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Power steering whining


epricedright

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My power steering is whining all the time. It doesn't seem to get much louder when I turn the wheel. It's not too obnoxious sounding...but should I plan on that being my next repair project? Is that a sure tell sign it's going out or would a flush maybe help? Thanks in advance for any input!

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as far as the power steering goes, there is only so many problems that could erupt. when someone last added power steering fluid they either, A. put the wrong fluid in, B. added dirty fluid into the system/or just dirt, C. it needs to be adjusted(over time things wear and tear, especially after the 100k mark), D needs to be replaced, E. all the above.

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So is the o-ring an easy fix or should I plan on replacing the unit when the noise becomes unbareable? I saw a pump for around $50.00 @ rockbottom.com Are they hard to replace myself and what's the typical labor cost to R&R a pump? Are there any adjustments that can be made besides belt tension? The fluid level is right w/ no apparent leaks. It sounds similiar to a power steering pump that's low on fluid, but it's not. :( Do you think a fluid change would be in order first?

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your pump is going bad - had the same thing happened on mine then it started throwing fluid all over the engine compartment. This is an easy job. One bolt if I remember correct, the bolt is on the top on the side of the pump, once that is removed the pump comes out easy. Assuming this is a Northstar.

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My power steering is whining all the time.  It doesn't seem to get much louder when I turn the wheel.  It's not too obnoxious sounding...but should I plan on that being my next repair project?  Is that a sure tell sign it's going out or would a flush maybe help?  Thanks in advance for any input!

That was the first thing I was going to ask, does it get louder when you turn the wheel. Usually a whining steering pump will change its whine pitch when you turn the wheel. How sure are you that its your power steering pump? I had a 91 4.9 and went nuts trying to find my whine.... I replaced the tensioner, AC hub, and it ended up being a bad front alternator bearing that was made in China. The reason I did not think it was the alternator was because it only had 15,000 miles on it. I had the bearing replaced with an SKF made in US and the whine was gone. It NEVER sounded like it was coming from the alternator!

By the way, I had a power steering pump blow out spontaneously (the front seal) and it blew fluid everywhere and it gave NO prior warning at all. Its possible that you have air in your steering system but I think the whine would change in pitch if you did.

The technique bbobynski uses is to use a length of 3/4" hose and listen carefully to each component to localize the noise. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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If you are asking about labor costs the you aren't going to be doing the job yourself. No shop is going to be willing to replace the 'o' ring. They will want to do the whole pump which is faster for them, less labor cost for you, and they can give a guarantee on it. It is a quick and uncomplicated job because the pump is right on top in the engine compartment.

Scotty is correct about using a hose to find out where the noise is really coming from.

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Yes, the whine gets louder when you turn the wheel. At first it didn't do that, but today it did. I can hear it at the pump for sure, so I'm positive it's the power steering pump. It's on a 4.9l, not Northstar. The reason I asked about labor cost was to weigh if it's worth doing myself or sending it to my mechanic. How would I bleed the air out if indeed that's the problem?

I just detailed the motor, so if it is going bad, and they leak bad when they do, maybe I should plan on changing it out soon. And if I put a new one in, what's the bleed procedure? Thanks for all the help! :)

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Yes, the whine gets louder when you turn the wheel.  At first it didn't do that, but today it did.  I can hear it at the pump for sure, so I'm positive it's the power steering pump.  It's on a 4.9l, not Northstar.  The reason I asked about labor cost was to weigh if it's worth doing myself or sending it to my mechanic.  How would I bleed the air out if indeed that's the problem? 

I just detailed the motor, so if it is going bad, and they leak bad when they do, maybe I should plan on changing it out soon.  And if I put a new one in, what's the bleed procedure?  Thanks for all the help!  :)

I don't recall replacing the steering pump to be a big job at all, however a GM power-steering-line disconnect tool is required to remove the plastic adaptor and it can be broken easily without using the tool (i know I broke mine, :blink: ). You can probably buy the tool at your local auto parts supply (KD or Lisle i think). I can not recall if you can remove the pump without disturbing the return line that requires the GM power-steering-line disconnect tool, but for some reason I think you need to have the tool. You will also need to remove the pulley and install it on the new pump, but I think the new pump supplies a single use removal tool and that step was easy. I posted the bleeding procedure below. Mike

post-3-1092310537.jpg

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Not sure if your Deville has a power steering filter. My 94 sts has one and after I replaced it I lost the whine. Cheap fix and worth a look.

-kg

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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as far as the power steering goes, there is only so many problems that could erupt. when someone last added power steering fluid they either, A. put the wrong fluid in, B. added dirty fluid into the system/or just dirt, C. it needs to be adjusted(over time things wear and tear, especially after the 100k mark), D needs to be replaced, E. all the above.

I would concur with the above. Since you seemingly just got the car you don't know if someone added just anything to top off the PS unit. I'd try the "turkey baster" method to remove fluid and replace with known good fluid. Easiest and cheapest thing to do as a starting point.

FWIW

YMMV

DFB

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Here is a photo of the power steering pump and the ADAPTER, Mike

post-3-1092401973.jpg

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I have the same problem and mine is a 99 :) Might as well replace the pump.. th at's what I'm going to do.. I wish I had something to really flush out the steering but that would probaly take 20 quarts of fluid lol.

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I looked at Rockauto.com and there wasn't one listed as available, so I assume there isn't one.

Item#: NSP20FLT1 (power steering filter)

Price: $ 2.29

That's what Napa online listed for your car but you may want to call and double check.

-kg

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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I tried the "turkey baster" method today to change my fluid...no help, still whining. But man that fluid stunk. Smelled burnt. I swapped out a quart. Took 3 fills driving in between each syphon to mix it up. I used Valvoline Max Life (not synthetic) for older cars (over 75K) with built in stop leak...supposedly conditions old seals & what not. The Valvoline was clear, but after the 1 Qt., which was all I had, the fluid pulled out was still red and burned smelling. The pumps only 60-70 bucks, but I figured it be worth a shot. Do you think exchanging more fluid would help or is the unit shot given the smell? Has anyone used the Valvoline Max life before?

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I want to make a power steering flush machine.. I went through 2 quarts and it still is nasty...... i take off the return hose and hold a bucket over it and crank the car with ignition disabled

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just picked up a New OEM power steering pump on eBay for $37.50 with shipping. :D

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...TRK%3AMEWN%3AIT

Just emailed GmPartsDirect.com to confirm that the part number would work and they said yes. It sells for $228 plus S&H there. There are deals to be had on eBay if you look. ;) Now if I can just find the time to put it on and adjust that ISC, I'd be a happy camper. I won't forget you adallack if that ISC works out! ;)

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