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Hard Turning Whining Diagnose Power Steering in Your Car Truck SUV

Created on: 2020-11-28

If your steering wheel is hard to turn, especially when still, or you hear an awful whining when you turn the wheel, it's time to diagnose the power steering system in your car, truck or SUV

We have a Buick Enclave with a power steering issue. In this video, we're gonna be going over the possible problems and how to fix them.

So when I'm not moving at all, it's extremely hard to turn the wheel back and forth. And you can actually hear the whining of the pump itself. As I accelerate a little bit, you hear a little more whine. It's easier to move once I'm driving. But definitely, when I come to a stop, or it's very slow, there's no assist at all.

The first thing I want to do is check the power steering fluid level. The cover right here is gonna cover up where the fluid is. Just take this filler cap off. Pull this cover off, and that's where the reservoir is. Just wipe the reservoir off if there's any dust on there. Take a rag and just check. I'm gonna wipe the dipstick first and double-check it. Now, I'll take a look at where the fluid is. Now, there's a min line right there, which is where the fluid level is, and a max line.

Now, the fact that the fluid's right at the min line doesn't really concern me that the fact that there's a major leak. You still want to check for leaks because you don't know who topped off the fluid last. Someone could've topped it off last week and it's already gone down to the min line. So after this, check for leaks. If it was way down, you know there's a leak, and you gotta find where that's leaking from. If it's a little high, it's still a good idea to check for leaks, so not only the level of the fluid but the condition of the fluid.

So you wanna see if there's any bubbles in the fluid, or if it's aerated, or milky at all. Then there could be something wrong with the system. Whether there's air getting into the system, or there wasn't enough fluid, and it's causing it to foam up. So, while we're still above the vehicle and with the hood open, you can just take a quick look. See if any of the lines that come off the reservoir are wet. I don't see anything right there.

There's a power steering line right here. That doesn't look wet. And it looks like there's a little bit of moisture over here, but we can check that from underneath. So this looks okay from up top. So, we wanna check out the common areas where there could be fluid leaks. Now, that hose leaks right there. Now, it looks like there's a little bit of moisture on that hose. That hose should definitely be replaced in the near future. But it does not look like it's dripping on the ground.

And the steering rack itself also, you wanna check that. See around the fittings where the lines go in. That's dry. Over near the bellow boots, you wanna take a look at the boots themselves. If they look like they're swollen at all, if they're, like, pressed out and then, you sometimes can see almost, like, a watermark at the bottom of the boot, most likely there's fluid inside there, and that's leaking from inside the rack. The only way to fix that is to replace the rack.

So not as common, but there's a low-pressure power steering line that comes from the rack and goes over here, right here. Now there's no fluid leaking outta there. And then, it goes upfront to a cooler that's in front of the radiator. And I don't see any fluid in this area. And I can see the two hoses right there, and that looks good. And then, it goes up to the reservoir. And now, we'll look at the power steering pump. And, as you can see, there is fluid actually coming out of the pump.

So, in our case, we're gonna have to replace that pump. But if you hadn't found any fluid, and you were still having a issue, most likely, the problem is gonna be in the pump. Another thing you want to think about is the tension on the belt. If the belt tensioner isn't putting a lot of tension, it could be slipping over the pump itself. And that would cause a lack of power steering. Also, if you go through a puddle and water gets on this, that could cause a lack of power steering as well.

Another thing to think about is your tire pressures. You wanna make sure your tires are properly inflated, or that's gonna put a lot of strain on that power steering system and can cause some issues. Now if you replaced any of those components you're gonna have air in the system, and it's gotta be bled out properly. Now, we actually made a video on how to bleed these systems in the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia. Check that out. That'll be in the description.

To prevent some power steering issues, it is a good idea to flush that fluid out once in a while. You don't need to do it all the time, and it's probably not gonna fix a problem if you're already at that point. So for this Enclave, we're gonna end up putting a power steering pump in and flushing all that dirty fluid out. And that should fix our problem. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you subscribe to our channel. Ring the bell, so you don't miss any of our videos.

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