Power steering noise, does it matter?
Recently replaced the 2002's OE power steering rack with a remanufactured one from FENCO. The OE rack was working fine until one of the small exterior pipes on it corroded at a severe bend in the pipe. This was a pressure line and resulted in accelerated loss of power steering fluid to the point of becoming difficult to steer.
After installation of the FENCO rack I experienced a very noticeable power steering whine, especially so when making turns at slow speeds. This whine would increase with engine rpms increasing.
No doubt the power steering pump could have been damaged by the loss of fluid, but it doesn't leak so the seals are ok apparently.
I removed the reservoir and cleaned it out the best I could - no change.
Next, I replaced the reservoir witha new one - no change.
Then I filled the reservoir to the top, per recommendations from Jeff, to within 1/4" of the stopper (up to top of indent on the outside), when power steering fluid was hot. This resulted in a considerable reduction in the whining noise.
At present, there is a faint whining noise when turning with the engine at idle. It gets more noticeable when the engine rpms increase. I can live with the noise, it's not that bad. A local Mechanic says to not worry about it.
I have been thinking of replacing the pump, in fact I have purchased a pump, which I may return. The noise isn't that bad, as already mentioned, and another pump may not be much better. Warm or cool weather doesn't seem to make a difference yet, it may in the winter.
1. What does the whining noise really mean in the big scheme of things? What is the source of the problem? Seems the pump is doing its job and the problem lies elsewhere. Is the steering really malfunctioning in some way?
2. What's likely to happen if I leave well enough alone.
I'm sure there are lots of noisy power steering systems out there. Other than the noise, what's your experience?
Last edited by Jeepman; 08-11-2011 at 02:41 PM.
2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 154,180 kms
2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 336,400 kms
2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 268,600 kms