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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so here is what I have. I left my car with my girlfriend for 3 months as I went away for the summer. When I came back the car makes a grinding noise when I turn the wheel (while parked), it gets the loudest when I turn the steering wheel to the max turn radius when parked and winds down when I adjust the wheels to be straight again. The car is hard to steer (very stiff steering) almost feels like I lost my power steering.

So, other than not leaving your car with your girlfriend, where should I start looking for the problem???

Thanks guys
 

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Check the level in your power steering fluid resevoir, as well as looking over the pump and system for a leak. Most likely it has nothing to do with her, unless she hit something while driving that was able to damage a line to the steering rack.
 

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Your PS fluid is likely low or in need of being changed.

I'm going to say this again, and I will provide Ford part numbers to prove it later when I can get to my manual. Use Type F ATF which sometimes comes in bottles that simply have ATF on it or use generic power steering fluid. Do not use a Dexron/Mercon ATF those are thinner fluids.

After refilling the PS fluid reservoir, crank the steering back and forth- lock to lock, and then check the level again. Continue to fill to max until it no longer goes down. That's how you bleed a PS unit. If the PS pump itself is bad, you will hear rattling from it. Otherwise, you merely need to bleed and replace fluid.
 

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Not like this really needs to be said, but before you start cranking the steering wheel left and right, put your car on jacks stands so you can save your tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Your PS fluid is likely low or in need of being changed.

I'm going to say this again, and I will provide Ford part numbers to prove it later when I can get to my manual. Use Type F ATF which sometimes comes in bottles that simply have ATF on it or use generic power steering fluid. Do not use a Dexron/Mercon ATF those are thinner fluids.

After refilling the PS fluid reservoir, crank the steering back and forth- lock to lock, and then check the level again. Continue to fill to max until it no longer goes down. That's how you bleed a PS unit. If the PS pump itself is bad, you will hear rattling from it. Otherwise, you merely need to bleed and replace fluid.
I checked the ps fluid and the reservoir is at the max level. Could it maybe a belt issue?


Not like this really needs to be said, but before you start cranking the steering wheel left and right, put your car on jacks stands so you can save your tires.
I'm changing the tires in the next two weeks anyway
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok so I've narrowed down from where the noise is coming from. Seems to come from the black box right next to the top most pulley on the passenger side of the engine. I'm guessing this is the power steering pump?

Also I connected my obd2 scan tool and no codes came up.... until I ran a ford diagnostic check, these 4 codes popped up..

P1000
p1550 power steering pressure sensor out of range
p1703 brake switch out of range
p1780 transmission control switch out of range
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Belts squeal.

PS pumps groan.

Is the sound you're hearing a high pitched noise like a screech or more midrange like the groan description?
sounds like a moaning noise, not exactly belt squeal.

I went ahead and ordered a power steering pump. Let's see if that helps.
 

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X2 - and YES that IS the power steering pump & reservoir...
 

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At least they aren't expensive, as long as nothing was done to it recently, changing fluid alone won't likely solve the problem.

Seen the issue pop up when the wrong fluid was recently added, NOT as common just from fluid that was never changed....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At least they aren't expensive, as long as nothing was done to it recently, changing fluid alone won't likely solve the problem.

Seen the issue pop up when the wrong fluid was recently added, NOT as common just from fluid that was never changed....
Well the real question now is... is it safe to drive before I get the new part?

Oh, and should I get a new p/s pulley too?
 

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"Safe" is relative - it will NOT stop steering, but effort gets VERY hard with total failure.... (NOT likely...)

New P/S pulley is NOT required.... but this is a good time to change the belt, tensioner & idler pulleys if not done recently....

As long as the serpentine is coming off, check condition of everything it drives, just to avoid future grief....

Spin the pulleys, make sure they turn smoothly, the tensioner has proper movement & "spring" to it... etc.

it would NOT be a "good thing", to replace the P/S pump & then have the serpentine fail, or any of the pulleys or driven parts since you just were in there & did most of the work needed for replacement....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"Safe" is relative - it will NOT stop steering, but effort gets VERY hard with total failure.... (NOT likely...)

New P/S pulley is NOT required.... but this is a good time to change the belt, tensioner & idler pulleys if not done recently....

As long as the serpentine is coming off, check condition of everything it drives, just to avoid future grief....

Spin the pulleys, make sure they turn smoothly, the tensioner has proper movement & "spring" to it... etc.

it would NOT be a "good thing", to replace the P/S pump & then have the serpentine fail, or any of the pulleys or driven parts since you just were in there & did most of the work needed for replacement....
Good point. Is it easy to replace the belt on a duratec?
 

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Not particularly, as there isn't much space to work in....

Some people manage to adapt "std." tools to do the job, others find it easier to get the special long reach wrenches for the job (avail. cheap from Harbor Freight for example..)
 
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