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Noise When Wheels Are Turned, Not P/s Pump

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Happy Holidays one and all!!

OK,here is the problem:

Of COURSE my wife is driving the first time this occurs! (Isn't that always the way?) Anyway when you turn the steering wheel right mainly but left also, sounds to me like the Rack&Pinion polished rod (for lack of a better term is dragging on the boot (accordion like boot). Now this noise stops when you quit turning the wheel. That's why I was thinking rack&pinion is what it is, because I know what squealing belts sounds like, a P/S pump, a P/S pump low on fluid, bad idler pulley ETC. However this is unique, I have never heard a noise like this before. I am usually pretty good with sounds, last time I had a squealing noise, I could not identify I took the car to SEVERAL mechanics. The consensus was "well it does not sound serious, just keep driving it!" SO I did! what it turned out to be was the crank pulley, it's a 2 part piece with a RUBBER ring with a press fit center. What it was doing was slipping.(= squealing) That is why I kept looking at the belts and anything else I could think of, actually replaced the idler pulley. Well the crank pulley fell apart in the driveway, talk about luck!

The Lexus GS 400 I bought a few months ago, (98 GS400 w/230K,) looks & runs great!, and just had a new timing belt installed. The previous owner had a literal BOOK of receipts.(1 of the reasons I bought it,it had all maint. docs.) I have had absolutely no problem at all, till recently, when the outside temp. dropped here is SE GA. now is SOUNDS (at least to me) like like a piece of rubber has contracted tight around the rack and pinion rod. (or any other polished rod) I did some searching here, but could not find anything like that, on this site (joined a while back) ANYBODY have anything like this happen? What did it turn out to be? can I just spray some lithium grease on the rod? What is a more permanent fix? Anyway it sounds to me like "metal against rubber" to me.

I used to do ALL my own work, only way to make sure EVERY screw, tie-wrap, every nut and bolt are back like they should be, my Health is too bad for that now. Speaking of that, if you are a believer (or not even) please say a prayer for me, JOHN, when you say your prayers, I need an organ transplant...liver specifically.

Thanks again,


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Possibly not the right kind of Power Steering Fluid in your system. I live in Sweden, cold climate here. I replaced the the fluid with Red Line P/S fluid. Significant improvement both in power assistance and noise. Of course there are other good fluids, I just happened to try Red Line.

Best if you drain the system before refilling, but you should be ok without draining, changing the fluid in the reservoar two times, running the engine for a minut in between.

Do not run the engine with a only partially filled P/S system, could ruin your P/S pump in seconds. Lift the front wheels and turn the steeering wheel while refilling, if you have drained the system.

/Regards Rager

P.S. Let me know if it helped

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Happy holidays John,

You might consider to get the car on a vehicle lift and turn the wheels, to exactly pinpoint the source of noise. Also, there's less stress on the front suspension and related parts, to see if the squeaking stops. I would suspect tie rod-, lower control arm / bushings etc, but usually you experience also some steering inaccuracy or perhaps 'clunk' sounds when accelerating or hitting a bump. B.t.w, I assume you've checked the balljoints.

Be careful when greasing rubbers. They are not supposed to be greased and when you do for diagnose, make sure u use a rubber safe sillicone grease (food) or something alike. When bushings/rubbers are worn, you can only replace them.

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