Jimm 7/29/2012First step -check the steering fluid level in the reservoir - make sure it's propely filled. Next step, check the power steering drive belt for slipping / wear / glazed spots. If worn, then replace the steering drive belt. Check the belt tensioner at the same time - replace as required.
Check the power steering system for leaking components - place a section of cardboard underneath the vehicle after driving to determine any particular leak point.
HouseCallAuto 7/29/2012Your HHR has electric power steering. Check the fuse for being open. That is about all you can do. Besides that, the system is diagnosed by attaching a professional shop grade scan tool to read the power steering fault codes and live data.