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2001 Outback LL Bean H6 3.0

I have been through most of the power steering related threads here, and I'm still stumped. Here's the rundown on what I've done:

Approx 6 months ago, power steering was whining and reservoir was bubbling/overflowing...replaced pump with salvage pump. Whining improved, but not 100%. Reservoir bubbling mostly subsided.

After a month or two, whining got worse, and eventually power steering went out completely. Mechanic said rack was bad. Replaced rack and pressure hose. Power steering worked again, but faint whine was still there.

Been about 3 months now, and power steering noise has progressively gotten worse, and is now the worst it's ever been. After sitting for several hours, it has more than a whine, it's a loud "groan" and at times a metal on metal rattling sound. After driving for 10 min or so the noise gets a little bit better but is still there. Mechanic now thinks the salvage pump is failing and wants to put in a new pump. Another mechanic says he's not sure. Reservoir is again bubbling and sometimes overflows.

Any ideas???

Thanks!
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Thanks guys....I've looked at both of those threads before, but I thought it was odd that each time the supposed problem was fixed, it did improve for a while, only to continue to get worse. Also, since the pump was replaced once (salvage pump) would it be likely that the o-ring on top of the pump would be bad on both pumps? And why would it improve for a while?

Also, would a leaky o-ring cause such loud groans and metal on metal rattling, rather than the typical whine that you typically hear?

One other thing I forgot to mention, the fluid was flushed and replaced with ATF when they replaced the rack. Since the most recent noises started up, I sucked the fluid out of the reservoir and put in about 2/3 bottle of Lucas power steering fluid hoping that might seal up any leaks. No change.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Thanks guys....I've looked at both of those threads before, but I thought it was odd that each time the supposed problem was fixed, it did improve for a while, only to continue to get worse. Also, since the pump was replaced once (salvage pump) would it be likely that the o-ring on top of the pump would be bad on both pumps? And why would it improve for a while?

Also, would a leaky o-ring cause such loud groans and metal on metal rattling, rather than the typical whine that you typically hear?

One other thing I forgot to mention, the fluid was flushed and replaced with ATF when they replaced the rack. Since the most recent noises started up, I sucked the fluid out of the reservoir and put in about 2/3 bottle of Lucas power steering fluid hoping that might seal up any leaks. No change.

I'd say it would be rare for that o-ring NOT to go bad.

As for what the failure is now in your system. I dunno. If you post your city, maybe someone can suggest a good shop to take a look at it.
 

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Ok...update. I just inspected the O-ring. It appears to be in good shape, however, it doesn't look like what I have seen described on other threads. It is light green, soft and flexible, and it's rounded, not flat like others have described. Also, when placed down in the hole, it fits, but it's not "tight". I don't have to push it in, it basically drops into place. It can very easily be pulled out. Does that sound like it's the right ring?
 

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Ok...update. I just inspected the O-ring. It appears to be in good shape, however, it doesn't look like what I have seen described on other threads. It is light green, soft and flexible, and it's rounded, not flat like others have described. Also, when placed down in the hole, it fits, but it's not "tight". I don't have to push it in, it basically drops into place. It can very easily be pulled out. Does that sound like it's the right ring?
MIne was black, hard as plastic and 'squared-off. Sounds like someone has at least replaced the ring in yours - perhpas it's too small.(seems like a ring used in A/C systems)

Do you have bubbles in the reservoir? maybe you need new clamps on the hose. Or, try a different o-ring.

(unlikely to cause PS problems directly but, be sure some of the noise isn't from either the tensioner or idler pulley? those bearing go bad a lot.)
 

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Update #2.....I think I have found the problem! I just happened to notice a slightly greasy spot on the suction hose. I wiped it off, and noticed some hairline cracks. I squeezed it and a tiny bit of fluid came out. I wrapped some electrical tape around the crack, and it immediately reduced the noise level. So clearly I need a new suction hose, and I intend to replace the o-ring too. This should solve my problem.

So, my question now is do I need OEM suction hose, or is there a one size fits all type of hose I can pick up at Autozone? I just did a quick search online and OEM hose is $54 plus shipping.
 

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Update #2.....I think I have found the problem! I just happened to notice a slightly greasy spot on the suction hose. I wiped it off, and noticed some hairline cracks. I squeezed it and a tiny bit of fluid came out. I wrapped some electrical tape around the crack, and it immediately reduced the noise level. So clearly I need a new suction hose, and I intend to replace the o-ring too. This should solve my problem.

So, my question now is do I need OEM suction hose, or is there a one size fits all type of hose I can pick up at Autozone? I just did a quick search online and OEM hose is $54 plus shipping.

I see no reason NAPA or other good parts place wouldn't have a suitable hose. Just tell them what you're using it for. I'd also get some screw clamps.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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I picked up my hose at Annapolis Subaru for about $25. Half the cost of the one you saw and no shipping. I am talking about the hose that goes from the bottom of my reservoir to the top of the pump. It is pre-shaped with the specific curves and length needed to match either end. Of course, you may be talking about another hose, since I am driving an H4. My point is it can't hurt to check with a dealer for some parts, if you have one locally.
 

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I am starting to have this squeaking noise myself do you mind putting up the part number if you happen to know it still? Thanks
 

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Does anyone happen to know if the hose for the h4 and h6 are the same? I'm trying to replace mine. The h4 is $13 vs $66 for h6 hose. Not sure if anyone knows if there is actually a difference.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Limited 2001 LL Bean
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2001 H6 LL Bean:

Can anyone tell me the name of the part, or part number, that the O ring goes on? It is the part that is on the end of the line that attaches to the top of the pump. I bought a thicker O ring from a part store and I guess that is what caused it to crack when tightening it down. I can seem to find the part for sale anywhere, only the line and pump etc...
 

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2010 Gen4 Outback Wagon 2.5i
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Had the tension idle bearing seize and and while fixing that decided to get rid of the noise in the power steering at full lock.Got the right O ring and when I installed it the whole fitting leaked all round - pulled it out and put the old one back stopped the leak but made the noise worse and continuous. Was told at the local dealer that moving the return hose probably cracked it as they get brittle with age. It wil be $78 and end of the week but I need to fix it tomorrow as we head off on a 1000 Km return tip at the end of the week of the grandsons birthday.

Thinking generic hose that will withstand hot oil but I need to know the ID of the return hose from the pump to the reservoir. anyone know what it is? - OD is 25 mm or 1 inch roughly
 

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Your hose is fine. The first o-ring you installed likely got pinched or torn when you installed it, causing it to leak. You changed the o-ring back to the old one and the leak may have stopped but now there is air in the system. That air will cause the PS pump to scream like its being tortured.

I presume you've had your car running with the pump screaming from time to time. Leave the car sit for an hour or two before doing any work on it. When the power steering system gets air in it it causes the fluid to become aerated and foamy. Sitting will allow the air to collect into larger bubbles that can be bled out.

Get a new o-ring. Make sure its oiled before its installed. Disconnect the inlet hose fitting from the pump. Install the new o-ring. Reconnect the fitting to the pump. I went through four o-rings the first time I did this before I got it sealed properly.

Now you need to bleed that air out. Take the cap off the power steering fluid reservoir. Put the front of the car up on jackstands. Put the key in the ignition and turn the key enough to the accessory position to unlock the steering wheel. Slowly turn the wheel to the left 1.5 turns of the wheel, then turn back to the right three turns, then back three turns. Count out five seconds as you're turning the wheel over the three times. Repeat this 50 times, and occasionally stop to check that the PS reservoir isn't getting low. Add Dexron 3 fluid as it gets low. Start the car and turn the steering wheel lock to lock slowly a few times. If you don't hear any yowling you've got all the air out.

I did a 700km round trip with a screaming steering pump. Not fun. That's how I fixed mine.
 

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Although the original post is two years old now, and recently brought back to life, bubbling in the pump usually indicates it is sucking air from somewhere. So look at the hoses and other things like o-rings that are known causes of issues in the Subaru line.
 

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Thanks for the answers - The first O ring turned out to have a small nick in it - purchased and installed a second but still screamed and bubbled the oil. Couldn't do anymore so left on our trip with a bottle of ATF. 250 km down the road at first stop - a lot of oil gone and what was left was frothy but sound diminished somewhat did a top up and continued - but what had developed was a violent shudder when hitting some rough patches. Got to destination and turning into a vacant parking spot in the under ground garage of my sons apartment block - no noise !! checked the oil- no froth and still full. Next morning when cool topped up and went for a drive - no noise and no shudder.

Uneventful return trip home.

Guess it's all fixed now.
 
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