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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This sound just recently started. I also noticed the steering is a little heavier. Nothing is leaking. What might this be? The joys of owning an older car I guess.

 

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Power steering pump?

What does the PS fluid look like?
 

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If I had to hazard a guess I would guess either a failing PS pump or a failing steering gear assembly. Did it just start suddenly or did it go from a small whine/noise to what it is now?

If you're like me you may not know, as the radio/entertainment system is always on in my vehicle.

I do agree it sounds expensive. The two times I have had failing PS pumps they were proceeded by a high pitched whine, not a grumble like that. Hopefully it won't be too serious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I
If I had to hazard a guess I would guess either a failing PS pump or a failing steering gear assembly. Did it just start suddenly or did it go from a small whine/noise to what it is now?

If you're like me you may not know, as the radio/entertainment system is always on in my vehicle.

I do agree it sounds expensive. The two times I have had failing PS pumps they were proceeded by a high pitched whine, not a grumble like that. Hopefully it won't be too serious.
I’m assuming it’s the rack? A failing pump would be wining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How old is the accessory drive belt and tensioner?
Why would that cause it to groan?
the belt was replaced about 10,000 miles ago when the timing belt was replaced. I’m thinking it must be the power steering rack or something
 

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Can you have someone turn the wheel while you listen with a mechanics stethoscope? Think about anywhere there is a joint or something that can turn. Strut top bearings, steering rack, power steering pump, maybe even the tie rod ends. I’d look at the strut tops though and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can you have someone turn the wheel while you listen with a mechanics stethoscope? Think about anywhere there is a joint or something that can turn. Strut top bearings, steering rack, power steering pump, maybe even the tie rod ends. I’d look at the strut tops though and go from there.
Thanks for that suggestion. I’ll do that. The steering rack was replaced by the previous owner about 50k miles ago so I sure hope it isn’t that but apparently aftermarket racks fail frequently. I can live with a noise for quite a while if the alternative is a $2000 repair.
 

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Thanks for that suggestion. I’ll do that. The steering rack was replaced by the previous owner about 50k miles ago so I sure hope it isn’t that but apparently aftermarket racks fail frequently. I can live with a noise for quite a while if the alternative is a $2000 repair.
Call me optimistic but I’m not real convinced it’s the rack yet. Honestly I’d expect a bit more “grit” to the sound if it was.. plus I think leaks are more the common cause for rack replacement than the gears failing...

Id just go slow and just figure out where the sound is coming from, I think it’s more likely the pump / fluid or the strut top bearings or something along those lines.

Keep us posted a good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Call me optimistic but I’m not real convinced it’s the rack yet. Honestly I’d expect a bit more “grit” to the sound if it was.. plus I think leaks are more the common cause for rack replacement than the gears failing...

Id just go slow and just figure out where the sound is coming from, I think it’s more likely the pump / fluid or the strut top bearings or something along those lines.

Keep us posted a good luck.
Thank you! I will investigate this weekend.
 

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Let’s start at basics. check PS fluid condition and whether the o rings are bad. No harm getting a bottle of ps fluid from the dealer and at least emptying the reservoir and putting in new.
If you can, lift both wheels off the ground and turn the wheel. Sound still there?
 

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Why would that cause it to groan?
the belt was replaced about 10,000 miles ago when the timing belt was replaced. I’m thinking it must be the power steering rack or something
Perhaps the belt is slipping - but less likely now that you mention it was replaced 10K miles ago.
Then, again, you recently posted about an oil burning smell, so it's possible that the belt has become contaminated, causing it to slip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Perhaps the belt is slipping - but less likely now that you mention it was replaced 10K miles ago.
Then, again, you recently posted about an oil burning smell, so it's possible that the belt has become contaminated, causing it to slip.
I’ll check it out but the oil leak seems to be coming from a different location. And the belt isn’t squeaking.
 

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Get the weight off the front wheels and turn the wheel lock to lock again. As others have stated... doesn't sound like a failing pump to me. If it still makes the noise, it's most likely confined to the rack or some sort of bearing in the column. Otherwise, it's probably in your suspension (strut tops, wheel bearings, etc).

-Jon
 

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The noise just went away yesterday, not sure why.
I will jack the car up this weekend. Been super busy.
Easiest fix ever then :) If it makes you feel any better ours has some weird transmission thing it’s done at random since new. Once every year or so you’ll start it warm and put it in drive. Instead of instantly engaging drive it makes bad mechanical noises and shakes for about 2 seconds then engages drive as normal. Dealer updated the software and that took it from happening every few months to about once a year now. No idea, but doesn’t seem to be getting worse or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Easiest fix ever then :) If it makes you feel any better ours has some weird transmission thing it’s done at random since new. Once every year or so you’ll start it warm and put it in drive. Instead of instantly engaging drive it makes bad mechanical noises and shakes for about 2 seconds then engages drive as normal. Dealer updated the software and that took it from happening every few months to about once a year now. No idea, but doesn’t seem to be getting worse or anything.
Haha yep those are my favorite kinds of fixes. I got used to the noise so if it comes back I may just leave it alone for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@briantii The car was jacked up yesterday and I forgot to turn the wheel to see if the sound went away. It is back but a little quieter. I changed the PS fluid so I will see if that helps...but I doubt it’ll make a difference.
 
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