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Generation III External Engine
LS1 | LS6 | Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust | Ignition | Accessories

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Old 01-12-2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default What does a bad power-steering pump sound like?

I've got some racket and I can't pinpoint exactly where it is. Sounds like something driven by the belt for sure. It's almost like a grinding sound at idle, kinda comes and goes. When driving, it adds a faint squeeling. It doesnt do it all the time, but as of today, it is doing it a lot worse. Any ideas? Thanks
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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PS pumps I have heard failing typically wine, this increases with steering input at a standstill. A grinding sound could be anything with bearings. Meaning any of the accs or any of the idler pulleys. I have found when trying to find bad bearings, they wont typically feel right when you spin them by hand. They wont necessarily be really obviously messed up, but sometimes will give you little indications. I would pull the belt and spin each acc and idler wheel and listen and feel very carefully. You may find one that just doesn't quite seem right. Also, feel for loose side to side play as well.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:18 AM   #3
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Agreed, a bad PS pump will sound like a SC when you step on the throttle, kind of a cool sound if your not pissed the pump is on its way out..
Sounds like its something else in your situation, you can always get a sound clip and post it up, maybe someone will recognize the noise right away and save you the PITA time of looking for it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:27 AM   #4
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Sounds like a cat hollarin......

Seriously though it makes a wine noise. Have you checked the A/C compressor? They can make that noise youre describing.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'll do that.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyboyatc View Post
Sounds like a cat hollarin......

Seriously though it makes a wine noise. Have you checked the A/C compressor? They can make that noise youre describing.

agreed its a whine
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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Not the the a/c, belt broke and haven't replaced it yet.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:30 AM   #8
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might be the idler pulley, my car sounded like it was supercharged so I replaced the PS pump thinking that was what was whining, but it ended up being the idler pulley
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:34 AM   #9
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im wondering the same thing ... i know its horrible quality but i shot this last night ... click the black pic lol
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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That sounds almost exactly like it! When I'm sitting at idle and it does it, it almost sounds under the dash.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:26 AM   #11
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Mine sounds a little deeper and not as often
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:01 PM   #12
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i really dont wanna have to change out my pump lol that will suck
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:09 PM   #13
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When my pump failed it made a high pitch squeeling sound...while turning the steering wheel the pump made a grinding noise similiar to when the ps pump is low on fluid and lastly the seal behind the pulley leaked even after replacing it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:18 PM   #14
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So I guess it's pretty much either the waterpump, idler, or alternator. Can an alternator sound like that? I'm not seeing any voltage drops when it's making that noise, but every now and then it does drop when leaving a stop at part throttle. It's a piece of crap re-man. from autozone...
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:53 PM   #15
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Well this may sound kind of shade tree but it works. Take a long socket extension and touch it to the part you think is going bad, wrap your hand around the top of the extension and then hold your ear to your hand and you should be able to hear the noise loud, I mean you will know for sure. If you hold it up to a part and you dont hear anything or it sounds really faint then move to the next part it could be. Be careful not to hit any pulleys or let the belt catch it. They make a special stethoscope to do this with but if you dont have that then do it with the extension. Just a suggestion.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #16
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^^^^What he said. When I worked at the dealership thats just what we did to find a noise.


You want to know what a bad power steering pump sound like????........Like a good Ford steering pump!

I know ya'll have all heard a ford Aerostar or f150 from the 90's make that damn whine and its supposed to be like that!
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:06 PM   #17
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I pulled the serpentine belt off and ran it just to make sure it was coming from something driven by that, and then got my hands on a stethoscope and listened to each. harbor freight has them for a few bucks, and they'll let you know instantly which it is,
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:06 PM
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1996, 38l, 96, bad, belt, camro, local, power, pump, serpentine, sound, steering, stock, stop, time, trans, transmission, whine


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