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Steering Whine? What's That Noise in Your Car, SUV or Truck

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  1. step : No instructions needed (Mar 5 2020 11:24AM)
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Okay. So let's take a look under the hood here. We know what started making noise as soon as I started it up and I started turning the wheel. So I'm gonna go automatically to the power steering. And as I can tell, the fluid looks like it's very low. I'm gonna take a peek inside here and see if it's airy. Oh. Oh, yeah. Super aerated. Take a look at that.

So looking down in there, I can see a lot of aeration. That just basically means that the fluid was super low. It started pulling air down into where the pump is and then, of course, the pump impellers inside there are spinning around the fluid with the air and they're just making like this milky cream of air bubbles, and it's really bad. Depending on the length of time that this has been doing this for your particular vehicle, you may or may not have caused damage to your pump. Generally speaking, if this has only happened for a few seconds or maybe even a minute and you came out and you saw that your fluid was full and you topped it off, you're probably gonna be okay. If you went for a ride down the road, maybe a couple times during the week and it's still been making that noise and you just never got around to figuring it out, like I said, more than likely you damaged that pump, in which case I would replace the pump.

But before we do that, we wanna check underneath to see if we can find any leaks. We made our way underneath the vehicle and we're just gonna take a peek to see if we can find any fluid coming down. As I look around, I see something fairly obvious right here. We have a little power steering leak, looks like at that coupler where it connects the hose to the line, and then goes into the rack. And it's even coming down so much that it's dripping right there. A big drip just came down. But we're gonna continue looking. We wanna make sure that everything's good. Behind these bellows boots, there's gonna be a seal inside there. That's the rack seal. You can usually just take these off. I'll grab some cutters. This one's already been off. So just cut that off of there.

And I'm just gonna give that a little tug. We'll take a peek inside here. If you see a whole bunch of fluid come pouring out onto the ground, you know that there was a leak with right on this seal, right inside there. I'll pull it away so you can see. If you look right up in there where this rod goes into the power steering rack, if you see any fluid coming out and coming down, you know you have a leak, in which point we'd have to replace the whole power steering rack. This looks good. Make sure you put on another clamp or wire tie, whatever you can to make sure this stays sealed. Make sure you cut off the excess.

So we know the issue is known here. Of course, you would check the other side as well. And then, of course, you would follow your pressure line, check all these areas right along here. This looks great. I mean, as you could tell, it's pretty new. So that's awesome. Another place that you'd wanna look is, generally speaking, your vehicle may or may not have a power steering cooler. And if you do, it would generally be located somewhere up near the front, either in front of the AC condenser or in between the radiator and the AC condenser, depending on your vehicle's specific application. This one is located right up in between the radiator and the condenser. And I see absolutely no fluid coming out whatsoever. So I'm really not concerned about that. I'll come over here to the pump, take a look at that pump, and just make sure that the seal right where the pulley is isn't leaking. If it is, more than likely, it's gonna come down, it's gonna get all over your belt. It's gonna make a big old mess. You have where your lines go into the pump. Those are nice and dry. This right here comes from the reservoir. If that's wet, obviously that would be an issue. Everything right here looks pretty great. So pretty much the only leak that I happened to find so far is just this right here.

Okay. So in conclusion, if you have your power steering pump making that noise and it seemed like it just, just started, well, maybe you can probably go ahead and fix that leak that we happened to find, whether it's where ours was or maybe someplace out, down the line. You can go ahead and fill it up and bleed out the air, and more than likely your pump's gonna be okay. But, if you've been running it for a while and maybe you just didn't get around to checking out that noise and you let it keep making that noise as you drove back and forth to work for a week, now you bought yourself a brand new pump as well. Of course, when it comes time to doing your fluid service, if you're doing the pump or pretty much anytime you're replacing a line, it's always a great idea to make sure that you flush out the entire power steering system with the manufacturer-specified fluid. If you're just gonna be topping it off, I also recommend that you use your manufacturer specified fluid. For this particular application, it's just plain old ATF. People might wonder how come he's putting ATF inside of a power steering system? That's just the way it is in this vehicle. That's what they asked for, that's what I give them. And if you like this content, make sure you like, comment, and subscribe. And please, ring that bell, that way there, you can be up-to-date in all of our latest content. Thanks.

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