Power Steering whining

Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 GEO PRIZM
  • 73,000 MILES
1997 Geo Prizm. (Power Steering Issue)

SYMPTOM:
- Usually in the morning when I start the car, it has the high squealing, whining
noise. After about ten to twenty seconds it stops.

- When I turn the steering fully to either the left of the right, it also squeels
always.

I assumed it was the steering pump, so I got a used one and replace it by
myself. I flushed the transmission fluid and filled it. Since the pump was
replaced, I went through the procedure of flusing the fluid and try to make sure
no air went in. The better procedure I found was on the 1997 Toyota Corola
(same car), however, the Toyota power steering system has a bleeding valve
but the Prizm does not. With the bleeding valve, one can prevent air from going
into the line. With the Prizm, there is no possible way not to have air in the
system since along the line one has to reconnect the reservoir line to the
reservoir (this is when air goes in).

On this note, with the front of the jacked up, I turned the steering to each end
(left and right) for more than twenty times while watching the fluid level. This
process is to remove all the air bubbles that might be in the system. Personally,
I thought I did a nice work.

CURRENT SYMPTON:
After starting the engine and driving off, the steering gets hard after about two
or two or three steering wheel turns. The car is still drivable but not powered
steering. What would be the best way to bleed the line to eliminate air
(if this is the problem with the current situation). Hopefully, the used power
steering is in good condition.

Thanks.
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Monday, August 5th, 2013 AT 12:17 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Hello,

This sounds like you have a serpentine belt or belt tensioner that needs to be replaced. Here are guides to help you get the job done.

You can flush the power steering system which will help as well.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/power-steering-fluid-flush

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/replace-serpentine-belt

Here are diagrams to help you see what you are in for when doing the job

Check out the diagrams (Below)

Please let us know if you need anything else to get the problem fixed.

Cheers
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Monday, August 5th, 2013 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
Hello hmac300,
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I used transmission fluid (from what many people told me to). I argued that too. So, I'll be getting power steering fluid to replace the ATF I have already put in.

What would be the best way. Should I just drain the current ATF and start afresh with power steering fluid?

It's very tuff to put in new fluid since Geo Prizm does not have a bleeding valve. The return hose has to be removed from from the reservoir to drain the fluid. And to replace the fluid, this hose needs to be clamped to let the fuild go into the system and then the clamp removed and pushed back on the reservoir. Not easy since the space there is not enough. Lots of fluid will have to power on the ground before achieving the return hose on the reservoir. Is there a trick to this?

Thanks.
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Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 AT 5:49 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Put the return hose in a container an start the car that is the easiest way it shouldn't be over 30 psi there so kinda like a water hose. Suck out what you can from the pump with auction device.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 6:59 AM
Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
Hello, you mentioned

"put the return hose in a container an start the car that is the easiest way it shouldn't be over 30 psi there so kinda like a water hose."

could you please be me explicit here? I don't understand how putting the return hose in a container would tell me if it's over 30psi. How do I check the pressure if it's over the 30psi,

The main issue I had mentioned in my first post is putting in new fluid. Since the Prizm does not have a bleed valve, if I plug back the return hose to the reservoir, and put in the power steering fluid, it won't go intot the system due to build up air space. If I plug the return hose connection to the reservoir to put in the fluid, to connect the return hose, I will have to lose lots of fluid before it can be connected.

Or is there where I can read up on it to understand it better?
Thanks again.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I thought you just wanted to change fluid, if you need apressure check then have apro do that you dont' want to be buying gauges and adapters for that type of problem. You also said you had trans fluid in it and not power steering fluid so you need to get the old stuff out. So I gave you the easiest way to get it out, then once it's back together then turn your steering wheel to lock either lh or rh and hold it for 30 seconds or so repeat 3-4 times then do the same in other direction. That should get out any air in the system.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 3:34 PM
Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
Yes, I wanted to change the fluid. Well you first brought up the pressure issue that is why I was asking about. I can remove the transmission fluid out.

Now you mentioned "once it's back together". That is where I have a problem and your help. After the draining the ATF, what next. Normally:

- plug the nipple on the fluid reservoir before adding the power steering fluid, after turning the steering wheel left and right with the engine running lots of times, then unplug the already plugged nipple on the reservoir and plug in the return hose. In this case, fluid with pour out a lot before one can get the hose onto the nipple.

- If after emptying the system, I put back the return hose onto the reservoir nipple, would I be able to start pouring in the new power steering fluid? If I do this method, the pressure in the line would not let me pour in the fluid... Or am I wrong?

Thanks.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 3:55 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
You remove the plug and hook up the return line prior to adding fluid and operating system when system is full THEN turn to lock and hold in one direction then the other. After that is finished recheck fluid.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
Oh, great! That is what I was hoping to do. Simple enough. I did not know I can start adding fluid after plugging the return line. I will get to work then.

Thanks a lot for your time.
Have a nice rest of the week.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 4:09 PM
Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
Hello, just two more things.
- After adding the fluid and the system is full, I would need to start the car before turning to lock position in each direction. Right?
- It would be easier to jack the front car up with both front tires off the ground?
Thanks.
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Thursday, August 8th, 2013 AT 11:16 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Start it up and turn to lock &hold 30 seconds then go to other side repeat 5 times
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Thursday, August 8th, 2013 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
OKA
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Great! Thank you! I sure appreciate that!
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Thursday, August 8th, 2013 AT 1:04 PM
Tiny
OKA
  • MEMBER
Hello hmac300,
I sure appreciate all your help here. However, I realized something. I had given you the wrong information. Actually, the power steering pump is really a new one I installed, it was the reservoir that is a used part

I did all and even more than I was supposed to do to make sure no air is in the system, still, the steeering still gets hard. I removed as much as the old ATF as I could. The oil in the reservoir is about 95% power steering fluid.

Just thinking, what if the new power steering pump is bad? Could be. Should I return it and get another new one and start from scratch?
Thanks.
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 3:23 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
You better get the pressure checked before you do that and it will taek apro because youneed a high pressure gauge and adapters. Up to you but also change your belt and tensioner as well as that may be part of the problem. Then take it to someone who knows what they are doing as it is probably your rack is going bad.
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 6:16 AM

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