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2018 Outback Premium, sold 2003 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
As the outside temperature has been getting lower (right now around 40s and low 30s), I have noticed some issues with my steering. When I first start my car in the morning and rotate my steering wheel to pull out of the garage, I hear some squeaking and get a little bit of resistance from the steering. It feels like the power steering is not quite working right. I had the power steering belt checked and it is in good shape. The fluid level itself is finel, but the fluid itself should be changed at some point as it is a bit dirty. I worry that the actual rack and pinion seals are going bad since all of the problems go away after the car warms up.

Has anyone else experienced that?
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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As the outside temperature has been getting lower (right now around 40s and low 30s), I have noticed some issues with my steering. When I first start my car in the morning and rotate my steering wheel to pull out of the garage, I hear some squeaking and get a little bit of resistance from the steering. It feels like the power steering is not quite working right. I had the power steering belt checked and it is in good shape. The fluid level itself is finel, but the fluid itself should be changed at some point as it is a bit dirty. I worry that the actual rack and pinion seals are going bad since all of the problems go away after the car warms up.

Has anyone else experienced that?
I just started noticing a similar thing on my 2004, but it's only done it twice so far...both sharp left turns when cold. The steering feels fine, but there was a long squeak (not quite a squeal) when I did that. Can't offer any input, but I'll be interested in hearing what others say...
 

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2018 Outback Premium, sold 2003 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon Limited
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks jp1203. Today I decided to see if the steering is affected when the car is warmed up and I performed a full lock-to-lock turn while waiting for a light to change. I felt a little bit of resistance at the end on both sides (almost at lock) which seemed a bit weird. It didn't feel smooth at the extremes...

I am wondering if I should pay to have the system flushed and refilled....
 

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02 OBW ej25 stock, for now
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There are many different opinions when it comes to a flush and refill or just changing the fluid.

IMHO, if you want to change the fluid it is not going to hurt but I would recommend AGAINST a flush. The reason is that depending on the shop that does the work they may have something to push fluid through the system in ways that it does not normally go and it can knock loose/stir things up that had settled and now they are flowing around the system wreaking all kinds of havoc. It seems like a flush would be a good thing but in all actuality it really can cause some serious problems with debris in the fluid and now severe wear on mainly the pump but also the rack.

As for the noise and feel at the extreme ends of the rack travel, after time the piston does wear the cylinder bore and it could be that it is now moving in an area that does not have as much wear and feels different to you. I would watch it and see if something changes in which case you may want to take it somewhere, but for now drive it and see.
 

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2018 Outback Premium, sold 2003 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon Limited
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Discussion Starter #5
I am thinking about taking it to a Subaru dealership in my area to diagnose the issue and get an estimate on a repair. I am a little bit irritated with the car because as soon as I passed 100,000 miles, a bunch of expensive needs attention. My shocks, steering, exhaust, possibly rear brakes...:(

Don't get me wrong people, I like my car, and it has been dead reliable, but making monthly payments on it and then paying extra for new parts is going to get expensive really quick. :gasp:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, buddy! I appreciate it. I like it, too. Painting the wheels matte black and installing tiny really set it off. If I could only get past a few little problems that have been present as of late :)
 

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Thanks, buddy! I appreciate it. I like it, too. Painting the wheels matte black and installing tiny really set it off. If I could only get past a few little problems that have been present as of late :)
I just got mine but I have been working my butt off on it. I'm half done detailing it and when I'm done with that I'm going to start tinting all my windows with 20%. I have white LED license plate lights on it and 5000k HID head/fog lights on the way. With just a little work these cars look so darn good!
 

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2018 Outback Premium, sold 2003 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon Limited
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Discussion Starter #10

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Discussion Starter #11
Never mind--just read your post :29:

I will wait for a colder day and see how "she" does first thing on the morning before proceeding any further. My regular mechanic also suggested the flush/refill since, in his opinions, Subaru steering systems are not prone to problems.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Never mind--just read your post :29:

I will wait for a colder day and see how "she" does first thing on the morning before proceeding any further. My regular mechanic also suggested the flush/refill since, in his opinions, Subaru steering systems are not prone to problems.
I've read that there is a similar issue on some H4s because of the hoses being disturbed out of a bracket they go through.

Anyway, whining noises from the PS Pump can be due to air in that system, if you see bubbles in the tank, that's bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Fixed it!!!! My mechanic buddy looked at it and said that the new Gator belt we put on it stretched a bit. I put more tension on it and all the noise went away. Yay :eek:
 

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My car is now doing something similar. Sometimes it will turn just fine and other times it will pulse and fight me. The belt squeals when this happens. My belt is tight. Almost too tight for my liking. Could my pump be going bad?
 

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