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new power steering pump installed and bled, now no power steering

1675 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  John_E
hello. new to the site but have found it a valuable resource for a while now.

I was experiencing some moaning from my power steering pump last week. the fluid levels were good and i haven't noticed any leaking, so I swapped it out for a rebuilt pump. I put it in, bled the system several times over, put on a new serpentine belt, used the pentosin fluid (the green stuff), basically did everything by the book ( I think). when all was said and done I had NO power steering. at that point I figured it was a faulty pump (I had read that that can happen sometimes), so I exchanged it for another one and repeated the whole process to no avail. now I am out of ideas completely and I desperately do not want to pay some guy $100/hour to diagnose the problem.

it's probably not the rack, right? all that was happening before I replaced the pump was some moaning at low speeds and now...nothing. the steering wheel turns fine when the front end is jacked up. what are the chances of getting two dud pumps in a row? with the reservoir low on fluid I could see that the fluid was circulating through the system. does that mean the pump is fine and something else is going on? I would sure appreciate any pointers you guys might have. thanks! Ryan
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With the reservoir low on fluid I could see that the fluid was circulating through the system.
Was it pure-liquid fluid or foaming fluid? If it was foam, there is air running through the system.
air in power steering system

it does seem slightly bubbly when I first begin the bleed but then seems to clear up. wouldn't there be some leaking or noticeable loss of fluid if air was continually getting into the system?
thanks for your help!
I guess I'm asking how bad does a bad air leak have to be to render a ps pump totally useless? Wouldn't it be making noise if it was running with air in it?
Yes, typically it would be making a groaning sound if air was going through the pump with the fluid.

Was the fluid that came out VW mineral looking fluid? Have you had this car a long time or are you a new owner?
(wondering if the PO mixed in a concoction of fluids and hurt the rack?)
@ steve in Chicago-

I've had the car for a little over a year. I do think the fluid that was in there from the previous owner was probably not the green stuff, although it was basically just black so I'm not really even sure. when I first started getting the noise I flushed it out and filled it with pentosin. the noise continued so I swapped out the pump. The reason I would think it is not the rack is that I had power steering before I started messing with it. what are the chances that the rack would conk out in the same few days I changed pumps (while I wasn't even driving the car)?
I'm not a power steering expert but maybe a new pump with good output was the last straw to blow the seals in a rack already compromised by the wrong type of fluid? (Wild guessing with absolutely nothing to back it up)

Bump for someone who knows this system better.
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Thanks, Steve! sounds like a solid theory to me, but wouldn't I be leaking fluid? I have no immediately visible leakage.
Rack and pinion? Don't change that your self. Its worse than swapping an engine lol. Might have air built up in there somewhere. Bleed and repeat. Also the rack has a input and return line on it that you can pull off the return line fill the fluid till it pours out then re-attach. That may solve your issue. Hope I helped a bit.
On the older V6 engines the PS pump sits higher than the reservoir. If the supply hose and pump are empty, the pump would have trouble drawing a hard enough vacuum to prime itself with fluid.
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