Weird power steering problems - Page 4 - 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 04-18-2008, 10:10 AM   #31
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I went out and checked it last night when it was cold only to find that the level was stuck halfway in between the full hot and full cold marks. Just high enough to not make me feel comfortable about adding any more. The level hasn't dropped, if anything it'* risen a little.

No bubbles, no discoloration, nothing. I'm confused as hell right about now.

I don't know what to do, other than to somehow find the right length serpentine belt and routing configuration and just avoid the power steering pump altogether. I'm completely serious about that, too.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:30 AM   #32
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FWIW, I went through 2 re-manufactured pumps that were quite noisy. The first one was rather loud, so I had it replaced under warranty. The second one was louder than the first, and it took quite a bit of flushing and priming to get the bubbles out. I finally gave up and bought a used one from Ed Morad that while it still whines a little bit, is a lot quieter than either of the other two.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:17 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon
FWIW, I went through 2 re-manufactured pumps that were quite noisy. The first one was rather loud, so I had it replaced under warranty. The second one was louder than the first, and it took quite a bit of flushing and priming to get the bubbles out. I finally gave up and bought a used one from Ed Morad that while it still whines a little bit, is a lot quieter than either of the other two.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'm willing to consider anything right now. I don't know how quality Cardone pumps are, I've heard varying reports on them.

I'm going to take it for a fairly long distance trip to Montgomery (going to a track tonight) and we'll see how it goes. For now, I'm going to list every problem I know this car has that may be related to try and narrow down this persistent and annoying problem:

When going over uneven or bumpy pavement, particularly when cold, I hear creaks and clunks coming from the front passenger'* side wheel. It is my belief that my strut mounts/bearings are bad.

Steering did have some "hard spots" where the wheel was slightly more difficult to turn. I noticed this when I had the engine off and wheels up during bleeding. By slightly, I mean very slightly...noticeable but nothing big. Generally around when the steering was centered. No binding, no creaks, clunks, or pops. I think it'* just because the rack is old, or perhaps it is normal, but I don't believe the rack is bad.

I noticed something that looked like drops of fluid on the ground under my pump, but it'* impossible to say that it came from leaking considering how much fluid I've spilled the various times I've bled/drained/filled it. They did seem to line up with the hose connectors on the pump and at the rack but again, impossible to tell where they came from. I know the connectors on the pump are solid and non-leaking as my mechanic friend put them on...he would know how tight they need to be. High pressure hose was properly tightened with a new o-ring and the low pressure hose was tightened properly with a worm type screw clamp to replace the standard clamp on there (I don't like those). I can't verify about the connections on the rack end because I haven't messed with them, other than they do not appear to be visually leaking.

I had a PS leak (slow) a while back when my least favorite service department in the world changed my PS pump and serpentine belt. Belt was too small, leak stopped when I took it back and got them to put on the right size belt.

Re-checking the fluid level last night indicated no bubbles, discoloration, or haze to the fluid.

When I first got the car, pump had zero whine. Service records from the previous owner indicate it was a remanufactured AC Delco unit. My least favorite service department from the dealer I bought it from changed the pump without my consent telling me it was bad, along with the undersized serpentine belt and other things, most of which ended up failing too. New pump was whiny and leaked, but did not have any vibration issues until it became low on fluid. Adding new fluid corrected the problem always. Leak stopped but whine persisted when correct serpentine belt was installed. New pumps have whined also, but don't seem to leak. They do have vibration issues, obviously.

I have an AutoZone belt tensioner on the engine. It doesn't have a tension indicator but it seems to be holding good tension, none of the accessories slip and the spring is very strong.

I have also begun noticing a whistling/whirring sound underhood. Sounds like a PCV valve from what I've read, but I changed that less than a year ago. It'* not loud, about as loud as the pump whine at initial startup. Could just be the alternator fan for all I know.

With the last pump, car would start fine. Steering assist did vary somewhat. After a while of driving, whining would increase, then vibrations and pump moan would start.

The new pump has only just started (maybe) so I don't really know what it'* doing, other than the assist doesn't vary like the last pump. All I can say is that it seems less severe than the last pump. Vibrations and noise started after engine had been running for a while and was hot. Power steering whine had also increased somewhat during the drive. The vibrations didn't seem to increase in severity over time, though. Took it for a semi short around town drive last night trying to recreate the problem but it didn't happen. Maybe it was just a one-off occurance, I hope so.

I've included anything and everything I can think of, any input is welcome...
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:56 PM   #34
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Drove it to the track, had a good run but I'll post that in another thread.

During the 125 mile round trip (mostly interstate driving, but still) I had zero issues with the power steering. Whine seemed subdued but still present at the end of my trip, and I had no vibrations or noise. Maybe a good drive to get a little excess air out was all it needed.

I'm pretty relieved, but not completely convinced. I'll check the fluid level in the morning when the engine is cold, but let'* hope that this is the LAST I have to worry about this pump issue.
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