Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Replace an Aztec Power Steering Pump

by Dan Ferrell

The engine on your Pontiac Aztec runs the power steering pump. This pump helps you easily steer the vehicle. But steering pumps may develop leaks and lose pressure because of worn out components. With a malfunctioning pump, you will have a hard time steering the vehicle. However, there are steps that you can take to replace a bad steering pump in 3.4L and 3.5L Aztec engine models.

Remove the Steering Pump

Turn the belt tensioner pulley counterclockwise on the 3.4L modeal. Use a breaker bar and a socket to rotate the center bolt on the tensioner pulley. If you have a 3.5L engine model, turn the pulley clockwise.

Slide the drive belt off the steering pump pulley.

Detach the black ground cable from the battery using a wrench.

Position a drain pan under the car in the direction of the steering pump hoses.

Move any wire brackets near the steering pump out of the way using a wrench or ratchet and socket, if necessary.

Disconnect the return hose from the power steering pump by loosening the clamp at the steering pump using a ratchet and socket. Then pull the hose off the pump and let the steering fluid drain into the pan.

Detach the pressure hose from the steering pump by unscrewing the retaining nut at the pump using a tube wrench. Let the steering fluid drain on the pan.

Unscrew the steering-pump mounting bolts using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Lift the power steering pump off the engine compartment.

Install the New Steering Pump

Position the new steering pump in place and start the mounting bolts by hand. Then tighten the bolts using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Attach the pressure hose to the steering pump by starting the retaining nut by hand. Then tighten the nut using the tube wrench.

Connect the return hose to the steering pump. Then tighten the clamp using the ratchet and socket.

Reinstall any wire brackets you had to remove using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Connect the black ground cable to the battery using a wrench.

Install the drive belt by turning the tensioner pulley counterclockwise using the breaker bar and socket. Then slide the belt over the steering pump pulley. If you have the Aztek 3.5L engine, turn the tensioner pulley clockwise.

Reinstall any wire brackets you had to remove form near the steering pump using the wrench or ratchet and socket.

Connect the black, ground cable to the battery using a wrench.

Bleed the Power Steering System

Refill the steering fluid reservoir with new steering fluid. Make sure the level reaches the Full Cold mark on the reservoir.

Raise the front of the vehicle using a floor jack until the front tires are off the ground. Then support the car on 2 jack stands.

Turn the ignition key to the On position but do not start the engine.

Turn the steering wheel fully from left to right 15 times.

Check the fluid level in the steering reservoir and add if necessary.

Lower the vehicle and start the engine. Turn the steering wheel and listen for steering noises. If you hear noises while turning the steering wheel, repeat steps 2 through 5 of the bleeding procedure to get rid of the air in the steering system. Turn off the engine.

Items you will need


About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of IFCAR at