The condition may stem from water intrusion in the steering gear input shaft that is freezing and/or causing corrosion. To correct the problem, check for water and corrosion at the power steering gear pinion housing. Note that a small amount of rust (one or two spots) is normal.
If water intrusion or more than a couple of rust spots are found, replace the intermediate steering shaft boots (seals) and the steering gear.
Caption: Excessive corrosion on a steering gear input shaft can cause difficult steering.