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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently when started in cold weather my power steering is very noisy when turning. Seems to be getting worse. Fluid level has always been good but looks dirty. Is this a symptom of pump failure or could there be other problems? Is there a procedure for changing/flushing the power steering fluid? Lots of miles on this car, just turned 389,000 :) and never touched the power steering. Help please not sure what to attack this weekend.
 

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the pump is likely shot. be prepared to replace the rack at the same time. if you are going that route, I'd go ahead and replace the hoses, as well.

it owes you nothing if it has that many miles on it! :thumbup:
 

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A trusted local German car indy, upon learning that I change the ATF and coolant every few years, suggested that I also change the PS fluid periodically, to make the pump and rack last longer. (He knows I do a lot of DIY, so there is not an upsell buried in this recommendation.)
 

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I used Pentosin CHF 11S when I changed my PS fluid a couple years ago.

As for pump noise, it comes with the territory (Saginaw vane pump). Mine's been noisy at low rpm (below ~1,500) for the past 7-8 yrs, even after fresh fluid.

Side note on the PS flush: Forget using a golf tee to plug the reservoir...unless you can afford to let 1/2 quart (~$18 worth) of fluid drain onto your garage floor.
 

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Start with Tom's recommendation about hose clamps. The pump will draw in air if even a tiny opening, often at the clamp nearest the pump. Right after hearing the PS noise, quickly open the reservoir to inspect the surface of the fluid. If foam, then an air leak. The air leak if present can also be at the pump itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Found that the Power Steering Pump bearings were trashed and the seal was gone. That was where it was sucking air. Replaced with a re-manufactured and new fluid. Purrs like a kitten! Good for another couple hundred thou....
 

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Mine started whining and making my fluid level overflow with foam.
It turns out the bearings were shot as the pulley was pretty much wobbling.

New pump from Advance Auto with some Pentosin CHF-11S from Pep Boys did the trick.

Make sure to do a proper flush to get rid of all your old dirty brown fluid. Replace it with the new minty green fluid and your steering will be renewed.
Might want to jack both ends into the air so you can easily turn your steering wheel back and forth to bleed the system.
 
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