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6 Cylinder - Power Steering Noise - Normal?

I recently purchased a 2007 6-cylinder Outback. The power steering made a fair amount of noise and there was some weirdness in the feel of the steering. The dealer replaced the power steering pump, but with a salvage one, not a new one. The steering feel has somewhat improved (still has a slightly "floaty" feel to it. Not as attached-to-the-road feeling as I would like), but there is still some audible noise.

The dealer is now telling me that "all the 6-cylinder Subarus have louder steering pumps". I don't know anyone else with one, so I don't know if that's true. It isn't *LOUD*, but it is noticeable - as in louder than the engine when turning into a parking space. I've owned a lot of cars, but I've never had one with an audible steering pump so I'm not sure what to think. Not sure how much to expect out of the road-feel either. I have several Hondas that give better steering feedback, but maybe that's just the nature of the suspension of the 6 cylinder LL Bean models.(?)
 

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I don't know why they would install a used pump. Seems stupid. Especially with the large number of remanufactured units available at low cost.

Try flushing the power steering out. There could be restriction in the steering gear assembly, aka rack and pinion. Could also be a large amount of air being sucked into the system at a seal on the pump or in the lines/hoses. Could also be the relief valve vibrating. Look up TSB 04-13-09 issued Dec 14, 2009. It references the issue with the valve as well as air in the system, binding caused by differing tire pressures, etc..

As far as the handling, get it aligned and make sure all the wheels, front and rear have the toe set at "0".
 

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My girlfriends car makes a loud noise when turning in or reversing out of parking spots. It's the same year make and model and its just because the pump is going.
 

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The TSB specifically outlines the noise being heard in tight turns as possibly a bad relief valve which vibrates due to pressure. In the case of the relief valve binding, undue stress on the pump causes a pump whine. The valve is replaceable without changing the pump.

Whatever it is that may be causing the noise will eventually be the factor that causes a breakdown of the pump.

I always like the comment: "I thought the noise would go away." In some cases it did. When a total failure occurred.

Don't ignore the noises.
 
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