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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fairly certain that my PS pump is starting to go. Just started making the whining noise on me. I didn't check the fluid level, but I did turn the steering wheel to each side about 5 times a piece to try to flush it.

What should I check before doing anything? And where wpuld be a good tutorial for doing it? The only challenge I would see is the belt, unless I know where everything is.

I also read on here that it takes tranny fluid? I didn't find the reference in my owner's manual.
PS Pump Going:

http://youtu.be/Uw4-3sA_ScI
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I know that is a symptom; my Cavalier had that problem periodically, but I don't think it has gone yet.

But I figured this would still be the pump.
 

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Isn't that the typical PS noise of a Ford? My new wagon makes that noise. I run Mobil 1 trans fluid in my Monte and Saturn, planning to do the same with the Focus unless someone speaks up to say its bad for some reason. FWIW when I switched the Saturn to M1 in the PS system it stopped whinning except for really cold mornings until everything warms up a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I didn't think of that (the cold). I bought the car back in March (I live in Maine). I was in Kansas from the beginning of May until the end of August with high temps frequently and traveling 2000 miles a month. Now, I'm back in Maine and the weather has seen some low temps (I think 30s at night).

I wasn't running the car for long when I had noticied. I'll see what happens when I take the car home this weekend (~75 miles).
 

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Moved this to General Tech Chat, best for repair questions that don't have a special section for them.

Current version of Ford ATF is the normal fill for the PS system. Even with a manual trans. I figured I could afford a quart to change some & for top ups (grin).
 

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FYI steering getting harder can also be belt tensioner messing up or belt slipping, may not show a light at all.

Generally if the pump is the cause you get noise at same time the steering gets hard.
 

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2004 Focus Wagon, Zetec DOHC, Auto
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Page 218 of your owner's manual...MERCON ATF (spec XT-2-QDX) for power steering...but this spec has been superseded by XT-5-QMC (MERCON V). So, any fluid that meets or exceeds that spec will work.

Have you checked the P/S reservoir for foam in the fluid? You have to do this while you are turning the wheel (assistant needed), or immediately after you have turned the wheel. Air getting in the system makes a racket.
 

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If you're not seeing any leaks and the only issue is pump whine, it may be best to just flush the fluid and see what happens. My Ford Freestyle had a crazy loud pump that quieted up afterwards, and my Focus (kinda loud) is quieter as well.

I also used Mobil1 Synthetic ATF. That or Redline's PS fluid (rated for use in Mercon applications) would be a good bet in cold weather. The better quality fluid seems to hold up quite well in PS systems. M1 actually carries the official MercV approval, and is a bit thicker than a lot other "fits all" ATF's (closer to the original spec). A synthetic fluid will definitely pump more easily in cold weather.

May as well give that a shot before replacing pumps!
 

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'... it may be best to just flush the fluid and see what happens...'

I'd go with that, good idea, new fluid sometimes shuts things up a bit, the viscosity additives are fresh and not wore out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, it appears that this only happens under 2 situations

1) The car is cold / it's cold out
2) I drive the RPMs up past a normal (2500 or so) range
 

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Your pump is probably fine. Get a quart or two of Mobil1 ATF and a cheap turkey baster. Pull out old fluid from the reservoir with the baster and top off with fresh fluid. Do this every day for the next few days while driving normally in between. In 3-5 days you'll have essentially flushed your system and the whine should get better or go away completely. Take note of the brown color you pull out on day 1 and keep replacing until you get close to the red you keep adding back in to gauge when you have replaced enough.
 

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You will NOT be getting rid of any whine caused by worn mechanical, change the fluid till doomsday...................once the pumping section is roughed or gouged up the noise will NEVER go away, only maybe lessen a bit when the roughness wears a bit smoother. Usually not though, chaosian theory says the damage usually increases, not gets better.

Instead of blindly changing pumps like most do, one should pull one or two apart to see what REALLY happens there. It becomes very obvious, the pump will always be torn up inside. The parts are matched once run and even putting it back together with say a couple of the vane inserts reversed end for end will whine one that was fine before.
 
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