tho.

    just take it to a mechanic, before anything else happens

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