Is My Power Steering Pump Shot?

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  #1  
Old 07-29-14, 05:58 PM
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Is My Power Steering Pump Shot?

There's a TSB for the power steering pump on my '08 MDX. The TSB is regarding noise coming from the pump due to air getting in the system. The fix is to replace two o-rings--one on the inlet and one on the outlet. I replaced these o-rings last week and it got rid of the noise. I also flushed the system and put fresh fluid in at the same time. The old fluid was brown and burnt smelling. After replacing the o-rings, the steering felt nice and smooth. Over the course of the week, the steering has been getting stiffer again, especially at low RPMs and the fluid is again brown and burnt smelling. The pump is still quiet and there is no air getting in the system, so I'm wondering if the pump is beyond service. I've only had the vehicle for two months, so who knows how long there has been air pumping through the system. Should I try another flush or does it sound like the pump is shot?

FYI, the TSB documentation states the following:

-> If the steering wheel is easier to turn at high RPM, go to REPAIR PROCEDURE.

-> If the steering wheel effort at idle and high RPM is about the same, this bulletin does not apply. Compare your results against a known-good vehicle and continue with normal troubleshooting.

It doesn't seem like the steering wheel turns easier with increased RPM, but I'll check again. What else could it be? Fluid is at the proper level and there are no leaks.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-29-14, 06:06 PM
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When you replaced the fluid, did you drain it from the lower return hose? Did you jack the front of the car up, and with the engine running rotate the steering wheel from lock to lock, gently, a number of times? My Ram says 20 times, but I am sure some of it is not necessary.
 
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Old 07-29-14, 07:03 PM
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I jacked the vehicle up, disconnected the return hose, started the car, and had my wife turn the wheel lock to lock until no more fluid came out. I followed the procedure in the factory service manual. Maybe the fresh fluid cleaned things out and it just needs to be drained/refilled again. FYI, the fluid has never been changed over its 112k miles.
 
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Old 07-30-14, 08:15 AM
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Correction to my earlier post, the steering wheel does turn easier with higher RPMs. Looks like I'll be replacing the pump. The service manual says to replace the reservoir as well, but I don't see why that is necessary. There is a filtering screen in the bottom and there are a few particles on it, but it looks fine. Is this really necessary? Can't the screen be cleaned?
 

Last edited by mossman; 07-30-14 at 09:20 AM.
  #5  
Old 08-08-14, 07:42 AM
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I replaced the P/S pump and reservoir yesterday evening and the new (remanufactured A1 Cardone) pump is very noisy. Evidently air is getting in the system (again). I plan on taking the pump back off and cleaning the suction line mating surface really well because it is covered in black paint and is not a smooth surface. I'm thinking the hose and o-ring are not seated properly because of the paint. Why do they insist on coating remanufactured P/S pumps with this cheap black paint that ripples and flakes off, and is it okay to remove the paint in certain areas?
 

Last edited by mossman; 08-08-14 at 09:27 AM.
  #6  
Old 08-09-14, 04:56 AM
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I'll vacuum bleed it and hopefully that resolves things. Honda fluid only here.
 
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Old 08-12-14, 02:11 PM
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Vacuum bleeding did the trick. Mity Vac saved the day!
 
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