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Sc400 Power Steering Problem


Revron1
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Ok, folks I am new to this forum so be gentle. I have a 94 sc400 with 115,000miles. I am second owner and new the first. The vehicle has been meticulously maintained and until last week it drove and ran perfect. About two years ago the power steering pump started leaking and it took out my alternator. Both were replaced with the pump having a lifetime warranty.(at Toyota dealership--The Lexus dealership is clear across town.) THEN......Last week one day the steering started low-noise growling when turning. I immediately looked at the fluid and it appeared at proper level-maybe a little bit low. I added a little fluid and it did not help. The next day I drove it again for a short distance and the powere steering went out altogether. I looked at the reservoir and there was fluid on the cap and it had overflowed into the lower engine compartment shield. Whoa..... I immediately took it into the Toyota dealership hoping not to ruin the alternator---( I am a pretty quick study.)

After two days of Toyota trying to convince me that there was no apparent leak in the system and that I had overfilled the fluid, they noticed that after flushing and putting fluid at the proper level. the pump would throw out fluid through the cap when turning. They then replaced the pump and ah ha....it still threw the fliud out of the cap.. no improvement in steering. They were stumped....They called Lexus and I got on this forum....They are now telling me that Lexus advised them to take everthing loose from the rack and see if there is a binding...If so I need a new rack.

I read through all of the threads and think that maybe we are putting out a match with a fire hose. It could be a restriction in the lines due to the Solenoid filter screen. I informed my service manager of this and he said that Lexus did not say anythiung about it. He is waiting 'til Tuesday to do anything more....

OK, everyone....HELP! I used to work on my cars but they got too sophisticated and I now usually leave it to the experts. I fear however that Toyota is not an expert on Lexus and Lexus just wants to replace parts with little diagnosis. What are your thoughts out there? What should it cost if I have to replace the Rack--hopefully not.

I live in Jacksonville Fl. and would also appreciate any advice on who could repair...Thansk for any help

Ron.

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Hi, I think I know the solution to this. You say that the fluid is splashing out when the cap is opened, and the steering is making a growling noise. Well that is from air in the power steering pump and reservoir. The splashing is actually air trying to get out. To get the air out do this:

You will also need a partner to help you

1. lift both front wheels up

2. one person open reservoir cap for power steering, put a rag around it to catch any fluid.

3. The other person needs to start the car and turn the wheel fully left and right 10 times each way quickly or until the fluid is coming out like crazy and shut the car off.

4. Repeat step 3 until the noise stops and the fluid is not popping out like crazy.

5. When it's done, you might see that you need more fluid, so fill to appropriate level.

Hope this works, it did for me :)

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You should lift the front wheel becuase you can kill your tires that way and you NEED the engine on when you turn the wheel so that the power steering pump will take the air out, otherwise, how will the air come out? I know the "Politicaly Correct" way to drive is by turning your tires when standing still, but you actually weaken the life of your tires a loooot more than not standin in one motion. That's why when you make a turn you should turn with the motion of the car, not totally still. Trust Me, my uncle works with tires. So if you wanna keep your tires as long as possible, don't stay still in one spot and turn the tires.

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actually the pump isnt the thing that needs the bleeding. the rack is the one with all the air in it. think of it as a hydraulic piston. if you move the piston back and fourth the air will be pushed out of the return line and back in to the resovoir. of course i started the engine periodicly to see if the pump still made noise. trust me i just did this about 2 weeks ago ;)

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  • 1 year later...

so anybody have this same problem. i tried to do the things the above posts says but no luck, there's still a loud growling noise. if anybody have this problem b4 and know how to fix, please let me know. thanks.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 9 months later...

i found myself in the same situation

i just bought my car with a broken rack

i replaced the rack

then i realized that the car's power steering pump is dying because i would have to rev up to get power to the steering

so i replaced the pump with a used one which then blew the power steering high pressure line

i got my line repaired by a hydralics place

they reused the fittings and the restrictor thats in the line

after i installed the line, i would never be able to bleed the system

i would bleed it til there were no bubbles, but as soon as the engine was started, foam would start to build up in the reservoir

i thought it was the pump again so i replaced it with a rebuilt one

same foaming problem

so i thought it was the reservoir being clogged up, so i gutted the reservoir.

same thing

before the line went, there was never a foaming problem

we inspected the line and realised that it was a little to short and thinner than the original

i will be bringing it back to have them redo the line

i believe that the line has too much restriction causing the atf to be over heated in the pump causing the foam

hope i am right

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ok, so i thought i should follow up.

i SOLVED THE PROBLEM

after replacing all the rubber lines and clamps,

2 power steering pumps

and a steering rack

the problem with the foam was the inlet tube seal

the metal inlet that is attached to the pump with 2 12mm bolts on the side

there is a rubber seal in there that hardened up and was sucking in small air bubbles with the fluid from the reservoir. therefore causing the foam

how did i confirm that?

i had a air blower and blew air near the inlet of the power steering pump and guess what i saw.

it was lots of air rushing out the reservoir

this was with the car off of course

so there you go.

if anyone has a foaming problem with thier pumps, check that inlet seal first

its a 10cent part

i've spent about 500 so far

but oh well, you pay to learn

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  • 2 months later...

ok, so i thought i should follow up.

i SOLVED THE PROBLEM

after replacing all the rubber lines and clamps,

2 power steering pumps

and a steering rack

the problem with the foam was the inlet tube seal

the metal inlet that is attached to the pump with 2 12mm bolts on the side

there is a rubber seal in there that hardened up and was sucking in small air bubbles with the fluid from the reservoir. therefore causing the foam

how did i confirm that?

i had a air blower and blew air near the inlet of the power steering pump and guess what i saw.

it was lots of air rushing out the reservoir

this was with the car off of course

so there you go.

if anyone has a foaming problem with thier pumps, check that inlet seal first

its a 10cent part

i've spent about 500 so far

but oh well, you pay to learn

I have a 93 SC400

My power steering began to growl, so I added more power steering fluid. My alternator went out. I replaced the alternator and the shop said it was full of oil - which I attributed to the power steering fluid leak.

I have been told there is a good chance it's my high pressure supply line to my power steering unit. What is the probability of this?

If this IS in fact the problem, does anyone have a schematic drawing to show me where this hose is? Also, does anyone know a shop or individual in the Indianapolis area who could repair this part?

This is the cheapest one I can find: http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/1993/lexus/sc400/steering/power_steering_pressure_hose.html

Does anyone know where I can get a diagram of the entire power steering assembly? I can't find one anywhere.

Ryan Carter

Franklin, Indiana

MusicManRyan@hotmail.com

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  • 3 months later...

Dear Street Extreem,

I have the exact same problem on my 95 sc400

Please please help

lornekofman@yahoo.com

What's an inlet seal

send me a picture??

Do you mean the hose allowed air in at the clamp??

Please help!!! Desperate.

Lorne

514-918-3520

i found myself in the same situation

i just bought my car with a broken rack

i replaced the rack

then i realized that the car's power steering pump is dying because i would have to rev up to get power to the steering

so i replaced the pump with a used one which then blew the power steering high pressure line

i got my line repaired by a hydralics place

they reused the fittings and the restrictor thats in the line

after i installed the line, i would never be able to bleed the system

i would bleed it til there were no bubbles, but as soon as the engine was started, foam would start to build up in the reservoir

i thought it was the pump again so i replaced it with a rebuilt one

same foaming problem

so i thought it was the reservoir being clogged up, so i gutted the reservoir.

same thing

before the line went, there was never a foaming problem

we inspected the line and realised that it was a little to short and thinner than the original

i will be bringing it back to have them redo the line

i believe that the line has too much restriction causing the atf to be over heated in the pump causing the foam

hope i am right

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quote name='Revron1' timestamp='1167497344' post='220866']

Ok, folks I am new to this forum so be gentle. I have a 94 sc400 with 115,000miles. I am second owner and new the first. The vehicle has been meticulously maintained and until last week it drove and ran perfect. About two years ago the power steering pump started leaking and it took out my alternator. Both were replaced with the pump having a lifetime warranty.(at Toyota dealership--The Lexus dealership is clear across town.) THEN......Last week one day the steering started low-noise growling when turning. I immediately looked at the fluid and it appeared at proper level-maybe a little bit low. I added a little fluid and it did not help. The next day I drove it again for a short distance and the powere steering went out altogether. I looked at the reservoir and there was fluid on the cap and it had overflowed into the lower engine compartment shield. Whoa..... I immediately took it into the Toyota dealership hoping not to ruin the alternator---( I am a pretty quick study.)

After two days of Toyota trying to convince me that there was no apparent leak in the system and that I had overfilled the fluid, they noticed that after flushing and putting fluid at the proper level. the pump would throw out fluid through the cap when turning. They then replaced the pump and ah ha....it still threw the fliud out of the cap.. no improvement in steering. They were stumped....They called Lexus and I got on this forum....They are now telling me that Lexus advised them to take everthing loose from the rack and see if there is a binding...If so I need a new rack.

I read through all of the threads and think that maybe we are putting out a match with a fire hose. It could be a restriction in the lines due to the Solenoid filter screen. I informed my service manager of this and he said that Lexus did not say anythiung about it. He is waiting 'til Tuesday to do anything more....

OK, everyone....HELP! I used to work on my cars but they got too sophisticated and I now usually leave it to the experts. I fear however that Toyota is not an expert on Lexus and Lexus just wants to replace parts with little diagnosis. What are your thoughts out there? What should it cost if I have to replace the Rack--hopefully not.

I live in Jacksonville Fl. and would also appreciate any advice on who could repair...Thansk for any help

Ron.

Just take the solenoid filter screen out, clean it with an air blower, reinstall and fill up the reservoir with new fluid and your power steering pump would be good like new!

  • Like 1
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I wanted to change my caps too have difficulty removing front cover over cap and iming belt drivers side

do not want to break anything

round gromit there worried It is a sensor do not want to break somthing rest comes off fine

Any Answers

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