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Power Steering Noise


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I have replaced my power steering pump twice now and can't seem to get the noise to go away. When the engine is around 1100-1300 rpm and the power steering fluid is warm it makes noise and groans (Only when turning the steering wheel). It is pretty loud and can be heard in the cab. The first pump I ran penzoil power steering fluid. With this second pump I have full synthetic ATF fluid in there. Each time I replaced it I removed the return line and got all of the fluid out (Started and turned the wheel for a few seconds). Then replaced the pump, filled the pump, lifted the front end, started it and turned it back and forth until it felt good. Then refilled the pump. I only have 2,000 miles on this pump and it has made noise pretty much since I bought it.. Same with the first one. Anyone have any ideas?

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It does almost sound like you've got air trapped somewhere. Did you turn the wheel lock to lock with the cap off when you were bleeding? It takes alot to bleed a system, probably 30 turns or so. Also I would change your fluid. Dodge specs actual power steering fluid for the 2nd gens, not ATF.I know people will say they are the same, but I've also had experienced mechanics tell me it's not good to substitute one for the other. Reason tells me that if ATF was compatable for the pumps they would have just specd it as the fluid to begin with like they did with certain other Chrysler vehicles. I just play it safe and use whatever the manufacture recomends.

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Yes the truck was jacked up and turned lock to lock multiple times, as the instructions stated. I'm just curious as to why this exact same thing would happen with two pumps. Is it even the pump? Could it be the steering box that is making the noise? Both fluids have made the same noise

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There is a screen on the inlet line of most power steering pumps, (actually in the body of the pump so you would have to remove the hose and look into the pump) I wonder if the Dodges have them? I've been fortunate and never had to remove mine for service so I'm not sure. I have seen them pretty clogged up before though, which will cause a decrease in power assist and often a groan as well.

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There is a screen in them exactly where d4l stated. And the possibility of what Mike stated as well. Have you actually confirmed it is the pump, I have heard many dry ball joints, tie rod ends and worn bushings make a groaning noises as well.

Could be a seal leak on the steering gear as well pulling air in and causing a slight cavitation which would make a pump moan. Have you pulled the dipstick to see if the oil looks bubbly?

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More than likely the debris from the first pump failure is plugging up a passage in either the gear box or hydro-booster and causing a flow issues which is most likely the groaning of the bypass valve internally.

Moparman, I don't believe it is debris from the first pump because it never actually "failed". It was just making this same groaning noise, so I replaced it thinking it would solve the problem. This is part of the reason I think it might be something else.

 

There is a screen in them exactly where d4l stated. And the possibility of what Mike stated as well. Have you actually confirmed it is the pump, I have heard many dry ball joints, tie rod ends and worn bushings make a groaning noises as well.

Could be a seal leak on the steering gear as well pulling air in and causing a slight cavitation which would make a pump moan. Have you pulled the dipstick to see if the oil looks bubbly?

I will take it for a ride today and get it good and warm if I can!

 

If anyone else has had this problem shouldn't stepping on the breaks really hard at that rpm cause the same noise? Because it doesn't with the breaks I'm curious if it could be the steering box. And if anyone has any idea why would it only do it around those rpms? Higher it doesn't make noise and lower it doesn't make noise.

 

Thanks for the quick replies!

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Pumps can be funny that way especially if there is air in the system.

 

Here is an awesome Mod I did to my 02, it made a nice difference in steering effort.

http://westtexasoffroad.homestead.com/powersteering.html

In the first pic The hose hooks up to #1 and the screen is inside #1 fitting.

Edited by Wild and Free
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Pumps can be funny that way especially if there is air in the system.

 

Here is an awesome Mod I did to my 02, it made a nice difference in steering effort.

http://westtexasoffroad.homestead.com/powersteering.html

In the first pic The hose hooks up to #1 and the screen is inside #1 fitting.

 

With a couple thousand miles on it is it even possible to have air in it?

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are your  power brakes  working  like they  should?     I  too  have replaced   the   pump a couple of times,    mainly  from   leaks  which  ended up  running the  pump  too low,  and  HOT...    

 

The  last  one   from  cardone  had  the  extra  filter  screen  in it..  I'm not sure if   original had one.

 

Take the  fill cap off  after  running it  for awhile,  and  see if  the  oil is all foamy.    Each time  my pumps  were  buzzing/moaning ...  it was  very frothy.

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are your  power brakes  working  like they  should?     I  too  have replaced   the   pump a couple of times,    mainly  from   leaks  which  ended up  running the  pump  too low,  and  HOT...    

 

The  last  one   from  cardone  had  the  extra  filter  screen  in it..  I'm not sure if   original had one.

 

Take the  fill cap off  after  running it  for awhile,  and  see if  the  oil is all foamy.    Each time  my pumps  were  buzzing/moaning ...  it was  very frothy.

Breaks work great! I'll do that later today and report back

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If you have a loose fitting or bad hose on the return side of the steering or brake booster circuit or a seal leaking a bit it is possible to have air in it. Even if the fluid is a wee low it can aerate the oil as it is such a small reservoir to start with. If the screen is partially plugged and starving the pump of oil it will cavitate if the relief is set too low it will bypass and cause aeration and or cavitation when the oil gets hot it will get worse.

 

The moaning is most likely coming from one of two things air or too low of relief setting both will cause noise.

The problem with most remans is they only fix the major stuff and they probably don't mess with the relief valve or pressure.

Edited by Wild and Free
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I spoke with ED today about this problem and we believe we have narrowed it down to debris in the system or another bad pump. The fluid does have a burnt smell to it, but ED instructed me that all atf 4+ has this smell even after a short amount of use. When I get home from college I will pull the pump, and all of the lines to ensure all screens and lines are clear. I will update when this is done. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I replaced the PS pump 2 years ago in my '01 CTD because of the 'groaning' ONLY WHILE TURNING the steering wheel to the right. The replacement pump had no effect on the groan- it has continued to this day. Does the box have a relief valve, or does it take a little more pressure to turn right?

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I have replaced my power steering pump twice now and can't seem to get the noise to go away. When the engine is around 1100-1300 rpm and the power steering fluid is warm it makes noise and groans (Only when turning the steering wheel). It is pretty loud and can be heard in the cab. The first pump I ran penzoil power steering fluid. With this second pump I have full synthetic ATF fluid in there. Each time I replaced it I removed the return line and got all of the fluid out (Started and turned the wheel for a few seconds). Then replaced the pump, filled the pump, lifted the front end, started it and turned it back and forth until it felt good. Then refilled the pump. I only have 2,000 miles on this pump and it has made noise pretty much since I bought it.. Same with the first one. Anyone have any ideas?

Return lines, plural. There are 2. I just flushed mine today again because mine was groaning as well...and a crap load of debris came from the gear box line.

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The one pump I did change didn't have a screen. I do agree with W&F about air in thee system it does create some weird issues too sometimes its easier to jack up the front axle and go from lock to lock with it running to help push the air from the system too. Sometime you have to hold the RPM's up and go lock to lock to purge the air out.

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  • 1 month later...

I work on Hummers for the military and they have a very similar steering system.  To properly bleed them you raise the front end, fill the pump, and without starting the engine, turn it lock to lock. That way the pump doesnt cause it to foam. Once you get foam you almost have to drain and refill to get it out.  Turning the gearbox will force the fluid through the system.

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