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Discussion Starter #1
Hi gang, I've noticed a new noise from my 00 OBW with auto trans. There is a fairly high-pitched whining noise that changes in frequency with the RPMs moving or parked. Sounds kinda like that engine noise I used to get in my old Ford when the spark plugs could be heard through the stereo. If you are too young to remember such things, that's cool.

The most revealing points are: It is coming from the front where the belts are. I haven't bought or rigged a "car stethoscope" yet, so not 100% exactly which belt driven device is whining. BUT, when I turn the steering wheel the frequency goes down and at certain points nearly stops. Leads me to believe it is the PS pump and/or its bearings are failing. I've had trouble with a jerky wheel before (see here http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/44843-steering-wheel-jerks-when-turning.html ) and changed the fluid using the method described there without fixing the issue. The belts look and feel fine.

Based on the noise and the Jerking issue, it leans towards the pump or some component thereof. Questions: If I drive the car and the PS pump fails = A. sudden death, B. PIA difficult steering, C. other systems fail, D. safe to drive or E. non of the above? Do these puppies usually fail and how long does it usually take after a symptom like mine? Also, is there a common cheaper solution to this potential problem besides replacing the pump? I'm busy and broke as usual.

Thanks,
David
 

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Just throwing this out there, as I had a similar problem when I bought my car.... is the fluid reservoir full (to the max line, not full-full, of course)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup. When I checked the bottle it was at the top of the Max when hot line and the car was warmed up.

BTW, it is more of a whirring sound than a whining sound, in case that helps with further diagnosis.
 

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Re-read your OP -- between both symptoms listed, if you've refilled and bled the power steering system with no change, I'd say it's the pump.

If/when it completely fails, I believe you'll only lose your power assist. Unless something seizes, in which case you'll lose your belt. I drove a 91 Lumina with a failed (and dry) pump for 20K. Nothing bad came of it aside of sweet, massive biceps.
 

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wait , stop, it is not the pump. it is the o-ring on the suction hose on top of the pump that comes from the reservoir. the o-ring leaks and the pump sucks air while pumping. either remove the o-ring and match it up or do a search on opposedforces.com/parts and get the part number for a dealer purchase.

even if it is the pump, trying the o-ring is a couple of $$ and 15 minutes to try . and you will want a new one on the new pump if you have to replace it. try the o-ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is the kind of answer I was hoping for. I'll try the ring when I get time and let you know how it goes. BTW, would the air cause the whirring noise as well as the jerky steering wheel?
 

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It's definitely the air being sucked into the steering pump. In my case this whirring sound became permanent at temperatures lower than +15C. The problem was solved by the replacement of the O-ring and the hose itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
KorsH - спасибо вы (Thank you)

Can I get this O-ring from any source (Autozone, hardware store, internet?) or would you folks recommend I only buy the OEM from the dealership?
 

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DavidPeab said:
KorsH - спасибо вы (Thank you)
Any time ;)

Can I get this O-ring from any source (Autozone, hardware store, internet?) or would you folks recommend I only buy the OEM from the dealership?
I suggest you buy OEM o-ring. Subaru parts quality is quite decent, IMO.
Do not forget about hose. In my case it was rock solid, not flexible as normal rubber hose should be. So I think that replacing that hose too is not a bad idea.


Kind regards, Serge.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I ordered the parts from Annapolis Subaru. I went ahead and ordered new hose clamps as well because the old ones look pretty rusty and brittle.
 

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i hope this fixes it. there is a good write up on this by someone, lockmedic maybe, or 1luckytexan, can't remember.

if it does turn out to be the pump, which i doubt, there is a re-built?, re-man?, one listed on CL in DC for $100. he's been trying to sell it for months and months. he started at $150. ... it maybe for a H6 though, can't remember. i must be getting old.
 

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It's too sad steering pump from the next gen EZ30R doesn't directly fit our EZ30's. There are must be a lot of them for sale with low mileage and acceptable price. Used, of course. You have to re-weld high-pressure hose connector to fit the newer pump :(
Cost of the new OEM pump for our engines (1999-2003) makes me sick... $600 here in Moscow with 3 weeks delivery...
 

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i hope this fixes it. there is a good write up on this by someone, lockmedic maybe, or 1luckytexan, can't remember.

if it does turn out to be the pump, which i doubt, there is a re-built?, re-man?, one listed on CL in DC for $100. he's been trying to sell it for months and months. he started at $150. ... it maybe for a H6 though, can't remember. i must be getting old.
maybe this thread?; http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/40884-how-does-air-get-into-power-steering-system.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A couple of more things: Can someone please remind me which fluid I should use in the pump. I recall it is ATF and NOT power steering fluid, but I cleaned up my workbench (I do it every year or so whether it needs it or not), and don't remember which bottle to use. I maintain 3 of my own and 2 of my folks' vehicles and don't want to grab the wrong stuff.

Also, here is the diagram the dealership emailed to me:

I ordered the hose 34611D, the hose clamps #3 - although I might use the screw type hose clamps, and the ring washer 34607. Hope that's it. The whole batch came out to about $40.
 

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OK, so the image did not load. Go here to see the diagram the Subaru dealer emailed to me: http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/5784/image003di.jpg

I ordered the hose 34611D, the hose clamps #3 - although I might use the screw type hose clamps, and the ring washer 34607. Hope that's it. The whole batch came out to about $40.

I'm concerned that drawing 'might' be for the H4 - but I can't quite tell for sure. You have an H4 right? sometimes on those, it's just a re-tightening job for some people. And I'm pretty sure there are 2 o-rings total.

anyone?

did you see bubbles in the reservoir when idlig?

and yes Dexron II or equivalent (I used the Valvoline Dex/merc) NOT 'generic' ps fluid.
 

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OK, so the image did not load.
...skipped...
The whole batch came out to about $40.
I agree with 1 Lucky Texan - your image seems to be for H4. Anyway, these images I've got are for H6:





34611D, 34488B and 34607 are the ones.

And yes, simple dexron II/III or similar is your PS fluid of choice.


Kind regards, Serge.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yup I've got the 2.5L 4 cyl. so I assume it's an H4. I told the dealership parts dept what year and model I had before they sent the diagram. If they are the wrong ones I'll be able to tell before I leave the shop and they will swap for me. I have a good relationship with Annapolis Subaru, so far. The hose seemed really stiff and the clamps are rusted beyond recognition, so I figure it won't hurt to do them as well. The dealer only found one O-ring to replace. Perhaps 34607 is a set. It is hard to tell by the diagram. I'll know for sure when the parts come in.
 

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Hope it will get you rid of this sound. I suspected my steering pump was dying when I heard that sound, but my mechanic told me not to panic ;) He had replaced two o-rings and the hose and now i'm happy ;) Sound is totally gone and the steering works as usual.


Kind regards, Serge.
 
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