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Old 06-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default harmonic balancer/ steering pump concern

Can anyone briefly explain what the harmonic balancer does? I've looked under my hood with the engine running and this part is not rotating in a uniform stable wat as the other parts are. it appears to wobble considerably. I had to add steering fluid recently. There is a slight groan noise as I turn a sharp right out of the driveway. The noise is repeated randomly during operation threw out the day.. Rack problem or a pump problem ?
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:34 AM   #2
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The harmonic balancer reduces torsional vibration and serves as a pulley for drive belts. It should not be visibly wobbling.

Pump problems usually result in a whine. Groaning could be the rack, but certainly can't be sure.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:13 AM   #3
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Default Noise from the rack

With that said about the groan noise I am hearing ... The noise resembles the the traction control system when activated ..(sound is not from the traction control) it last merely a fraction of a second. I've read all the TSB about steering issues and they all speak about other specific issues and none which are relatable to my current issue. I probably should have it diagnosed with gm'* "chassis ear"... but I hate dealing with a stealership
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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If the noise sounds like the ABS pump, it may be an unnecessary activation of stability control, which uses the abs pump. There may be a component beginning to fail (Steering wheel position sensor, wheel speed sensor, etc) that may cause the system to activate for a spit second. To diagnose something at that stage, essentially you will need to have a tech riding shotgun staring at a scanner plugged in to the car to identify where the issues is. Otherwise it may be a matter of living with it until it gets bad enough for the computer to figure out there is an issue and set a code accordingly.

Are you able to post a video of pulleys wobbling by chance?
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:25 PM   #5
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How did we get on ABS?

Sounds like he has two separate problems....he needs to replace the harmonic balancer, and he has a PS leak, which is getting air in his system, causing the pump to cavitate and make noise....
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:18 PM   #6
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Yes, please stay on one topic at a time per thread please. But feel free to start another thread about your other issue(*)
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:30 PM   #7
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Part of the issue may be that there could be 2 issues at work here, and the OP is unable to differentiate them.

Another observation as well. On my 3800'*, the harmonic balancer face isn't perfectly uniform. If I stare at the face of it while running, it does appear to be wobbling. However when I watch the outside of it, that runs the belt path, it is perfectly smooth. The old unit was like this before it failed, and so is the new unit.

1013jesse, what exactly are you looking for help diagnosing in this thread? The groaning while turning? Was the 'wobble' simply intended as an observation to try and help diagnose the issue?
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:14 PM   #8
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Default confusing the issues

Pardon me. It does seem I've lacked detail and deviated away from my initial concerns between these separate issues .. Mainly I am fearing a catatsteophic failure leaving me stranded should the harmonic balancer completely quit suddenly.. so I wished to know more about its function in general and how timely, costly and detailed its repair might be. Thanks
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