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Discussion Starter #1
After about 275 miles, we were all set to take off on our first major road trip to a waterpark in NH. We could hear a whinning noise, that seemed to get louder when the car idled or when the steering wheel was turned to take a corner. We decided to head to the Honda dealership before we left town "just in case".

First let me say that Darling's Honda in Bangor, Maine has the BEST service department that I have ever encountered. We pulled in without an appointment & I ran in & told the service manager what the sound was & "would you just listen to it to make sure it's nothing major." He promptly did & discovered that the power steering fluid container was empty. He filled it up & told me to bring the car back in when I returned.

If you hear a whinning sound - don't ignore it. It started off faint & initially I thought I was being overly sensitive to potential noises. Nothing indicated a leak....I'll update if a problem is detected or if this was just a fluke.
 

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Fluid does not disapear

Fluid does not disapear!
It either was not filled or leaked.
Either way, I would keep a receipt from Honda indicating which of these "Factory Defects" was present on your car, just incase you have steering problems shortly after the warentee expires.
P.S. Not trying to scare you as since you took it in early, I doubt there is an issue, but better safe than sorry.
 

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Fill it up and keep an eye on it. I had a Probe in '93 that had a leaking washer fluid reservoir. Being plastic the mold was just never completed. Personally I don't see how they dealer could have missed it if they filled it. The first time I did it my white sneakers were blue!

If the power steering fluid is not running out then N_Jay is right they probably never filled it to start with. I would also have them check to be sure all hoses are properly connect.
 

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Re: Fluid does not disapear

N_Jay said:
Fluid does not disapear!
It either was not filled or leaked.
I have to second that. Out 94 Civic and 96 Tacoma PS fluid levels have never dropped since day one. Get it checked out ASAP.
 

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It must have leaked, if never filled at the factory I don't think you'd have had power steering! That would have been real obvious:eek:

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We wondered how it could be dry as well. It seems as though we would have noticed a big problem before the first 275 miles if it had been empty.

I had the front bumper garnish, lower chrome garnish, and fog lights installed....I wonder if something happened to drain the fluid during that process. In any event, I'll be keeping a close eye on it & will be taking the Pilot in for a check up within a day or two.

Thanks for the replys!
 

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Thank you Tasha

I started to get the exact same whinning sound at 1773 miles, read your post, and checked my steering fluid. Sure enough, there was hardly any fluid in the reservoir - barely covering the line to the power steering pump.

I had no sign of leaking anywhere (even after looking at it on the rack). It looks like the dealer never correctly topped off the fluid during PDI. I had the dealer correctly top the fluid and all is well - for now.

Does anyone know how much reduced lifespan Tasha and I should expect from our power steering pumps?

Tasha - thanks again for your post - I probably would have waited several more days to take it in had you not posted. I would recommend everyone take a quick look at their steering fluid level to avoid the possible inconvenience of running into the same problem.
 

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Look at and smell the fluid

If it is red and does not smell burnt, all should be ok.
If it has a brown color and smellsa bit burnt, then have the fluid changed.
Either way, I would not wory about long term issuse, but get a explaination from the dealer who PDI'ed the Pilot just in case.
 

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If it is red it is the wrong fluid...:rolleyes:..Honda PS fluid is about the color of new motor oil.

Al
 

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Sorry

Your right, Im wrong, even noticed that when I put the cooler on!
:D
 

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Thanks for the Post

Thanks for the post, Tasha. Something else to keep an eye on during periodic fluid checks. Going on 2 1/2 months, 2.500 miles on my Pilot and ps fluid level steady at max line. I can't ever recall any vehicle I've ever owned routinely needing additional power steering fluid so I too suspect someone either missed something or there is something amiss with the units affected.
 

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Me too...

picked up my Pilot Sat the 31st of Aug. LOVE THAT PILOT; but...at 60 miles I started to get that groaning noise from the power steering. Kind of like when you turn the wheel too far to one side and hold it there. Then, when I got home I notice the pump itself was chattering and clacking. The fluid was above the minimum level line on the resevoir. Bummer. Am on my way now to the dealership. Will keep you posted.:(
 

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Back from the dealership

and the power steering pump is toast. Of course Dealer didn't have one; but is having one overnighted and will replace tomorrow(if I'm lucky). Service advisor didn't even have to let the technician listen to it, it was so obvious.

First experience with the service dept of this dealer. Since I only got the Pilot on Saturday, this is waaaaaay earlier than I wanted to be introduced to my friendly service advisor. The dealer will take me to work and pick me up after; but no loaner. Oh well, maybe I'll get lucky and this will be the ONLY problem.;)
 

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Did the pump fall apart?

If there was any contamination in the system, I would have it noted on the work order just in case you have steering issues later.
 

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Not exactly fall apart....

but it is grinding and growling. It grinds all the time and growls when you turn the wheel and put pressure on the system. The Service Advisor said they will evacuate, flush and refill the system when they put on the new pump. As I told the Service Advisor, I hate this; but at least I know what it is, it is easily replaced and it happened under warranty.:eek:
 

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Follow up on Power Steering Pump

Turns out it wasn't the pump after all. It seems that when the dealership installed the power steering cooler as part of the tow package they allowed a lot of air into the system and failed to bleed and refill the system before completing the project. This resulted in air pockets that prohibited the fluid from circulating properly and the pump was trying to pump air and not fluid. For all of you that are planning on either doing this yourself or having the dealer install the cooler make sure the system is not full of air when completed.:3:
 

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How the heck did they do that?

I don't know how they got enough air in to cause a problem if they followed the instructions.
The system should self blead any air when you turn the wheel all the way to one side then back all the way to the other then recheck the fluid level (per the instructions).

Hmmm, maybe they did not FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS?

RE: the tire pressure post; wonder how well they did the PDI?
 

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Thanks N_Jay and copilot.

I had similar problems with the power steering pump. After about 2000 mi on our Pilot, I had the tow package installed. Next day I'm hearing extraneous engine noises that weren't there before, and over the next couple of days, it just keeps getting louder. Checked under the hood this morning and determined that the power steering pump was the source and figured it had to be related to the newly installed power steering cooler that comes with the tow package. Checked the forum, and after reading about copilot's experience, I found the installation instructions for the entire tow package elsewhere on the web and just like you said N_Jay, they include the steps of turning the steering wheel lock to lock several times, check the power steering fluid level, repeat, etc. So I top up the reservior (they had left it at the minimum line), do the lock to lock stuff, and take it for a test drive. Lo and behold, no more pump noise. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but hopefully problem solved. Thanks again guys, you saved me a couple of trips to the dealer.
 

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I would still go to the dealer

Just for the satisfaction of getting a service ticket the admits the dealer DID NOT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
copilot~

I too had the problem AFTER I had the towing package installed. I guess I was lucky that the pump wasn't "toast".

I hope they are treating you well during your "inconvenience courtesy of them".

Tasha
 
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