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2012 Subaru Outback
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys...

I have an '06 2.5i Outback that I've had for about 5 years. Last week the power steering pump started growling, mostly when it the engine is cold (been pretty cold for us here in SoCal, 40° overnight and about 50° during the day).

I've checked the fluid (level is good, and it isn't cloudy or dirty) and the belt seems okay.

After about 10 minutes driving, it quiets down. Should I be prepared to replace the pump? And if so, how difficult are these things to replace?

Thanks...
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,206 Posts
when it's growling at idle, look in the reservoir for bubbles/foam.

it's known issue on older models. caused usually by bad o-rings or suction hose. easy fix on those. However, you could easily have a different problem.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,593 Posts
You may also try to run a flush on the system to remove carbon. This may help it and forestall replacement of the pump. It sounds like the valve in the rack is sticking or carbon is limiting flow/pressure and a flush generally fixes the issue.
 

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2000 Limited Wagon 5MT
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303 Posts
when it's growling at idle, look in the reservoir for bubbles/foam.

it's known issue on older models. caused usually by bad o-rings or suction hose. easy fix on those. However, you could easily have a different problem.
This is an easy and cheap fix if that's the problem. Mine would only do it when temps were below freezing and it would stop after 10 minutes or so. $3 worth of o-rings from Subaru fixed that, but now that it's been below 5 degrees, the noise is back for the first 10 seconds or so after cold start-up.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,206 Posts
This is an easy and cheap fix if that's the problem. Mine would only do it when temps were below freezing and it would stop after 10 minutes or so. $3 worth of o-rings from Subaru fixed that, but now that it's been below 5 degrees, the noise is back for the first 10 seconds or so after cold start-up.
I don't recall if you've been in a discussion where info was posted but, have you considered that TSB for the PS fluid pressure relief valve that's in the side of the pump? it's fro groaning noise, i think at full lock but.....

found it; http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/491437-post8.html
 

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2000 Limited Wagon 5MT
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303 Posts
Says right in your post it's for H4 as well, although later models than mine. I have no noise at full lock or any other hiccups, just some groaning when it's frigid cold that goes away momentarily. I imagine the two weeks that it was audibly aerating the pump coupled with age, it's just wearing out.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,441 Posts
The H4 it applies to is for the Impreza and Forester. It doesn't list the Outback 2.5i

The Outback 2.5i uses a different pump than the 2.5i Impreza and Forrester for the models years mentioned.

NUMBER 04-13-09
DATE: 12/14/09
APPLICABILITY
2001~07MY Legacy/Outback H-6
2003~08MY Forester 2.5L N/A and Turbo
2004~07MY Impreza 2.5L N/A
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,206 Posts
I dunno, it just seems like a malfunctioning pressure relief valve could be a problem on any pump so equipped.

but, a new or rebuilt pump gets it all changed out so, That might be the best way to go if there's no air entrainment issue..
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,441 Posts
I am making this point to avoid confusion with the issue associated with the TSB and with other pumps used by Subaru.

The pumps that are susceptible to this issue are a completely different design from what Subaru has used in the past and uses in most of its other applications. Most likely they were made by some other pump manufacturer.

Even if the posters issue is related to the check valve, the TSB cited in the other article does not have a replacement part that will work with the posters power steering pump and so therefore the TSB will be of no use.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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1,401 Posts
Last week the power steering pump started growling,
did you have any service work done last week?

the 00 - 04 H4s are known for making noise if the belt guards that attache to the PS pump and ALT are torqued incorrectly.
in other words, loosen the bolts holding them down and go for a test drive.
 
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