98' AEB 1.8t, 212k miles on the clock.
So I've been able to live with it for the past year or so, but after last night I just can't stand it anymore. ONLY WHEN COLD, my car has been making this intermittent squealing noise. It doesn't sound like a belt is slipping. And it is not RPM dependent somehow, yet it goes away under 25 mph, and when going off the throttle. What I suspect is the power steering pump:
1. Because the squeal goes away COMPLETELY when I'm turning, or moving the steering wheel back and forth.
2. Because the pump just sounds loud
3. I suspect the OEM manufacturer of the steering pump was NOT KYB I was expecting Koyo or ZF (with more lean towards the latter.)
4. After about 20-30 minute of driving it'll eventually subside, and go away completely.
What I've ruled out:
Viscous fan coupling and bearing, replaced fan and it's super smooth, bearing (amazingly) spins freely and doesn't feel "gritty" when rotated
Alternator (poor man's stethoscope)
A/C Compressor, which doesn't ever need to be run when it's 30 degrees out.
What could be it instead of the pump:
The accessory tensioners
A wheel bearing???
So can anyone describe the operation of the power steering pump in relation to engine RPM and speed? Is it clutched? Is the pump bearing itself serviceable? Could it be a lack of oil from a clog in the line restrictors? I'm just trying to get an idea for it. I hate squeals and thrills, they're the hardest to diagnose!! Unless I ride with the hood open, sitting atop of the engine with a friend driving, I don't know if I'll ever find it!
Thanks in advance!