Power Steering Pump noise can be one of the most frustrating problems to try and solve in your vehicle. A noisy power steering pump can be embarrassing and can leave you wondering if your car is really reliable or if it will leave you stranded.
Power steering pump noise is usually described as a whine or sometimes a hum that varies with engine RPM, but not with vehicle speed. That is because your power steering pump is driven by a belt connected to the crankshaft of your engine. Usually, you can best hear the noise of your power steering pump at idle or low speeds because there is less road noise and your power steering pump is working it’s hardest.
Your power steering pump can start to make noise for a few different reasons:
- Loose Pulley
- Worn Bearings or Pump
- Air in the system
- Low Fluid Level
First off, a loose pulley on your power steering pump can cause it to start to make noise. Usually, this will be a rattling noise, and could cause further problems. A loose power steering pump pulley can cause extremely accelerated wear on your engine belt causing it to break after just a few miles. A broken engine belt can cause lots of other problems when it breaks including overheating, no air conditioning and low system voltage.
Worn power steering pump bearings or a worn pump in general can cause whining, humming, or rattling. In this case, you might notice a lack of power steering power as well. In this case, your only option is to replace the power steering pump. You can check for this problem, by removing the engine belt and checking the pump pulley and shaft for play and the fluid for debris or wear products from the failing bearings.
Another cause of power steering pump noise could be air in the system. If there is air entrained in the power steering pump fluid, it can cause the pump to whine while it is running. You can check for this by opening the power steering pump fluid reservoir cap and checking the fluid while the engine is running. If the fluid is frothy or foaming this could be your problem. The most likely cause of air entering in your system would be a loose connection on the low pressure line. The low pressure side of your power steering system can allow air to enter at a leak point causing your power steering fluid to foam and your pump to whine. If this is the case, you can try tightening connections or replacing the low pressure line.
Lastly, a low power steering fluid level can also cause your power steering pump to whine. Similar to an air leak in your system, a low fluid level can cause foaming or frothing of the fluid. Also, an extremely low fluid level can allow the pump to run dry which will also cause noise. If you find a low power steering fluid level, check your systems for leaks. If you find a leak in a hose, your best option is to replace that leaking hose. If you find a leak at a seal in your pump, steering rack or steering gear use BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak to restore the leaking seal and stop your leak. With a sealed leak, you can top off your power steering fluid reservoir and quiet down your power steering pump.
- 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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