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Power steering pump issues

23 posts in this topic

My 91 ls 400 is making a high pitched whining sound. It rises with the rpm. My mechanic looked the car over and checked for a vacuum leak. None found. He then told me it was the power steering pump. Noise changes when you move the steering wheel left to right. Told me to get some additive made to "stop noise or quite things" I found some stuff made by Lucas Oil. I called them and they stated would be OK for LS 400, and would help the whining. The fact that I have no leaks and this is also a stop leak would not matter. Bought a bottle. When I pulled the line to drain the reservoir I flushed the system and put in new fluid with the additive. I have not yet really drove the car (only 5 miles) so it still makes noise.... Your thoughts on this?

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i would clean the screen inside of the pump.

search to find out details on its procedure

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Did that when I flushed the system, I also added an inline filter about 6 months ago. I pulled and cleaned that (it had almost nothing in it). Also the system has been working fine. No hard or dead spots. But this noise just started the other day. Agian system seems fine other then that. Have power at all RPM's and even idle. Can turn wheel lock to lock with one finger with car runing, at idle in park. No leaks etc.. Just this whinning noise. Very high pitched.

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On the black power steering reservoir cap it says "Use Dexron ATF" . That means use a Dexron II or III Automatic Transmission Fluid. Is that what has always been used in the system? Or some other type of product like power steering fluid purchased from an auto parts store?

Is the serpentine drive belt old or in newer shape? Is it a Toyota belt or is it aftermarket?

Is the power steering pump the factory original or an aftermarket pump?

Since all the early 90's factory original pumps have developed leaks by now, you might either have an auto parts store pump, a new pump installed by a Toyota/Lexus dealer or your factory original pump was resealed by someone who bought and installed a Toyota power steering pump reseal kit.

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Now that i think about it have you tried to lube the bearing behind the pulley?

I would spray some lube and then start it up as the noise might be comign from that part alone. My pump on my ES failed because the bearings race let go so the bearings were jamming together abnd burnign while off centering the whole assembly. It was a slow but progressive screech then a grind eventually.

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True, if you are going to use a stop leak make sure it says it's for an auto tran NOT

Power steering. Easy mistake to make...

Bob

On the black power steering reservoir cap it says "Use Dexron ATF" . That means use a Dexron II or III Automatic Transmission Fluid.  Is that what has always been used in the system? Or some other type of product like power steering fluid purchased from an auto parts store?

Is the serpentine drive belt old or in newer shape? Is it a Toyota belt or is it aftermarket?

Is the power steering pump the factory original or an aftermarket pump?

Since all the early 90's factory original pumps have developed leaks by now, you might either have an auto parts store pump, a new pump installed by a Toyota/Lexus dealer or your factory original pump was resealed by someone who bought and installed a Toyota power steering pump reseal kit.

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OK, lets try to respond. First thanks for the input. I know not to put "Power Streeing" fliud in. Only dex III. As I siad I checked with the additive maker to check it was OK, with Dex III. Pump is origanil, but was rebuilt by dealer at around 60,000. Car now at 120,000 miles. Belts are dealer installed and all seem ok. Only way to know for sure would be to pull the belt, but belts have been inspected. And again noise is only issue. Works fine and never had any lose of fliud.

I will try the sprying of lub on the system. What should I use? Just a good spry lub or???? I use "Break Free" as a spry lub. It has teflon in it and does not gum up over time like WD 40.

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Now that i think about it have you tried to lube the bearing behind the pulley?

I would spray some lube and then start it up as the noise might be comign from that part alone. My pump on my ES failed because the bearings race let go so the bearings were jamming together abnd burnign while off centering the whole assembly. It was a slow but progressive screech then a grind eventually.

That's along the lines of what what I was thinking as well. If the pump problem was internal then it usually makes more of what I would call a squealing noise.

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OK hit the back of the pully with a spray lub. No help. I did some break free stuff and then tried a can of "gel" silicone spray. sprayed with car off and with car on. No help. The sound is still there. It is what I would call a whinning or howling. It is not a screaching like a baering going bad. As long as engine speed stayes the same the sound stays the same. It will only go away if I turn the streeing wheel back and forth, but it comes right back the second the wheels are not turning. Also if I put my hand on the cap for the power steering I can feel the sound.... If I touch any area close to the pump, I do not feel it. The sound is the same if I remove the cap. The sound goes up in pitch with rpm. I have only driven about 25 to 30 miles from when I put the aditive in. I will be taking a 300 mile drive on Thursday. We will see.....

This is the stuff I put in:

http://www.lucasoil.com/products/display_p...atid=2&loc=show

I have talked to them again. They state it should work, but needs at least 50 miles of driving to take effect.

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When I replaced the power steering's air control valve in my 93 LS in early 2004, I had to bleed the power steering system (by turning the steering wheel lock to lock) for at least a week before the whining finally stopped. I have no idea why it took so long to get all the air out.

Since that time, I have heard no more whining noise.

Make sure that you are not losing fluid through this valve. The early 90's LS models are notorious for this problem.

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The system has not and is not showing any sign of loosing fluid, but if I have a leak I will know it today, as I'm doing a 300 + mile drive into the LA area (Southern California). Also this drive will get the additive to working if it is going to fix things. I do not see how it could be air in the system, as the system was "closed" when it started. But a 300 mile drive should help that to. We will see

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The PS pump does not get air as it is an open resevouir system ,so any air in it will get recuiculated back to the res and left there.

Btw have you removed the solenoid which adjusts the pressure according to mph?

Good luck

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OK, lets try to respond.  First thanks for the input.  I know not to put "Power Streeing" fliud in.  Only dex III.  As I siad I checked with the additive maker to check it was OK, with Dex III.  Pump is origanil, but was rebuilt by dealer at around 60,000.  Car now at 120,000 miles.  Belts are dealer installed and all seem ok.  Only way to know for sure would be to pull the belt, but belts have been inspected.  And again noise is only issue.  Works fine and never had any lose of fliud.

I will try the sprying of lub on the system.  What should I use?  Just a good spry lub or????  I use "Break Free" as a spry lub.  It has teflon in it and does not gum up over time like WD 40.

I Kind of agree with Monarch on the point of the condition of the serpentine Belt, since your not losing any fluid.

Had Simular problems.

A couple of days after it started raining I started to hear a High pitch whine ( I would swear it came from the power steering pump).

The whine did increase and decrease with RPM's

After driving the car(10-20 Min.) the whine would stop or be reduced (If the whine you hear is constant then it might not be the same issue)

After two weeks and a power steering flush, filter cleanings, and added inline filter I took the car to a mechanic.

Mechanic told me it was my belt. He said sometimes the moisture in the air bring out the worst in a belt. Went to auto parts picked one up and replaced it. High pitch whine was gone. The belt I removed visually look in good condition(apperently Not).

Just food for thought.

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Well the car made it to LA. Showing no indacation of a power streeing issue, other then the whinning. I know it is not the filter on the solenoid becouse my low speed power steering is fine, and 'I cleaned that filter some time back and then wentt with a finner inline filter, and I just checked that one and it had almost nothing in it.

I'm staying at a hotel next to an airport that has small jets at it. The whinning noise is a lot like the sound a jet makes as the engine winds up.

As for the belt, looks like I may try that when I get back home. The noise is there at all speeds. Just gets high in pitch at hih speeds. Again no fluid loss, and streeing feels fine at all speeds, even stopped.

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Well the car made it to LA.  Showing no indacation of a power streeing issue, other then the whinning.  I know it is not the filter on the solenoid  becouse my low speed power steering is fine, and 'I cleaned that filter some time back and then wentt with a finner inline filter, and I just checked that one and it had almost nothing in it.

I'm staying at a hotel next to an airport that has small jets at it.  The whinning noise is a lot like the sound a jet makes as the engine winds up.

As for the belt, looks like I may try that when I get back home.  The noise is there at all speeds.  Just gets high in pitch at hih speeds.  Again no fluid loss, and streeing feels fine at all speeds, even stopped.

I would recommend to replace the pump or have a profesional rebuild it again or get another one. The PS pump is the problem of the noise, I had a similar problem with a Mitsubishi Diamante PS pump that used the same fluid as the Lexus one. I bought a rebuilt one, never heard the noise again. So there you have it, rebuild it, buy a rebuilt one, buy a new one, or keep the noise and the old one, and there are always salvage parts. All this if the Lucas oil aditive did not do the JoB!

C

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I have now put 1,000 miles on the car with no change to the noise. Addidtive is not helping at all. Again everything seems fine, exept this noise. I'm starting to think I have a jet engine under the hood.

Before I do the $$ of the pump, I'll replace the belt and se if that does it. I will be supprised if it does... But I'll be happy as it is cheeper and easer then the pump.

Will do today or Thursday??

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I have now put 1,000 miles on the car with no change to the noise.  Addidtive is not helping at all.  Again everything seems fine, exept this noise.  I'm starting to think I have a jet engine under the hood.

Before I do the $$ of the pump, I'll replace the belt and se if that does it.  I will be supprised if it does... But I'll be happy as it is cheeper and easer then the pump.

Will do today or Thursday??

Hi: Change the belt if you need to chang it, but it will not solve the problem. You need to change or rebuilt the pump. I would be checking with a hydrolics shop they probable can rebuild it for about 50.00 if you take it out yourself and buy the rebuild kit. My advice. C

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I have now put 1,000 miles on the car with no change to the noise.  Addidtive is not helping at all.  Again everything seems fine, exept this noise.  I'm starting to think I have a jet engine under the hood.

Before I do the $$ of the pump, I'll replace the belt and se if that does it.  I will be supprised if it does... But I'll be happy as it is cheeper and easer then the pump.

Will do today or Thursday??

But on the other hand it could be the belt, if it is not, just put the old one back and save that new one for a later time in the trunk of the car. If it is not the belt then the pump is your thing!

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Got back home today just intime to drive by the shop before they closed for the day. Told him additive did jack to help. Told him forum is stating pump or belt. He felt more likly pump then belt. But said it could be belt just unlikely, he put a blast of wd40 on the belt whith car running. He said if it was the belt that would change the noise or stop it for a second or two. Noise did not change. Looking more like the pump. I'm looking online for a rebiult one now.

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Got back home today just intime to drive by the shop before they closed for the day.  Told him additive did jack to help.  Told him forum is stating pump or belt.  He felt more likly pump then belt.  But said it could be belt just unlikely, he put a blast of wd40 on the belt whith car running.  He said if it was the belt that would change the noise or stop it for a second or two.  Noise did not change.  Looking more like the pump.  I'm looking online for a rebiult one now.

HI Please let us know how much for the Pump if you buy a rebuilt and if it was on line how much for shipping and handling, must of us soon or later will be going your path of buying a new pump. When you refill use the lucas automatic transmission so youll fluid will last longer without any problems or new pumps to buy. Those lucas products are great to prevent but it they are added when it is too late they can not do much.

You could also find a good hydrolic shop and have them rebuilt your pump it will be a lot cheaper if you install it yourself if mechanically inclined to do so. There is even a tutorial on lexls.com on how to rebuild the earlier pumps that should be about the same as ours.

C

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I just got back from Auto Zone . I ordered a rebiult pump. It has a lifetime warantee. It was under $150.00 with core charge. If I return the old unit I get back $30.00 so for $120.00 I get a pump with a life time warantee. I do have to move the resevor from the old to the new, but for !20.00 I'm not even going to think about rebuilding the old one. I will have my shop do the work. I'll have him pull the selonide and check the screen, and pull the resevor and check the screen. If they are clean, I'll have him put the new pump on. If they are dirty I'll think about just cleaning and flushing. But as I have an inline filter and it is clean, I will be amazed if the others are dirty. Pump has about 80,000 miles on it

(was rebiult by dealer at 60,000

, when my dad had this car).

To get the $120.00 pump you have to go into Auto Zone, they do not show it on thier web site.....?????

Also as of this morning, my low speed steering is acting up....... So, it could be the screens.. Or the pump, or both........

I will know next week when I get the new pump.

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Hi,

My son's 91 LS had exactly the same problem: a whirring sound with increasing/decreasing volume. I put in more P/S fluid to the correct level and voila! it's gone :cheers:

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The correct level of fluid is not the problem. First thing I did was to check the level. I also pulled and checked my inline filter and it was clean. Also as I added an additive if level was low, that would have fixed it.

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