Pontiac Power Steering Pump
The Pontiac power steering pump is powered by centrifugal force. Because it has to turn in order to function, it has a shaft which requires a polymer seal to hold the hydraulic fluid in place. It is this seal that will rupture in time causing this component to fail.
When the seal ruptures on your power steering pump, the Pontiac driver might not notice it at first. The effects of the fluid leaking out will not be apparent since the fluid will be coming from the reservoir and not the conduits that transport the pressurized fluid to where it is needed. Most of the time the first indication there is a problem is when a puddle of hydraulic fluid is noticed under the vehicle where the power steering pump is located. There will also be fluid on the back side of the pulley attached to the pump.
At first, most Pontiac owners will just fill the reservoir of the power steering pump up. This will delay the need to replace this steering component, but for only a limited amount of time. The longer the leak is present, the more the fluid will leak in terms of volume.
Once the hydraulic fluid is depleted from the reservoir of the Pontiac power steering pump, air will replace it in the system and its effects will be felt in the steering wheel. This will be with a stiffness in the wheel when the vehicle is being maneuvered. If the power steering pump is not replaced on your Pontiac, then the ability of a driver to maneuver the vehicle will be severely hampered. The steering wheel will actually be harder to turn than a manual steering system.