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New power steering pump making subtle noise?

This is a discussion on New power steering pump making subtle noise? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Well as the title states my new steering pump is making a subtle whine when turning and accelerating. Is this ...

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    New power steering pump making subtle noise?

    Well as the title states my new steering pump is making a subtle whine when turning and accelerating. Is this common? My old pump was making a loud whinning noise before replacing. It was due to a leak so I replaced the pressure line and while i was at it I threw in a new pump. The noise is deffinatly quieter than before but I still hear a subtle whine will turning and hitting the gas at the same time. I bled the pump for air, and also ran new fluid to it. Should i flush and refill again? Is there a link on how to properly bleed the pump for air? or should I simply get a new pump? I know this is a lot of question but would hate to mess something up. Thank you all for the help in advanced.

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    MEMBER 5150's Avatar
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    I usually jack the front end up. Put some jack stands underneath it. Start up the car and turn the wheel from lock to lock several times. This has always gotten all the air out for me. If you haven't try that and see if it quiets down.
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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Where did you get the re-man pump from? I've quit buying parts from Autozone because their pumps/starters have fail half the time on me just by coming out of the store.

    Whine could be from a couple of other things....like serpentine belt and pulley placement.

    If the belt is worn or has cracks time to change out.

    Pulley placement - if it is not placed on just right it adds tension on the belt and can cause premature wear and squealing. If you look at the belt from the drivers side, look to see if it twists a little. If so then the pulley isn't completely seated.

    To bleed the air out - It's best to have the front wheels off the ground on jack stands or lift but you can do it on the ground if needed. Take the cap off and while the car is running turn the wheels from stop to stop. May take several minutes and quite a few turns. Having a 2nd person helps so that that they are turning the wheel while you look at the fluid in the reservoir. If you have air you'll see bubbles in the fluid. Keep turning until you quit seeing the bubbles. If they are very small, I usually turn off the car wait about 10 mins and then try again. If you keep having small bubbles in the fluid you might be having a leak some where in the system. It could be an o ring or even the rack & pinion. Look for leaks.

    I've also had some pumps that whine a few trips but then settle down after they break in.


    hope this helps.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    Power steering cap on or off? I will try it for sure.

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    cap off. you may also have to add fluid. be careful not to over fill.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    Ok i was doing it with the cap off and was having fluid bubble over. Is this a sign that there was a lot of air in there because I stoped thinking I needed to put the cap on. But if I have to I can put a large pan underneath to cath fluid and just dump new on in. I double checked pulley and since I was already taking off the belt I went ahead and replaced it. Pump was bought at Oreilly's for I dislike Autozone myself.

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    use something like a turkey baser and remove some of the excess fluid. The fluid level should be about half way full of the reservoir. Fluid overflowing will make the belt squeal too.


    Also try and I mean try very hard to not let it soak the alternator. The way that the PS pump is position over the alternator allows the fluid to leak on it and is the #1 reason it kills it.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    I put car up on jacks bled are air out and still making a subtle wine on turns. How long do I give it to "break" in until I trade it out for another one?

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    Ok when the car is at idle and I tie the wheels left and right it makes no noise until I lightly bump the locks but if I accelerate that's when the noise comes in. Even at idle the noise is there. Starting to believe the whine is something else.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    quite possible.

    Do you know how/what an automotive stethoscope is?

    Cost around $10. Use the probe end and touch each pulley & tensioner while the car is running. You should be able to tell the difference between normal sounds and the one that is squealing. It will sound much louder.


    Now if you have a very long screw driver or like item you can do the same thing by carefully pressing it on each pulley tensioner and have it next to you ear.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    would a long piece of tubing work? I am wondering if the the alt. since the power steering was leaking and it did get fluid all over it before I changed it out. I removed the alt and cleaned it as best as I could, but maybe it was too late. I just know the whine is different when when it was the steering pump. That went away as soon as I replaced it. Sitting at idle I can hear the whine lightly but when i open the throttle by hand and stand near the steering pump it sounds from that general area. I will try your suggestion when I get home. Appreciate it Smw6ta.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ws6islife View Post
    Ok when the car is at idle and I tie the wheels left and right it makes no noise until I lightly bump the locks but if I accelerate that's when the noise comes in. Even at idle the noise is there. Starting to believe the whine is something else.
    Sounds like it could be the belt or one of the pulleys. I also had a whine when turned and I changed the differential fluid and it went away.
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    Signs the alternator is going are: needle on the cluster is bouncing around, low charge or none at all.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    will check with my mulitmeter what its reading under load and under idle. That should rule that out. I will try maybe flushing and changing fluid on power steering pump. What do you guys reccomend. And how many quarts do i need?

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    well pretty sure I got a bad pump. I can hear it while driving also, Its not any pulley, for sure not the alt. All i can think about is a bad pump. Going to drain the whole ps system, replace pump put new fluid in. I checked cooling system and Its nice and orange how it should be. So no leaks into the cooling system. All new lines so no way the pump is sucking air, even if there was when I go to bleed for air no bubbles of any sort come up.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Sounds like a noisey pump. You still could have a noisey bearing somewhere, on the alt, or the tensioner, or somewhere eles. Did you ever try the stethoscope? Belts usually make a squealing/chirp sound, not a whine. Could be that your old pump was so noisey that it covered up the other problem. Also, a new PS pump can be a bit noisey until break in is over, ~500 miles.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    I don't have one so I used a piece of tubbing. All pulleys sounded fine. The whine you can hear at idle lightly but if you turn the wheel left or right and manually hit the throttle you can hear it. It's very loud.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    Ok so today upon leaving for work there is something new, its a chirp along with the whine. More than likely belt tensioner and belt. Would both of those issues be related in any way? Is it possible that once I change belt and tensioner both issues will go away?

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    It couldn't hurt to take it back and tell 'em it is bad pump.

    Changing belt/tensioner = this is a yes/no answer. If they are bad then yes it will go away, if they are not the issue then.......

    That is why I suggested the stethoscope, it can pinpoint noise when it comes to pulley/tensioner noise.

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    2002 Arctic White T/A Ws6islife's Avatar
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    I will listen to pulleys again to double check. I will be removing both belts and cheking tensioner pullies and see if they have proper drag also. Might do a bit of belt dressing to test belt and maybe some wd40 on pulleys after checking them with a stethoscope to see what pulley quiets down and needs replaced.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also will be taking pump back just because its under warranty so might as well go for fresh pump and fluids.

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