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Old 03-18-2011, 07:06 PM
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Power Steering Pump Problems???

Hello, I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am 3.4L V6 that I have been having problems with. My husband just put in a new head-gasket, and intake gaskets, power steering line & pump, and a few other things. The problem with the car is that it growls when it runs, and makes a knocking noise when I turn to the right. He assumed it was the power steering line, because there was a hole in it. So he changed it, and when the problem was not fixed he got a new pump & put that in. Well it still growls, and still knocks when turning to the right. Now he thinks it could be one of two things. Either the rack-n-pinion (probably spelled that wrong), or the (not sure if this is the right wording) pressure switch by the power steering pump? Anyone have any idea if this can go bad (the pressure switch)? That is what he wants to know...thanks and just let me know if you have anymore questions...

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Old 03-18-2011, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandabailey
Hello, I have a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am 3.4L V6 that I have been having problems with. My husband just put in a new head-gasket, and intake gaskets, power steering line & pump, and a few other things. The problem with the car is that it growls when it runs, and makes a knocking noise when I turn to the right. He assumed it was the power steering line, because there was a hole in it. So he changed it, and when the problem was not fixed he got a new pump & put that in. Well it still growls, and still knocks when turning to the right. Now he thinks it could be one of two things. Either the rack-n-pinion (probably spelled that wrong), or the (not sure if this is the right wording) pressure switch by the power steering pump? Anyone have any idea if this can go bad (the pressure switch)? That is what he wants to know...thanks and just let me know if you have anymore questions...
So you are saying that both the old power steering pump and the new one growls?
1. Make sure he is putting the correct power steering fluid in it and at the correct level.
2. Make sure the belt is in good condition and the belt tensioner is working.

When you say "knock", are you saying the pump is knocking only when you turn right or could it be something else? My first thought on the knock would be a CV joint or possibly a wheel bearing (it is front wheel drive, correct?).
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:17 PM
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Them are good possibilities but he doesn't think that's it, because when you open the cap on the power steering pump there is pressure there, and it growls through the resivoure. Wondering if the pressure sensor valve would have anything to do with the growling through the pump? As soon as we start the motor it already is growling, so he knows it's not the wheel bearing, and it's not the CVC because it doesn't do it all the time when you turn left or right. And to clarify, it's a popping noise (like the power steering pump is under pressure, or the rack-n-pinion) not a knocking...
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:22 PM
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You say it growls when it runs. Do you mean all the time the motor is running, or just when the the car is moving? If it's just when it's moving it sounds more like a CV joint to me.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:24 PM
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The whole time it's running. Every now and then it goes away a little, (you can still hear it, but not as loud) but then it comes right back...
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandabailey
The whole time it's running. Every now and then it goes away a little, (you can still hear it, but not as loud) but then it comes right back...
There are bleeding procedures that he needs to follow. There's more to it that just replacing the pump and adding fluid. You can google the procedure and print it out so he can follow it. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:48 PM
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Thank you very much, I will definately check into that & let him know. I thougth for sure he did it but he said he's changed it on my car before (like 6 or 7 years ago) and never bled it. Didn't know he had to. Thanks agian!
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandabailey
Thank you very much, I will definately check into that & let him know. I thougth for sure he did it but he said he's changed it on my car before (like 6 or 7 years ago) and never bled it. Didn't know he had to. Thanks agian!
Here is more info and the procedure.

Aerated fluid will result in noise from the power
steering pump. The system should be bled any time
a power steering component has been replaced, a
fluid line disconnected, or for moaning and groaning
noises. To bleed the power steering system,
most technicians just fill the reservoir and turn the
wheel from lock to lock. This is not the way GM
recommends bleeding their system. Prior to bleeding
the system, perform a visual inspection to be
certain the hoses are not touching any part of the
frame or body which can promote a noise. Make
certain all hoses are tight, as a loose connection can
allow air to enter the system even though fluid will
not leak from the connection.
GM’s Recommended Bleeding Procedure:
1) Ignition switch off.
2) Turn steering wheel full left.
3) Fill fluid reservoir to Full Cold level. Leave
cap off.
4) Raise front wheels off ground.
5) With assistant checking fluid level and
condition, turn steering wheel lock to lock
at least 20 times. Engine remains off.
a) On systems with long return lines or
fluid coolers, turn steering wheel lock
to lock at least 40 times.
b) Trapped air may cause fluid to
overflow. Thoroughly clean any
spilled fluid to allow for leak check.
c) Keep fluid level at Full Cold.
6) While turning wheel, check fluid
constantly.
a) No bubbles are allowed.
b) If bubbles appear, recheck connections.
Repeat step 5.
7) Start engine. With engine idling, maintain
fluid level. Reinstall cap.
8) Return wheels to center position. Lower
front wheels to ground.
9) Keep engine running for two minutes.
10) Turn steering wheel in both directions.
Verify:
a) Smooth power assist
b) Noiseless operation
c) Proper fluid level
d) No leaks
e) No bubbles, foam or fluid
discoloration
11) If all conditions apply, procedure is
complete.
12) If any problems remain, see “Special
Conditions.”
Special Conditions:
1) Foam or bubbles in fluid: Fluid must be
completely free of bubbles. In step 5, be alert
to periodic bubbles that could indicate a
loose connection or leaky O-ring seal.
2) Discolored fluid: Fluid which is milky or tan
in color is an indication of aerated fluid.
Switch ignition off. Wait two minutes and
recheck hose connections. Repeat steps 7-
10. If condition still exists, replace O-ring
seals and clamps. Fill system and repeat
bleed procedure.
3) Pump whine or groan: With the engine running,
recheck hoses for possible contact with
frame, body panels or engine. If no contact is
found, allow fluid to cool down and repressurize
system.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:04 AM
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Thank you very much, he bled it & there is no noise anymore, except when we turn, but he thinks it's the rack-n-pinion. (Yeah I know I probably spelled that wrong) lol. Thanks again for all your help, we couldn't have done it without you!
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