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Discussion Starter #1
About two years ago I was having steering issues, couldn't get an accurate diagnosis, some said the pump, some said the r&p. Turned out it most of the issue was the tires, and then the pump was replaced in June 17. I brought it back in the winter, April, and June because it was whining, each time a little bit more, warranty ended in June. The past couple weeks the whine has gotten worse and the steering was a bit stiff and not smooth on return, so I brought it back. The guy didn't want to replace it, said there was no leak, I said maybe it's not the pump, look around, he said he would flush it.

Two minutes after he returns the car and leaves I get in to go out and it's screeching, I try to turn the wheel and can't, look over and there's a rainbow coming out from under my car. I look under the hood and there is power steering fluid all over the car, I checked the reservoir to make sure the cap is on, it is, but the reservoir itself is a bit more loose than normal. I'm so upset, if I'm lucky he will take it tomorrow morning, but most likely not until next week.

So, I may be projecting, but my concern is the belt and pulleys soaked in fluid, will that cause damage, will they have to be replaced?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The condition of your power steering fluid can also indicate something about the condition of the pump. The color of new fluid is clear, yellowish clear, and red with a distinctive odor. A whining sound along with fluid that has turned to a nasty gray color definitely indicates a problem with your pump.
If a bearing in the pump is going out, a dark gray color could result from fine metal shavings caused by the bad bearing mixing with the power steering fluid.

The above is exactly what was wrong this time, the whining and the fluid was grey, i thought it was my imagination.

I'm also curious as to how he was able to drive here and not have any issues.
 

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A failed bearing on pump can cause it to partially seize up causing the noise , belt to slip and oil leak due to damaged oil seal . Apart from the oil on belt , it can be damaged with the slipping .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Please tell me I'm not crazy.

As I said the car has been whining since the pump was replaced in June 17, whine is worse now, wheel a little stiff. So I just called them to tell them what happened last night, they are saying it's now the R&P, that it's just sucking air, or something like that, that the pump was fine. I asked him how this happened, other than the whine and slight stiffness, and I really mean slight, I drive it everyday so I notice it, someone else may not, how did putting in a new pump destroy my R&P? He said it was drivable, I told him there's no fluid, it's all over my parking lot, he laughed like I was lying. He said he'll put in the old pump to get it the way it was. This is where I feel like I'm missing something, if it works the way it did before yesterday with the old pump, and it doesn't work now with a new pump, how is it the R&P?

Just checked the reservoir now that it's light out, it's full, but there is fluid all over it and in the surrounding areas.
 

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Is this " R&P " you refer to the rack and pinion ? Really hard to be sure without seeing or hearing their side of the story but driving when knowing steering is defective is unsafe and probably illegal .From what you say , sounds as if you are getting messed about but not aware of all facts .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is this " R&P " you refer to the rack and pinion ? Really hard to be sure without seeing or hearing their side of the story but driving when knowing steering is defective is unsafe and probably illegal .From what you say , sounds as if you are getting messed about but not aware of all facts .

Yes, I am referring to the rack & pinion.

The mechanic says he worked on it for hours and could not understand why there was a problem, so he believes it's the rack & pinion, which was fine yesterday before he replaced the pump.

I spoke to two mechanics, one said that a new power pump would have more power and therefore make the rack work more and bring out any problems it might have had.

Another one said that there is no leak since the reservoir is full, that they night have just spilled the fluid and that's where the fluid is coming from. He also says that if the belt had fluid on it, (most of the noise is from the belt) it will cause the issue of the noise and not being able to move the wheel, and/or the new pump is defective, that he doubts it's the rack. This makes more sense.
 

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" too many cooks spoil the broth " springs to mind with the number of people you seem to have involved with this .Hope you can get someone who can correctly diagnose and rectify the problem .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The mechanic came, he brought a tow truck but decided to drive it instead. I'm not a weak person and I could not turn the wheel without fighting it, but he did.

So now I know he drove the car here the way it is, doing that and driving back, about 10 miles, is surely going to damage the other parts of the steering system, right?

So basically I'm screwed if I have to replace other parts, which worked fine yesterday, because he's making it worse?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm going to post again on the off chance that someone will know what the next step is.

BTW, this is a 2000 Windstar.

I got the car back today, it is drivable, but very loud, and in low speeds the wheel is jumpy when turning. I only drove in in the parking lot.

To recap, when I brought it in there was a whine when turning at low speeds, slight stiff, now it's hard to turn and jumpy at low speeds, and very loud, embarrassingly loud.

He said he replaced the new pump with another new pump, same problem, right now the old pump is on, which is the better of the three.
He said he bled it a number of times. Bleeds fine, no air, no bubbles.
He said when the car is on the lift there is no noise and turning is very smooth.

So it just may be the rack, but again, why after he replaces the pump?
My other concern is, the engine again is filled with fluid, and it's dripping, I'm going to assume he put too much fluid in, but now all the parts are filled with fluid.

He used tranny fluid, I know some cars you can do that with, I'm not sure if you can with my car, so I wonder if that's why it's so bad now, I had, and always had actual power steering fluid, so the big question is could the tranny fluid be too heavy (it is significantly thicker than the PSF that was in the car) and not lubricant enough for the power steering system?
 

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If its frothy then there is still air in the system that needs to be bled.
 

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Simple job to bleed PAS which I'm sure they would have done .Therefore if still frothing it must be drawing air from somewhere into system .Possible causes are pipes / hoses to pump not sealed properly or hose from any fluid reservoir ( if seperate from pump )

This mentions seals ,

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/fordguy4u/2009-10-09_135214_A2.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He swears he has gone over every hose, repeatedly bled it, I think he also overfilled it. He says there's no air, but it's so obvious there is. I haven't been charged yet for all he's done, not sure if I should give him one more chance or take it elsewhere and pay.



Simple job to bleed PAS which I'm sure they would have done .Therefore if still frothing it must be drawing air from somewhere into system .Possible causes are pipes / hoses to pump not sealed properly or hose from any fluid reservoir ( if seperate from pump )

This mentions seals ,

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/fordguy4u/2009-10-09_135214_A2.pdf
 

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Frothy fluid - what causes the PAS fluid to froth?

Symptom: The fluid in the reservoir is frothy with thousands of tiny air bubbles, often accompanied by heavy steering and a noisy power steering pump. In extreme cases the fluid can be forced out of the reservoir.

Cause: Providing the system has been bleed correctly, the problem will be due to air being sucked into the system. The only areas that air can be sucked in to the system is the front seal of the power steering pump, the low pressure connection on the pump or the pipework between the pump and the reservoir. Once air has been drawn into the system it is whipped together with the power steering fluid by the vanes of the impeller in the pump creating froth. This frothy fluid cannot transmit any force so the steering becomes heavy.

Solution: It is more cost effective to check the pipework first than to change the pump. Check that the rubber hose between the reservoir and the pump inlet connection has not become hard and that the clamps are tight and are creating an airtight seal.
On certain power steering pumps the low pressure connection is bolted to the pump and is sealed with an o-ring. This o-ring can become hard or damaged allowing air to be drawn into the system so replacing would cure the problem.
If after checking the low pressure side of the pump the problem persists then replacing the pump will be necessary.
Once there is frothy power steering fluid in a system it is recommended that the vehicle is left standing without the engine running for about an hour and then go through the bleeding procedure to eliminate air from the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This all makes sense. I might have to bring it to someone else. When I told him the reservoir was shooting out frothy fluid and that there is air in the system, he did exactly what I thought he would do, laugh at me and say there is no air and that it wasn't leaking when he had it, exactly what he did when I told him the same thing on Friday. In my unprofessional opinion, I believe it most likely is the O-ring. On the off chance that is it, do you know how long it would take to fix those, would I be able to just hang out and wait?


Frothy fluid - what causes the PAS fluid to froth?

Symptom: The fluid in the reservoir is frothy with thousands of tiny air bubbles, often accompanied by heavy steering and a noisy power steering pump. In extreme cases the fluid can be forced out of the reservoir.

Cause: Providing the system has been bleed correctly, the problem will be due to air being sucked into the system. The only areas that air can be sucked in to the system is the front seal of the power steering pump, the low pressure connection on the pump or the pipework between the pump and the reservoir. Once air has been drawn into the system it is whipped together with the power steering fluid by the vanes of the impeller in the pump creating froth. This frothy fluid cannot transmit any force so the steering becomes heavy.

Solution: It is more cost effective to check the pipework first than to change the pump. Check that the rubber hose between the reservoir and the pump inlet connection has not become hard and that the clamps are tight and are creating an airtight seal.
On certain power steering pumps the low pressure connection is bolted to the pump and is sealed with an o-ring. This o-ring can become hard or damaged allowing air to be drawn into the system so replacing would cure the problem.
If after checking the low pressure side of the pump the problem persists then replacing the pump will be necessary.
Once there is frothy power steering fluid in a system it is recommended that the vehicle is left standing without the engine running for about an hour and then go through the bleeding procedure to eliminate air from the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I gave the mechanic the info above, he said there is no o-ring, but he's going to try to get a reservoir from a junk yard. When the car is running the fluid doesn't go down, it just stays in the reservoir and gets frothy. I also have an appointment with another mechanic to see if they can find anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Another update. Brought it to another mechanic, long story short, there are three screens in the reservoir, he cleaned them all, found metal shavings, usually from a ball bearing from the pump, this I knew and suggested to the original mechanic, but he said he cleaned it. Steering is almost perfect, a slight hitch, noisier than when I first brought it in, but no where near what it was this these last few days. So, back to the pump, don't know how I'm going to convince the other mechanic to do it again, since it's under warranty.
 

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Maybe bring in a copy of an estimate from the shop that diagnosed it to show that it is indeed faulty.

Also Id like to add that ford power steering pumps are notorious for being noisy if you didnt already know haha. What I do is slightly overfill the reserviour and it usually quiets it down.
 

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Ive never had an issue with slightly overfilling it.
 
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