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Astra G Electric Power steering Fix

Jul 5, 2017
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Helston Cornwall
Hi all, I'm going to post this here on the MK3 site as I know there's one or two that have or 'have had the MK4 Astra G and as this is a common problem to the model I'm hoping it will help somebody in the future. My power steering pump decided to spit its dummy out just over a month ago and began making strange noises shortly afterwards it well and truly threw its toys out of the pram and stopped working altogether. The wife was out in it at the time and had to get the AA to bring her back home on tow behind the van after which it sat outside feeling sorry for itself for a couple of weeks until I got around to looking into the issue.

After carefully reading through the Haynes manual and doing some searching and reading online it seemed the only way to fix this/get the pump off was to jack it up undo the entire subframe and drop it just to get access to the offending item :Cry::frusty: Being the stubborn sort I immediately thought "NOT B***dy HAPPENING" so after waiting for a break in the weather I went out set out my tools got out the axle stands and trolley jack and got stuck in ...which initially involved popping the bonnet then standing there for a while looking at it and cursing :frusty:

After reconciling myself to the fact it wasn't going to fix itself I came up with a "plan of action" and set about putting it into practice 'before I go any farther let me just say 'do not be put off undertaking this fix it IS POSSIBLE to do this WITHOUT dropping the subframe ... its a bit of a pig to do but it IS possible. Firstly if you don't have your radio code written down before doing anything else turn on your radio and find its code and write it down somewhere safe for later on.

Time to get stuck in ... pop the bonnet and take off your battery 'then remove the battery tray (you need to give yourself some room to work and manoeuvre) once this is off go to the fuse box and remove the lid once removed take out the 80amp power steering fuse then remove and separate the two or three pin wire connector block on the front of the box (this is the two or three pin connection from the electric pump). Once this has been removed 'carefully/gently grip and pull upwards the white plastic part of the fuse box that is the live connection from the pump for the 80amp fuse and slide it out of its seat.

After sliding out the live connection prize away (carefully so they don't break) the little plastic clips that hold the fuse box on its bracket now you've done that carefully pull it up and off the bracket and move it to one side. Once you've done this undo the thick Brown Earth connection coming from the electric pump motor from the top of the inner wing once disconnected you will have undone all the connections coming from the pump.

You now need to undo the 13mm nut that sits to the rear of the fuse box on the bracket (find a plastic tub for all the nuts and bolts so you don't lose them) you now need to undo the two 13mm nuts that hold the bracket for the relay box (one on each side bottom front) when these are undone find the two 13mm bolts that hold up the bracket for the brake line servo/pump unit (bit fidgety to get at) there's one in back and one in front that face upwards.

Once all the nuts and bolts have been removed you will be able to GENTLY/CAREFULLY move the brake pipe servo/pump unit to one side to help give you the room you will need to actually get at the power steering pump. NOW this needs to be noted ... my car is a 1999 1.8 16 valve Astra G and as such had the original Generation 1 pump on it 'these pumps are RENOWNED for going' even when they have been reconditioned so the only way to fix this is to fit the Generation 2 pump along with its bracket and the lines from the pump to the steering rack as the connections are different on the pump side.

The difference here is the connections coming from the Gen 2 pump are different from the Gen 1 pump "the Gen 1 pump has a two pin connection (Black = Ignition wire - Blue with white tracer = Alternator wire) - "The Generation 2 pump has a "three pin connection "Black = Ignition wire - Slightly different shade of blue with white tracer = Alternator wire AND a Brown wire which is for the diagnostics side of things. On reconnecting this I found that even though my original connection had been a 2 pin my actual harness connections had the third Brown for the diagnostics side already in situ so it was simply a case of plug and play so all good :thumb:

A lot of this is VERY fidgety in getting your hands in places to get at nuts n bolts etc and can be quite frustrating and annoying so after you've done so much go make a brew have a butty and take five :rolleyes: I took about a week to do mine as I had to go get replacement goodies from the breakers .. which cost me a grand total of £15 .. for everything needed ... BONUS:bounce: NOW getting to the nuts that hold on the power steering motor is a bit of a pig I had to jack it up get the axle stands under it then climb under it with the ratchet couple of extension bars a 10mm socket and a floppy end ( I mean the attachment you put on the extension bars before putting on the socket to get in awkward places before anyone says owt :biggrin:)

Good idea to have a torch with you as well so you can see/get a good idea of where the nuts are you need to get off on the Gen 1 pump I think there's five of them 2 in back 2 at the side and 1 in front (forgot to mention its a good idea to have a bowl under the car for when you take off the feed and return lines from the pump or you'll have steering fluid everywhere).

Once off undo all the retaining ties that hold the wiring from the pump to the inner wing etc then pull the wiring down from where it was routed (PAY ATTENTION to where it's routed for when you come to put the new pump's wiring back) once undone get back under the car and undo the clip that holds the wiring on the underneath of the pump and pull the wiring down and through but again PAY ATTENTION to how its routed.

All you have to do now is persuade the pump to come out past the brake pipes which is an A*se of a job its a REAL tight fit but as you've undone the brake pipe servo/pump unit and its bracket you DO have some movement to play with .. not a whole hell of a lot but you do have 'some. Be careful when you're removing the pump I dislodged a metal clip off the top of the gearbox and had to look in the manual to see where it had come from.

Once the pump has been removed you then need to undo the two 13mm side bolts and the 18mm rear bolt that hold the pump bracket in place. It should be noted that the end 13mm on the right is located on a slotted fixture you undo/loosen the nut then slide the bracket to the right to free the square ended nut from its holding position and 'then lift out the bracket.

If you are replacing the Gen 1 pump with the Gen 2 pump the pump feed lines to the steering rack will also need to be changed out for the Gen 2 lines THIS is a REAL fiddly job you MUST take note of how they are routed before removal to get the new ones in position correctly and only remove ONE at a time "remove one fit its replacement then rove the other and fit its replacement. The Gen 2 pipes are a slightly different shape/angle where they go into the rack/bottom of the column and this in itself can be a REAL pain in the rear end to do as the angle of the dangle is really tight .. but I did it so it's doable ;)

Once the lines are in place getting the GEN 2 pump and its bracket in place past the brake pipes is a whole lot easier than having to refit a Gen 1 pump but you still have to get underneath to get at the 10mm pump retaining nuts to fix it in place. Once that's done refit the feed and return lines reroute the wires so they sit where you need them to be and simply repeat the strip down process in reverse and put everything back connecting the wires lastly and putting the fuse back in just prior to reconnecting the battery.

Once back together fill the power steering unit to level start the car and bleed by turning the steering from lock to lock left to right at least three or four times then repeat if you feel it necessary once your sure it feels good check the fluid level and top up as it WILL have dropped THEN take it for a 15 to 20 minute drive.

THIS IS IMPORTANT only AFTER I'd disconnected the battery I found out that the ECU on these cars then reverts back to its factory settings and therefore has to relearn the best settings for the running of the car as in best Idol speed and speed settings at higher revs etc so you have to take it through the box up to and over 3500rpm .. I took mine up to about 6000rpm just to be sure. The car performed as normal on the drive so all good but thought I'd better mention it don't go too far on your test drive or drive for longer than 20 minutes or so as your power steering level WILL DROP SUFFICIENTLY mine was as good as empty on getting back so had to be refilled so make a point of checking and refilling yours on return.

That about covers it I think if you have any questions do please ask .. hope this helps someone .. specially after writing all that it took AGES :thumb:
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