Power steering pump Q.......... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-10-2006, 09:22 PM   #1
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Default Power steering pump Q..........

I have had a whirring noice coming from the accessory side of the engine in the '96. It sounds like the steering pump. It follows the rpms of the engine and the steering doesn't have the same power "assist" as my '95. The steering is just heavy, not sticking, and it feels the same warm or cold.

So i took off the belt to check all the pulleys just in case. All of the pulleys spun fine. Except for the power steering pump pulley. It turns, but does not spin. I thought OK!, I have it. But then I thought that tthe power steering pump is a rotary vane which turns in the fluid and maybe it shouldn't "spin" because it'* directly in the fluid?

What'* the right story with that pulley?

I was going to swap out the pump (that'll be more questions.. like how do I get to the 2 mounting bolts) but the fluid looks kind of crappy and maybe I should just flush it.
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Old 12-11-2006, 02:39 PM   #2
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Is it fair to assume that you've checked the power steering fluid level? Since you mention it'* dirty...
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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I would change the fluid, its cheap and could solve your problem.
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lash
Is it fair to assume that you've checked the power steering fluid level? Since you mention it'* dirty...
I checked the fluid and I have seen healthier fluid. It'* darker than it should be, and I'm 99% sure it'* the original fluid. It needed just a touch to bring it to the right level. It didn't really change any symptoms. And i want to send a warm thanks to GM for moving that pump and reservoir down there on the L36.

I can get a remanu pump for about $60, or even less at a yard. I can get a therapeutic flush and refill for $50. I was trying to figure out if I should skip the flush. I don't know if it is even possible to stop the pump from singing and improve the power assist by changing the fluid.

(Just an FYI, this car had about 2,000 miles total put on it in the 2 years before I got it. I don't know if that is so good for fluids and lines. I have changed, flushed, and bled everything else jic.)
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:51 PM   #5
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Charlie, I'd suggest you at least change the fluid in there and keep an eye/ear on it for a while.

A whining or whirring sound coming from your power steering pump (more than the normal "hissing" you hear from turning) can indicate impending problems. This can indicate one or more of the following problems with your pump:

- pump shaft is scored
- scored pressure plate or thrust plate
- damaged cam ring, rotor, or vanes

I'm not saying this IS your problem, you have to do the diagnosis, but those are the possibilities you could be facing.
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:57 PM   #6
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Just a thought.... A whine can also indicate an alternator that is not happy.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleBlackBird
Just a thought.... A whine can also indicate an alternator that is not happy.
Or an idler. Or a weak tensioner......
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleBlackBird
Just a thought.... A whine can also indicate an alternator that is not happy.
Or an idler. Or a weak tensioner......
Pretty much everything that is wrong with my 94.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:56 PM   #9
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Mine whined like a baby when I got the car. Got a suction seringe and evacuated the pump, then undid the low pressure hose to a jug, added new fluid, started the car 1 min turned the wheel and shut off. Added more fluid and repeated while turning the wheel left. Then I added slick 50 ps formula and all is quiet now 2 yrs . Amazing stuff.
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:41 PM   #10
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The tensioner is brand new. I had to turn it down just slightly as they had it operating at the top end of it'* range and the belt gauged out at tighter than my '95. Actually, that didn't help the whirr, but the steering got a bit better for some reason. I checked all of the pulleys for spin and any wobble. That'* when i found the steering pump pulley turns but doesn't spin. That'* why I asked if that pulley should spin some, even though the vanes are in the fluid??

I'm probably going with a power flush and refill. As I noted above, this car was barely used for 2 years. That way I know i will have best case for evaluating the pump. And if there is any junk in the system from the pump, I'll know its out before it starts any rack issues. That leaves the only wildcard being the flow in the lines from sitting.
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