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Old 10-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Power steering noise

After replacing my head gaskets on my 01 obw my power steering pump is whining/cavitating. I admit I did leave the system sealed and laid the pump on the inner fender area so I'm sure all the fluid drained back. I drained and refilled the system with Lucas power steering fluid which seemed to do the trick until I let it sit for 5 days now it's cavitating again. I tried to bleed the system with the engine off and on. Should I plan on getting a pump or could it possibly be something in the rack?
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There's a good chance that the return hose has a leak somewhere between the reservoir and pump. If not, then try flushing the system, and this time use Dexron III. Get the Lucas out.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That could very possibly be the case, I noticed I can move the suction hose on the pump side with the clamps on. I will replace the clamps and the o ring on the hose as well.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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And get the Lucas out of there.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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^^^ +1. Your car uses ATF for the power steering system not power steering fluid. Drain and refill with ATF Dextron III or better. You can use synthetic ATF if it rated as good as or better than Dextron III. It takes the heat better.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Same thing happened to me a year ago - the noise got worse as the weather got colder.

You could also run the engine, pull the intake piece, uncap the PS resivoir and see the bubbles churning up through the system.

a new o-ring on the pump inlet solved the problem. Pretty easy to do as far as car repairs go.

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Old 11-02-2013, 04:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I replaced the o rings on the suction hose and installed a worm gear clamp on the hose and the problem has been solved. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have the same problem with my Outback when it's cold outside. The steering whines and I get a little bit of pulsation when turning. From what I have read it is likely the O-ring on the pump. However, when I went to Subaru they said I needed two of the O-rings. I haven't pulled it apart yet (will be doing so in the next day or two) but is this true?
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