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Power Steering Noise On My '99 Ls400.


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Hi guys. My '99 LS400, with 105,000 kilometres, has just developed a problem. When I first start up, there is a whining sound, something like a supercharger belt noise, but not as loud. It fairly quickly diminishes, but not completely. Strangely, when I take the reservoir lid off, the noise increases! Not from the reservoir, but from the actual pump. I thought at first, it was from the reservoir, but a stethoscope confirmed that it wasn't.

I have looked on the forums, and found lots of info, but it is all for the earlier models. One post said the filter screen and solenoid problems were not applicable to '98 onwards. There are no leaks, doesn't appear to be any air, and I have "bled" it by turning lock to lock a number of times, while motor is running, with wheels on the ground, just to make sure.

Everything feels normal, not hard to turn, no variations in the amount of assist, etc.

Any thoughts? Cheers, Keith.

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Has the power steering fluid ever been changed? That would be my first move. The second would be to replace the serpentine belt (I know, how could that do it? But you may be surprised). The third would be to replace the pump itself depending upon the amount of noise and whether I could live with it. Turn up the stereo?

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Has the power steering fluid ever been changed? That would be my first move. The second would be to replace the serpentine belt (I know, how could that do it? But you may be surprised). The third would be to replace the pump itself depending upon the amount of noise and whether I could live with it. Turn up the stereo?

Thanks Landar. The fluid has not been changed, as such, although I have sucked out the reservoir 3 times, replacing that amount of fluid each time, after running the motor for a couple of minutes after each replacement, to dilute the old with new. I realise it should be done more than that, and will be doing so.

I replaced the serpentine belt about a year ago, as the old one was probably original, and was showing its age, although it had only done about 50,000 kilometres. The new one has probably done about the same now.

The loudest noise is only for about a minute, I guess, after which it virtually disappears, so the actual noise is not the main problem, not yet anyway, it's just the possibility of the pump possibly failing, that concerns me. Cheers, Keith.

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Similar problem on my 03 Highlander was fixed, by local shop I use, by tightening the belt and adding Power Steering Fluid Additive that lubes the power steering pump seals. No more noise :-)

HarryZ

Thank you Harry. The LS belt is not adjustable, as such, so can't do much about that, but I have now changed the fluid in the reservoir quite a few times, with a 20 min engine run between each change, mainly idling, but including turning full lock both ways, so it circulates and dilutes the old stuff with new. Then I added Gunk brand Steering Conditioner. I have just finished doing all this, so it will be interesting to see what happens when I start up tomorrow morning, after sitting all night, because that's when it is most noticeable. Time will tell. I will get back with the results tomorrow. Cheers, Keith.

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Well, after 2 mornings of cold starts, which is when all the noise was made, that noise appears to have gone. I couldn't hear it either time. I don't know whether it was the replacement fluid, or the "conditioner", or a combination of both, but I am very grateful to Harry for his suggestions. I was already removing and changing the fluid, before the suggestion, although I didn't hold much hope that it would help, but I hadn't thought of the conditioner. So thanks Harry, very much appreciated.

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