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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Steering Whine?

Okay, so my Impala seems to run just fine, except for two distinct noises I've been having lately.

There's a low whine when I turn left, and I know for sure it's not the bearing (doesn't even sound the same). There's also an oscillating humming/rubbing sound which seems to be a bit louder when I turn left. So I'm guessing it could be related.

So, could the pump be going bad, the belt, is there air in the system? What is the most likely culprit (including things I haven't mentioned). And remember, the car only whines when turning left.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:16 PM
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Given the asymmetry - it only does it turning left - I suspect the issue is something in the rack and not elsewhere.

That said, have you checked the power steering fluid level? Do you see any fresh spots on the ground?

Doug

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Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
Given the asymmetry - it only does it turning left - I suspect the issue is something in the rack and not elsewhere.

That said, have you checked the power steering fluid level? Do you see any fresh spots on the ground?

Doug

.
I checked it and it was at the "Cold" level when the engine was hot, so I added some fluid. I can check again though it doesn't seem likely that's the issue as I haven't seen any wet spots and the noise persisted even right after I added fluid.

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I checked it and it was at the "Cold" level when the engine was hot, so I added some fluid. I can check again though it doesn't seem likely that's the issue as I haven't seen any wet spots and the noise persisted even right after I added fluid.
Do you feel anything in the steering? Is it harder turning left than right, for example?

I'm inclined to think there's an issue with the rack, and, since the fluid is low, I'm wondering if there is some seeping at one end of the rack. (Since the fluid is low, it had to come out somewhere.) So I'm thinking maybe there's a bad seal in the rack that is causing the whine and also the low fluid level.

At this point, the rack needs to be inspected including removing the boots on each end to check for leaks.

HTH.

Doug

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
Do you feel anything in the steering? Is it harder turning left than right, for example?

I'm inclined to think there's an issue with the rack, and, since the fluid is low, I'm wondering if there is some seeping at one end of the rack. (Since the fluid is low, it had to come out somewhere.) So I'm thinking maybe there's a bad seal in the rack that is causing the whine and also the low fluid level.

At this point, the rack needs to be inspected including removing the boots on each end to check for leaks.

HTH.

Doug

.
The fluid isn't low, it was low. And it could have been like that since November for all I know.

The steering doesn't seem difficult but I thought it was easier at one point, so I don't know. I do know that steering both directions seems to feel the same.

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The fluid isn't low, it was low. And it could have been like that since November for all I know.

The steering doesn't seem difficult but I thought it was easier at one point, so I don't know. I do know that steering both directions seems to feel the same.
Sorry. I should have said was, not is. The point is that the low fluid level found would indicate a leak somewhere, maybe a slow one. Given that you have a whine when turning left and you found the level low, my instincts are that they are related.

Since you see no obvious fluid on the ground, next I would inspect the rack for leaks inside the boots. I've pulled one off before where the fluid poured out of the boot when it was removed.

HTH.

Doug

.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plano-doug View Post
Sorry. I should have said was, not is. The point is that the low fluid level found would indicate a leak somewhere, maybe a slow one. Given that you have a whine when turning left and you found the level low, my instincts are that they are related.

Since you see no obvious fluid on the ground, next I would inspect the rack for leaks inside the boots. I've pulled one off before where the fluid poured out of the boot when it was removed.

HTH.

Doug

.
Next time I have a look at the car I'll see if I can't check the boots. Hopefully it's not a difficult job.

Should I make sure I take care of this timely? The noise is annoying but it doesn't really cause any problems other than a little noise pollution.

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I should have mentioned it also sometimes whines with the same pitch when I brake at stop signs, indicating to me that it's probably the same issue.

But if I thought it might be the brakes, would that really make any sense? Because I don't always brake before turning left, and this noise always happens when turning left.

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