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Old 01-29-2013, 09:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Power steering question?? squealing

So a question I already know the reason for, but don't know the underlying problem.

When my 2004 6 Wagon MTX starts cold(Here in SD it gets pretty cold) it is squealing. Now I know that it is getting air into the system somehow but I don't know if anyone else has had this problem.

On first starting it will squeal. If I slowly turn the wheel right away, it more or less stops the squeal. Then within 10 seconds the sound is gone whether or not I am turning the wheel. Also, after it has sat overnight, there is a very small puddle under the front drivers side engine. I've looked on here and also under my car and see the metal hose where most fog lights would be and see that it is a bit wet there. I cannot tell where it is coming from and assume it must be from the connections to the rubber hose but cannot see it.

My question is, has anyone ever had this? Has anyone had an extremely small crack in the metal hose? Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you ahead of time.

Ted
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Usually very cold starts will have a squealing power steering pump. If you want it to go away you'd have to find fluid that has a better temp range. When the fluid heats up it thins out and the pump stops squealing. The leak must be on the non-pressurized side or you'd have squealing all the time even when the car is warmed up. Check the tank and the connections at it for any leaks. Jack it up and trace it down. If you can't figure it out wipe down everything so it's dry and then run it to see if you can find it leaking. As far as what fluid to use see this thread (Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF): FLUSHED POWER STEERING FLUID!
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Blackcoog,

I did think about the temp idea. It is a brand new car for me so I knew there were going to be things I was going to need to learn. I also had wiped the undercarage down yesterday in hopes of tracing down the leak. Still a bit unsure where but I drove it today so I am hoping to get under and take a look. The tank btw was right on the money but underneath was wet. I guess I will see tonight what is up....

One of my first cars was a 91 Cougar. Loved it!!


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Old 01-30-2013, 11:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It might be overfilled. I noticed on my recent Mazda swap that when you crank the wheels back and forth it will push fluid back on one direction and it might push it out of the tank around the cap. Pop the cap off and have someone crank the wheel back and forth when you are watching the fluid (car running). Soak some fluid up if it overflows so it won't happen again.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OP - its very likely that the belt is always slipping to some extent due to contamination. If for some reason it has oil, water, coolant, grease, silicon or any of that on it, it will slip enough to squeal. Likely when you turn the wheel the LOAD shoot up so high that slips even more which heats the belt giving it grip on the pulleys.

In the past belt dressing was used as it would clean the belt getting the contamination off it. Basically liquid abrasive. Do keep in mind that a weak tensioner spring could be the cause also as well as highly glazed belt.

As for the source of air - on the suction side of the pump a leak close to the pump could allow it to suck air. These vane pumps do not like to run out of fluid. Once they suck air it damages the rotor and vains which then induce air due to cavitation. Like a boat prop half in the water.

When the system is low the worst thing to do is turn the wheel quickly from lock to lock as it starves the pump inducing cavitation, which foams the fluid, raises the temp and cause more pump destruction. Keep it topped off until the leak is fixed.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If the belts are loose you will hear a squeal, especially when the engine is cold. Check all the belts on the vehicle, including the timing belt and fan belt. Tighten where appropriate and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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^^ the belt is has is auto tensioned - and the timing belt is metal aka -> its chain! Actually 2 of them. I suggest you get FSM and do some reading.

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