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Pirate Steve 08-20-2006 04:30 PM

Power steering, hissing 2003 ZTS
I know this is a fairly common problem category so maybe you guys (and ladies) can make a suggestion for trouble shooting.

The problem, hissing while turning left after warm up. Doesn't take much of a turn either, bout 25 degree turn on the wheel?

I had this problem at about 26k and had it looked at by the dealership. They didn't do much but the sound went away. They purged they system and topped it off.

The actual print up is a bit iffy but here it transcribed, word for word.

Hissing noise from steering when turning left MT=extensive R/T for diag. Purge P/S system long test drive to verify cust concern found that after vehicle warmed up & while turning to the left found that there was a hissing noise at near left lock on power steering inspect all line rack vehicle test while not under load found noise still there found possible air in power steering syst. Test by turning lock to lock & watching fluid found slight discolor from poss air vacuum pump to 15 psi & turning wheel from time to time to evac air from syst added fluid retest found ok at this time.

What would you do? Obviously this has to be fixed and the dealership didn't fix it before. By the way, the fluid is at the right level but it is pretty dark, say like chocolate syrup mixed with coffee.

Did I leave anything out?

FocusDog 08-20-2006 07:10 PM

I'd be concerned about that super-dark fluid. Last time I checked, chocolate/coffee is not one of the standard P/S fluid colors !!! Seriously, I've had cars where the inside of the P/S hoses were deteriorating, making the fluid dark and obviously contaminated. I've also had a pump seize up and cook the fluid. I'd flush that fluid out and replace -- it might quiet it down.

Blurvfocus 08-20-2006 07:46 PM

Speaking as a shadetree mechanic, I've had problems with ford power steering being noisy. They're real &%@#'s to get the air out of. Notice they drew a vacuum on your system to try to pull it out. Good luck.

Pirate Steve 08-20-2006 09:55 PM

FocusDog- I might be exagerating a little on that fluid color, I'll see about gettin a pic up in the morning. How long is it supposed to last and it keep it's cherry color?

Blurvfocus- That's what that 15psi is all about. Heh, tech is too busy to use good sentence structure so I was confused. lol

Pirate Steve 08-21-2006 02:15 PM

Well with the benefit of a camera flash I can see the color isn't too bad. Sorry to raise a false alarm! Take a look,

Should I still be concerned about the hissing?

edit: wow, I forgot how big the max resolution is!! heh. What's that Mentos looking thing anyway?

Blurvfocus 08-21-2006 07:59 PM

If the noise doesn't bother you and the unit works OK, just go ahead and use it like that. It might eventually work itself out. Right...

penguin 08-21-2006 08:13 PM

If it bothers you, I'd think about replacing the fluid in case there was some mositure contamination or something. Did you buy this car new, or is it possible that someone topped the "P/S fluid" up with Power Steering fluid, instead of the Ford recommended Mercon ATF?

Pirate Steve 08-21-2006 10:46 PM

Ok Blur, by the way what sort of warning signs should I look out for?

Penguin, I really don't know the answer to that question. To the best of my knowlege the only time it was topped up was at the dealership. Before me there was only one owner and I bought it with right around 25k. It's possible some one yeah-who'ed it up but it woulda been covered by the warrenty so I can't figure why they would bother.

Blurvfocus 08-22-2006 08:43 PM

Warning signs? Anything other than the hiss that you find not normal or objectionable.

Pirate Steve 08-22-2006 11:13 PM

Alright, thanks for the information.

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