Power steering pump noise is one of the most identifiable sounds your car can make when it is broken. There can be a lot of clunks, squeaks or hums that can indicate a wide variety of other problems, but a whining power steering pump us usually very distinctive. Once you’ve had the misfortune of dealing with a noisy power steering pump, the sound will no longer be a mystery.
In some rare cases transmissions have been known to make whining sounds also as they have similar pumps and use similar fluids, but since your transmission is much bigger and on the other side of your engine, it is usually pretty easy to tell where the sound is coming from by simply popping your hood and listening for the sound at idle.
In order to figure out how to fix your power steering pump noise, it can be helpful to understand why your power steering pump gets noisy in the first place. The unique noise your power steering pump makes when something is wrong is due to its specific design. Your power steering pump is required to take the rotary motion of your engine’s crankshaft and convert it into high pressure fluid that can be used to assist you in turning the heavy wheels of your car. Your power steering pump does this by attaching a belt and pulley to a rotary vane pump. A rotary vane pump is actually designed more like a fan than a typical pump. Inside the pump housing is a rotor with vanes or blades attached to it. When spinning, these vanes throw the power steering fluid into the outlet hose on the pump creating the high pressure needed for the system.
It is the special design of the vane and rotor that creates the unique whine you hear when your power steering isn’t operating correctly. The whine is usually created by a problem with the power steering fluid that the pump is trying to move. The problem can be something as simple as worn out fluid that has lost its additives or physical properties and doesn’t pump well to small air bubbles in the power steering fluid that foam and cause the vanes to vibrate and whine.
If you have power steering pump noise then you most likely have one of these problems. If you’ve kept up with regular maintenance on your car including changing your power steering fluid as recommended, then the whine is most likely due to air bubbles in your system. Air can get in your power steering system from a few different sources. First, you could have air bubbles in your power steering fluid due to a loose low pressure hose. Since your pump is drawing fluid into the rotor and vanes from the return reservoir at a vacuum, air can also be pulled in if there are any loose hose connections. This air can be enough to cause the fluid to foam and your pump to whine.
Another possible source of air being introduced into your power steering pump is actually by a lack of power steering fluid. If there is a lack of fluid in your power steering system the fluid reservoir will get low. Your power steering pump draws fluid in from that reservoir and if there is a low fluid level it can also draw air in along with it causing the same bubbles and whining sound. This problem is easy to identify because you will be able to see the low fluid level in your power steering fluid reservoir.
If you have discovered a low level in your power steering fluid reservoir then you have a leak somewhere in your system as that would be the only way power steering fluid could escape. The seals in your power steering system are either very difficult or impossible to replace due to their location or how they are fitted into your steering rack. Instead of replacing an entirely good power steering rack because of one leaky seal, use BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak to revive your old seals and stop your leak. BlueDevil Power Steering Stop leak is easy to use and is guaranteed to seal your power steering leak so you don’t have a low power steering fluid level again!
For more information about BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak, visit our product information page here:
You can pick up a bottle of BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak at these local auto parts stores:
- Advance Auto Parts
- Bennett Auto Supply
- CarQuest Auto parts
- NAPA Auto Parts
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Fast Track
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
- S&E Quick Lube Distributer
- DYK Automotive
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power_Steering_pump.jpg – By Huad262 – Licensed By ThinkStock – Original Link