My problem started about a month ago....and is ever so slightly getting worse....
when I start my car (cold start mainly, but sometimes when the car is warm, but outside temp is cold) the power steering pump (or what it sounds like) whines REALLY LOUD (can hear inside my house 20-30 ft away from car) If I turn the wheel left or right, it whines louder.
I have found that the first start of the day (which is around 6:45 am), and until my car is turned off(7:00ish am), and sits for more than ten minutes the PS whine is present.
If i turn my car OFF after cold start and run, then turn it back on and drive for a mile or less, the PS noise decreases in volume GREATLY!
I have checked the level of fluid, and it was a little low the first time I checked it.(about a month ago) I added Honda OEM PS Fluid, and the noise was still there. I am still loosing fluid on cold start up, while the car sits mainly.(i have not devised a way to check accurately while driving, so Im not sure if I am loosing fluid while moving.
Where do I need to start in getting this problem fixed without spending a crap ton of moolah. (full time college student)
2005 Honda Accord EX-L V6
120,5xx on the clock
15%tint/NGK Laser Iridium Plugs
"Save a life, drive a Honda!"
Could this be the result of an old or loose belt? the power steering pump is pumping fluid whenever the engine is running, but it doesn't actually do much work until the wheel is turned. when you turn the steering wheel, the pump/pulley experiences some resistance and the belt is very likely to slip and squeal at that point. Most belts stop slipping when things warm up, so it might also indicate the belt.
Loss of fluid is a different issue. Might be difficult to find out where the leak is since most of the components are down behind the engine/trans and difficult to see from above. I would try to get underneath and clear off as much as you can. do some very slow speed driving turning the wheel form side to side to build up pressure. Get underneath and see if you can find the leak. Driving at high speeds will cause the fluid to move all around and it will be difficult to find the source.
Normally I'd suggest changing the fluid for the noise (normally can tell it's different from the squeak of a slipping belt). However, if it's loosing fluid, changing the fluid isn't going to fix that, unless it was filled entirely with non-genuine Honda P/S fluid - in that case, a very small, slow leak might go away after changing to all Genuine fluid.
You can take a look around for any small cuts or punctures in the hoses, or maybe a loose hose, but I'd guess it's most likely the pump that is leaking. If you have a salvage yard nearby, that's your best bet for a replacement pump.
As for the noise, new fluid could be the fix but if that was the problem, it should go away when warm. Maybe it's the pump itself, maybe it's the bearing in the pump's pulley, or it could just be that the belt is loose (I know Goodyear Gatorback belts sometimes sound different when they slip) or has gotten P/S fluid on it - in which case I'd just replace it, cleaning usually won't be enough.
When you push in the center of the belt, it should be similarly taught to how the alternator and/or A/C condensor belts feel.
I am actually in the stealership's service waiting area right now, getting this same issue taken care of. Nice of them to have WiFi, huh?
I have a 2004 Accord EX V6 (60000 miles) that I just bought. I haven't driven but 300 miles since I signed the papers, and I had the same issues when the temps were around 32 - 35 degrees. I live in GA, so it isn't that cold yet. But, it took the third trip to the dealership to even get them to hear it - because it only does it when near freezing temps, and when the motor hasn't warmed upyet. They said they wouldn't do anything without hearing/diagnosing the problem.
The service tech - not the advisor- says it is a seal or O-ring in the pump that is "sucking" air and not pumping fluid to get the pressure up. Another symptom I had that you didn't mention, was when it was making the noise, the power steering felt like it was nonexistant. Like an old car with no power assisted steering.
Even though I had added an extended warranty, they included the 2 month/2000 mile warranty when I purchased my car. The dealership is, reluctantly mind you, covering the costs of replacing the pump with a new one.
I know this doesn't help you, as far as an inexpensive fix, but I'll ask them when they are done as to what exactly could have been done otherwise.
I'll post here again, when it's fixed and I get some feedback on the issue.
EDIT: Well, they replaced the pump. I didn't get any feedback from them on what else could have been done besides replacing it, they just said it wasn't a component that could have been rebuilt. I will say this though, it took 40 minutes start to finish, so maybe if you get a new pump, you could do it yourself? Just a thought.
Last edited by ibjamn; 11-28-08 at 08:52 AM.
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