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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!
2001 OBW AT.
Started getting a little cooler here last week. Noticed that when starting up the soobie it is growling and squealing a little, well a lot (not the belt but like a bearing). It goes away after several minutes of driving. It makes more noise when I turn the wheel. Like, if it is quiet, I can turn the wheel and it will growl.

Question: Seems like it is the power steering system. How do I isolate the PS pump from the rack and pinion when trouble shooting?

I am thinking pump, because it makes noise immediately upon startup and it continues to make noise as it idles in the driveway with no input to the steering.

Fluid level is good. No leaks.

Anybody ever replace the PS pump. What do I need to know???

Of course, it could be something else, but when I turn the wheel, I increase load to the PS pump, right? Seems like if it were an alternator is would be constant. Air conditioner is turned off.

thanks!!!
 

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Lucas oil products has a sealer stuff I have been using in my 1997 Nissan Altima with over 150K miles. You may give it a try.
 

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first thing, look inside the PS fluid tank while the car is idlnig. Are there bubbles? You may even see foam. Quite common for the suction hose/connection between the pump and tank to have failed (hose cracked, loose bad clamps, old hard o-rings) and let air in. If the fluid is old, the problem is worse.

if no bubbles, then pursue what others have said. A turkey baster with a length of hose is how I swapped out most of the fluid in our OBW.

check; http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/40884-how-does-air-get-into-power-steering-system.html

the H4 is a little different than the H6 but same basic issue.
 

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After a timing belt change I noticed mine was growling too, or I should say it was just pumping air. Plain om mentioned the o rings on the line from the pump to the resevoir go bad. Thanks om, you saved my bacon from doing way to much work. Did this on both my cars so it won't bother me anymore. BTW: o ring size is 13mmx16mm or 13.1x16.3
 

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the mis-alignment, over tightening, of the belt guards on the front of the engine can also create a steering pump whine.
 

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+1 to canubaru.

You may have the alternator guard misaligned. The hole on the left side of the guard has to line up exactly with the threaded hole in the bracket before putting in the screw. I think this is only a problem on the 00-04's. Otherwise you pull the suction of the power steering pump to one side and suck air.

Using the lucas power steering fluid with conditioner helps somewhat in reducing the squealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Replaced o-rings and adjusted alternator braket (foam was present in reservoir). Problem solved.
 
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jesterdog
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