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Old 04-07-2004, 09:40 AM   #1
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Default Power Steering Pump Whine

Ok, as many of you know, I just picked up my '01 SSEi a week ago.

I LOVE THIS CAR!

Well, this week, I start to hear a little whine when accelerating. I check the PS fluid level and it is at the bottom of the stick. I fill it up to the 'full cold' line and drive it home (from autozone). The whine is still there (not as bad). After I got home, I checked it again and it was still on the 'full cold' line so I filled it up to the 'full hot' line. This morning on the ride in to work, it was still whining (again, not as bad). Could it just be air in the system? Also, there have never been any spots of PS fluid anywhere that I have parked... I don't know where it could have gone...

Mind you the entire time that the pump was making noise (just yesterday on my way into work) the steering felt fine... Not heavy or clunky.

I have a full warranty, but I am just wondering if there is a proceedure for getting air out of the system. I know the one where you apply a vacuum to the PS tank, but I don't have access to that kind of equipement.

I just don't want to be without my car for ANY amount of time!!! Can you help me out?
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:01 AM   #2
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Applying vaccum is the only way I know how. There is no low point to allow the fluid to bleed out.
Take it in for warranty, it maybe something like a bad o-ring and you'll never get the air out. You need special tools for this one.
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:07 AM   #3
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Don't forget Superchargers whine....maybe its your car just doing its job and nothing is wrong at all
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:11 AM   #4
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I did not think about supercharger whine, but I didn't notice this whine last week. It has gotten better since I added fluid, but still doesn't sound right. I will take it in for warranty work, but I am trying to put it off until I really don't need to use the car.

Thanks for the info. On my intrepid, all you had to do was work the steering side to side (front of car on stands), add as necessary, and do it again until the fluid level stayed constant. Like I said, it makes no noise when idling working the steering side to side, but during light acceleration (rpm dependent) there is a whine. I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartlkk
I did not think about supercharger whine, but I didn't notice this whine last week. It has gotten better since I added fluid, but still doesn't sound right. I will take it in for warranty work, but I am trying to put it off until I really don't need to use the car.

Thanks for the info. On my intrepid, all you had to do was work the steering side to side (front of car on stands), add as necessary, and do it again until the fluid level stayed constant. Like I said, it makes no noise when idling working the steering side to side, but during light acceleration (rpm dependent) there is a whine. I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks again.
This would work here too. Put the car on stands, crack a lower line just a hair and turn the wheel back and forth. You will get out most of the air but not like a vacum system. Its also a good idea to have some force against the wheel while you turn the wheel, like some kind of wheel lock or chain?
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartlkk
I did not think about supercharger whine, but I didn't notice this whine last week. It has gotten better since I added fluid, but still doesn't sound right. I will take it in for warranty work, but I am trying to put it off until I really don't need to use the car.

Thanks for the info. On my intrepid, all you had to do was work the steering side to side (front of car on stands), add as necessary, and do it again until the fluid level stayed constant. Like I said, it makes no noise when idling working the steering side to side, but during light acceleration (rpm dependent) there is a whine. I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks again.
If you filled it with Power Steering fluid rather than tranny fluid you shouldn't need a vacuum. As you mentioned, either by just working the steering wheel side to side, or by just idling with the cap slightly open, the air will escape.

From your desciption above I think what you're hearing is the supercharger. With the stock 3.8" supercharger pulley, the rotors will be spinning at over 10,000 rpm at the engine redline. If you're daring, find a place that'* not dusty or even better just after a rainfall, then remove the air filter from the air box and do a very short run at WOT - you will definately hear the supercharger. Be sure to put your filter back in right away.

My guess is you're just not yet used to the sound of the supercharger.

Cheers,
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:42 AM   #7
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Well, I'll just keep an ear on it and make an appt for next week at the dealership to have them look everything over. Hell, that'* what the bumper-2-bumper warranty is for, right...

If nothing changes, then I'll just cancel the appointment.

One more question... Does the supercharger whine sound similar to a PS pump going bad? This whine is there even during very light acceleration (below 3,000 rpm). If it'* normal, then I won't worry about it.
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Old 04-07-2004, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swartlkk
Well, I'll just keep an ear on it and make an appt for next week at the dealership to have them look everything over. Hell, that'* what the bumper-2-bumper warranty is for, right...

If nothing changes, then I'll just cancel the appointment.

One more question... Does the supercharger whine sound similar to a PS pump going bad? This whine is there even during very light acceleration (below 3,000 rpm). If it'* normal, then I won't worry about it.
Yes I hear mine even at light accel around 25 mph although with my intake its much more pronounced than with a stock airbox. You may want to theck your air box, if the hose is coming off the throttle body or your airfilter is cleaner than normal (ie you just changed it) the whine from the SC will be much louder. You can also take off your SC belt and drive a short bit to see if the sound goes away.
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:37 PM   #9
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If you still suspect the power steering system, check the underside area (subframe) below power steering pump from under the car to verify if area is fluid soaked. It is possible to have a minor leak on the hp hose, or the return. If you've had to top off the power steering reservior, then you're losing fluid.
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Old 04-08-2004, 09:31 AM   #10
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Actually, yesterday during lunch, I brought my car into one of the bays here at RIT and lifted the front so I could get underneith and see what was going on. The ONLY place that was even remotely wet was where the return line goes into the reservoir and this could have been caused by fluid dripping off of the funnel I used when I filled it up. It was not running down the hose at all nor was it dripping. I have checked EVERY place that I have parked in the past week and all of them are clean.

I am thinking that someone just plain forgot to fill it up last time the steering was serviced. I couldn't tell you when that was, but the intermediate shaft was replaced the day I picked the car up (which should have nothing to do with the hydraulics of the steering system).

Anyway, over the past 2 days, the level has remained on the full mark and hasn't changed (between the cold & hot full marks). Also, the other noise I was hearing while turning is now gone (product of a low fluid level is what I'm thinking). As for the whining, it is the supercharger, I just never heard it before I started driving around with the stereo off.

Thanks for you help.
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