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Power Steering Noise Help Please

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I have a '99 ES300 with the 3.0L V6 DOHC VVT-i, 1MZFE. Just hit 70k miles.

Car is stock except for 17" 5-spoke rims, 1" drop springs, and Brembo big-brake kit.

I just modified my air box. I carefully cut a 2" hole in the bottom of the air box (under the filter, as it should be) and ran a short length (1.5 feet or so max) of 2" flex tubing from this hole in the bottom of the air box to directly behind the drivers-side headlight, next to the stock air intake (just to add more intake volume). I did a nice job on that part, it's airtight and looks/sounds good.

Now when I turn the steering wheel more than about 25-30 degrees either direction, the power steering pump makes a "wuussshhh" noise - the power steering pump just seems to be louder in general than it did before I modified the air box.

I checked all of the hoses and connections near the air box where I was working, and I can't find any loose connections or anything that looks like I may have bumped it.

However, the power steering seems to WORK just fine - no slop in the steering, it doesn't take any more effort than normal to move the wheel, etc...

Can anyone give me any ideas why modifying my air box would make the power steering pump louder, or what I may have accidentally bumped/tweaked?

Thanks a bunch.


Pete Zaria.

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As to HOW air got into the system, I won't venture a guess. If it's leaked fluid it's been extremely little (I keep a pretty good eye on my car's fluids, or so I'd like to think). Could be just a "time" thing. I don't think it was even related to my airbox mod I mentioned above.

To bleed the lines, I followed the shop manual procedure, which is just filling the reservoir (with the reservoir intake tube plugged) and starting the engine for a few seconds, until the fluid level drops, and then shutting it off before the reservoir empties. Then add more fluid and repeat until the fluid is coming out the intake hose without air bubbles in it, hook up the hose and top off the reservoir. Then start up the engine, put the car in neutral (parking brake on), rev up to 2500-3000 rpm and turn the wheel all the way from lock to lock 10 times (to take advantage of the self-bleeding system).

So far so good!


Pete Zaria.

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