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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

Today a strange thing happened during my journey home. During turning a corner I suddenly felt the steering was a lot stiffer than usual. It went back to normal until I got to a traffic light, I stopped and thought the engine was going to die! the revs were going up to 1000rpm then down to about 400rpm then back up again... The engine stabled then the power steering was totally gone, I could barely turn the wheel. Revving the engine didn't do anything, simply no power steering. THEN Just as randomly it came, it disappeared. Steering worked perfectly again. The car has never done this before. I checked the Power steering level, it looks a bit too high (over max) looks fairly clean however.

I'm getting a whining sound from the front of the engine around 1000-1400rpm, I'ts rather loud. I thought it was the idler pulley but now I'm starting to think its the power steering pump =( I just noticed today there is a slight whine when turning the wheel when the car is stationary.

One last thing, IF the idler pulley is seizing is it possible that the drag of that caused the engine to dip rpm? That probably sounds far fetched or maybe even stupid but I'm no professional auto mechanic.. :)

F.y.i. Just over 82k miles on the odometer.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
UPDATE!

I went to the car to do some more testing. I went ahead to bleed the power steering system.. no changes. Steering working fine. After letting it idle for about 15-20 mins I revved the engine and noticed the whine sound didn't fade away around 14-500rpm as per before, it stayed LOUD until around 3000rpm... when I let off the gas pedal the engine almost stalled THEN the power steering was completely gone, this time it didnt come back.. no power steering and a very loud whine when revving. I guess I need to look for a new pump?

BUT can someone tell me why the power steering only stops working after the engine almost stalls out?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Drag on pump can lower the engine rpms .Belt can be slipping because of drag especially at lower revs when loaded more .
It’s completely gone now, no power steering at all. The pump is making a loud whine.. I tried to bleed the system several times more, fluid pours out of the reservoir occasionally. :(
 

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Im not familiar with Navigators,but does the pressure line that runs to the pump have any type of screen/filter on the end of it or in the pump inlet hole where the hose connects to the pump?
If it does and if the filter is partially clogged with debris,it could be slowing down/preventing flow through the pump and hoses.Some power steering pumps/hoses also have a switch mounted in them that signals when extra rpm is required from the load of the pump by triggering the iac valve to open which increases idle,to prevent the engine from idling too low or stalling.However,from the symptoms you listed,it sounds more like restricted (from the fluid pouring out of the reservoir) flow issue or a suspect pump.Where the pump is getting flow one minute then loosing it the next minute.When its in the act of not working,pull the belt off the pulley and try spinning it by hand.A good pump should have some resistance,but not too much to where you have to strain to spin the pulley.
 

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Just to add to good advice given above , not sure of your vehicle set up but I remember some BMW s and Jags to name a few , had replaceable reservoir filters . Some others had internal screens that through time got clogged up .Might not apply and could be the pump itself that's goosed but worth a look .
 
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