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Old 06-16-2013, 12:38 AM   #1
metriccar
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Whining noise when turning wheel as I'm driving

For the last 5-10k miles or so I'd get this whining noise when accelerating hard and turning the wheel (like turning left across traffic), then for a while after that, like 20 seconds or more, it would make the whine when steering in a parking lot. I assumed this was my power steering pump going out. Recently I got a "thermostat bad" code check engine light. So I went in and replaced the power steering pump, drive belt, and thermostat. Whine is still there just like before What could it be? Car has 95k miles. 2008 Ford Focus.


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Old 06-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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Probably low fluid. Have you checked your PS fluid level? Also when the pump is replaced you are supposed to turn the wheel back and forth to bleed all the air out of it. There is another trick also, but will require draining the fluid and refilling with another thicker fluid. I swear by it, and I've had plenty of Fords that had the PS groan.

Remove all the fluid. Purchase ATF- now let me explain, what I mean is type F ATF, not MerconIII, not MerconV, not ATF+3 or 4, I mean exactly Type F ATF. It is available at every parts store, but typically they don't have a lot of it since it's for old AT's and PS. It's a thicker fluid. Drain and refill with this, rotate the wheel back and forth until it stops until the air is bled out, and there's a very good chance that the sound will go away.

You could also have a small leak that is introducing air into the system. My guess would be that the pressure seal where the hard line meets the rack is leaking. That line is supposed to be loose when tightened correctly. The fitting is tight and sealed, but the hard line should move easily. If it doesn't move easily, or there is a sign of PS fluid there, treat it like any other fluid leak. Clean the area, and check it in another week. New seals are available nearly anywhere, but you will have to drain all the fluid to replace that seal, or it will drain out on you- LOL.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:36 AM   #3
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To my knowledge, until the new low vis fluids came into being, all ATF was around 10 weight, meaning F AND Mercon III........................I interchange them freely in power steering units.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:56 PM   #4
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Check your fluids.

There have been reports of fluid leaks beginning around 50-60k in the steering assembly. usually it's a very small leak. I think most have been fixing it by using some stop-leak. IF I am remembering correctly one person used some kind of lucas PS fluid stop link, and that had fixed it for 20K+ miles with no further issues.

Or maybe I'm remembering something else entirely. lol.

I do know that my wife's old beater altima had a PS leak. I had to fill it out about once a month. If I missed or forgot about it, the whine would remind me. heh. I hated that car.
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