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2012 ob 3.6; 47k mi. at 1.5 yr.
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Discussion Starter #1
137k mi on a 2012 3.6 OB. never have done anything other than sched maint.

hearing a steady (non rpm) whining noise I removed the engine cover for first time and saw a buildup of fluid and dirt on front of steering pump and that side of generator. Looks like its been building up for some time. Seems the whining noise is also coming from that pulley best I can tell. Strangely enough I'm having no steering issues (no noise or difficulty while turning wheel) and the fluid level reads normal.

Please tell me there's another solution other than replacing this very expensive pump. Thanks.

*dealer did flush and fill steering fluid several months ago.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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When you say "non-RPM" you mean the noise level and pitch is constant at ANY engine speed?

The build-up could be old (or from a sloppy dealer service) or a slight leak.

If you remove the serpentine belt, does the sound remain? Check the condition of your idler and tensioner pulleys as well (wobble, roughness, 'grit' in the movement).
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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idler and tensioner pulleys could be an issue but, shouldn't have caused any fluid spray.

there have been some bad PS pumps lately, but much more common is air sucked into the system. Best thing is to examine the PS fluid tank while idling - if air bubbles or foam is seen - it can be severe enough to push fluid out the baffled-cap I suppose.

idle the car and have someone work the wheel back and forth while getting your eye very close to the tank's opening - or maybe take a pic?


 

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Need some diagnostic time with a auto stethoscope to determine exactly where the whine is coming from. Could be PS pump, idler/tensioner pulleys or the alternator bearings.
 

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2012 ob 3.6; 47k mi. at 1.5 yr.
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Discussion Starter #5
yes sound is steady regardless engine speed.

running engine without belt? doesn't that disable water pump?

the residue build up is on pump itself btw not the fluid reservoir.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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water pump is run off cam timing system internally.

brief test should be fine, no battery charging can take place of course and a CEL may be set.

feel, spin, check all pulleys for wobble or other problems.

sometimes misplaced intake air filter boxes can make a whooshing noise.
 

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2012 ob 3.6; 47k mi. at 1.5 yr.
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Discussion Starter #7
So I did put a stethoscope on the pump housing as close as I could behind the pulley. nearest non-moving part. and it does sound like there might be something rubbing inside? the pulley itself has no center bolt that isn't moving like the tensioner does. but am i not just hearing fluid moving possibly?
 

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2012 ob 3.6; 47k mi. at 1.5 yr.
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Discussion Starter #8
water pump is run off cam timing system internally.

brief test should be fine, no battery charging can take place of course and a CEL may be set.

feel, spin, check all pulleys for wobble or other problems.

sometimes misplaced intake air filter boxes can make a whooshing noise.
ok will do that next . thanks.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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can you see any bubbles in the tank?

cleaning off the pump itself, then observing it for a new leaking spot may be helpful.

on all the older models I have read of, the general consensus is that used pumps are a very low risk compared to the risk of rebuilt units (and price of new !). You can check car-part.com or LKQ for parts from wrecks - but really hoping it's an o-ring or something simple.
 

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+1 on 1 Lucky Texan's advice. Check PS reservoir for bubbles or foam.
 

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2012 ob 3.6; 47k mi. at 1.5 yr.
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Discussion Starter #11
ok will do that next . thanks.
+1 on 1 Lucky Texan's advice. Check PS reservoir for bubbles or foam.
*no bubbles or foaming in reservoir

*after removing belt the noise is gone.

*without belt no pulleys wobble but I can move the steering pump pulley in and out btwn 1/16 to 1/8 inch. all other pulleys seem rock solid, can't manually rock them or move them. including tensioner and idler.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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not sure on the movement, some is probably normal, but, from your observations, and the fluid coating/wetness you observe, sure seems like a PS pump that is bad.

over the internet, it can be tricky to make any diagnosis certain, but I don't see much evidence of any other issue.


if fluid got onto the serpentine acc. belt, good idea to replace it as well. You might read here, just to help decide if you also want to pm the idler and tensioner pulleys while working on the 'system' ; http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-2014/88986-3-6l-engine-idler-pulley-still-issue.html#post5328001
 

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2012 ob 3.6; 47k mi. at 1.5 yr.
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Discussion Starter #13
not sure on the movement, some is probably normal, but, from your observations, and the fluid coating/wetness you observe, sure seems like a PS pump that is bad.

over the internet, it can be tricky to make any diagnosis certain, but I don't see much evidence of any other issue.


if fluid got onto the serpentine acc. belt, good idea to replace it as well. You might read here, just to help decide if you also want to pm the idler and tensioner pulleys while working on the 'system' ; http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-2014/88986-3-6l-engine-idler-pulley-still-issue.html#post5328001
I think you're right that's the smart thing to do. Found a thread here that described how to replace bearings on idler and tensioner. Cause I'm broke lol. Believe I need 2 Timken 203FF.

I'll replace the belt as well.

Haven't sourced the pump yet but I've got a plan forward. I appreciate 1 Lucky Texan and everyone who responded.
 

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I think you're right that's the smart thing to do. Found a thread here that described how to replace bearings on idler and tensioner. Cause I'm broke lol. Believe I need 2 Timken 203FF.

I'll replace the belt as well.

Haven't sourced the pump yet but I've got a plan forward. I appreciate 1 Lucky Texan and everyone who responded.
I'm quite surprised at how expensive a reman PS pump is for the OB. I bought one for my '76 Camaro summer before last and it was less than $50. OB looks to be 4 times that much......wow.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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yeah, in another thread I saw over $400 for a new pump!

I bet they're - what? - a fifth that from a junkyard? it would be worth the risk to me.


fingers crossed it's an easy fix - z28, is there a new copper washer or something required on the high pressure line on the pump or can you move every thing over? I have no experience changing one.
 

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yeah, in another thread I saw over $400 for a new pump!

I bet they're - what? - a fifth that from a junkyard? it would be worth the risk to me.


fingers crossed it's an easy fix - z28, is there a new copper washer or something required on the high pressure line on the pump or can you move every thing over? I have no experience changing one.
Looks like LKQ sells used ones in the $50-60 range. I venture to say it would be less at a local pick 'n pull.

Never swapped one on a Subaru so not sure what additional parts maybe required.
 
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