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04 ForesterXT 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just about had it with the whine of the PS pump and I've decided I'm going to replace it soon.



  • Where is a good place to get a refurb or decent price on one?
  • Any tips or pointers for doing the job?
I know it sits right in front and if I remove the RAD I should have plenty of room to work with



Thanks in advance!
 

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04 ForesterXT 5MT
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395 Posts
I did an entire flush and re-filled it and it's still there...I had read/heard that would be the case but I don't know what else it could be.
 

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15 Forester XT CVT
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1,001 Posts
By flush did you remove and clean the fluid at least three times, and what did you use? Subaru red synthetic Atf fluid is what you should use. Any amount of old remaining fluid that has water in it will continue to make it whine.
 

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04 ForesterXT 5MT
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395 Posts
I flushed it to the point where the fluid changed color... it was a few months ago so I don't remember details. I was just hoping by changing the pump it would get rid of the whine...
 

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15 Forester XT CVT
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before you replace the pump, I would remove the fluid from the power steering fluid reservoir again. First, I would take a pump or syringe get all the fluid out. Then I would turn the car over for a second or two to turn the pump (you can unplug the fuse for the fuel pump or the main distributor wire). Once you have turned it over a couple of times or even started the car for a few seconds then you can get the remaining fluid out. There will be a lot more fluid than you think there is in the system. Once you have done that you can refill about half way, start the car and add fluid as it runs out of reservoir this will eliminate bubbles. It could continue to whine for a day or so and then it should quite down.

If you are afraid that it will put bubbles or air into the lines then pull all the fluid from the reservoir and repeat refill pull as many times as it takes to make it quite down. If the fluid has never been changed which it sounds like from your year model it has not then this will work as well. Any amount of fluid in the line or old power steering fluid mixing with the new will still continue to make it whine. It is hydraulic fluid and in those models of Subaru and even Hondas they will make noise once they break down from many heat and season cycles. Wast the money on a new pump if you want but this is more than likely the problem.
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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1,667 Posts
I just gone thru this problem a week ago. As usual the culprit is the o ring on the oil supply hose to the power steering pump.


Image borrowed from bluemaize.com
http://www.bluemaize.net/automotive/power-steering-o-ring

The actual size of the o-ring is 13x1.9
If Subaru dealer does not have it go to Honda dealer and ask for 91345-RDA-A01
Should cost less than $1 and guarantee to be Power Steering fluid compatible.


Mine was really hard to seal. I end up having to double the o ring. I tried it 6-8 times and go thru a lot of different o ring size and even change the elbow part before settling to double honda o ring. Once it seals up it makes very noticeable whine reduction and then gone after a few days of driving and clear up all the trapped air.

Added 08/02/2017
This problem come back when my car reach closer to 9-10 years old. The o-ring replacement does not work anymore and needing the replacement of the suction hose to fix the problem.
 

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07 Forester XT
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6,760 Posts
^^ Which is why I asked about the frothing :) The 2 are related, mine was a noisy MF after they pulled the motor to do HG and it was just a silly o ring.
 

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15 Forester XT CVT
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before I tore into it, I would replace the fluid 2-3 times and make sure it is fresh.

My STI made the whine but went away after a few drain and flushes, just make sure you do not get it on the paint.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
I've drained, flushed and bled until I'm blue in the face. FWIW, I'm using ATF-HP. I replaced the o-ring on top of the pump - it clearly needed this. Replacing the o-ring gave me a warm feeling, but accomplished nothing. My pump still whines loudly for the first few seconds and not-so-loudly for the first few minutes. Yes, I checked the belt.

As for bleeding, I really don't get why this is such a difficult process. No dealer on earth is going to spend a whole day bleeding a stupid ps pump (I did). Even after doing this, air bubbles keep rising in the reservoir. And, if I start the vehicle, even briefly, just spin the engine, the reservoir bottle looks like a beer. In a real world, this pump has to be self-bleeding, but somehow my pump didn't get the word.

There may be a glimmer of hope in this thread on pressure relief valves. Has anybody tried this? How much do these valves cost? (oh, they cost more than a whole rebuilt pump???) Any experiences in this department?

And I've got a son-in-law with an STi with this same @#$%^ problem. Is it genetic? A family curse?
 

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04 Forester XT 5spd
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I thought for sure my power steering pump was on the way out last week and was about to order a new pump. I decided to remove the belts and see if the pump made any noise when I turned it by hand. Ended up it was either the AC compressor clutch bearing, or the bearing in the tensioner pulley. I would remove both belts, and start the car, then add them back 1 at a time and see which causes the noise to come back. If you are getting air bubbles in the fluid, then do the O ring fix.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,751 Posts
There may be a glimmer of hope in this thread on pressure relief valves.
That 'glimmer' was just some guy lighting a cigarette, near an opened can of gasoline.

Per the parts department at Annapolis Subaru, a pressure relief valve for my vehicle is $71.26. He said they had never sold one of these parts. So, let's all go buy some pressure relief valves - NOT.

A brand new PS pump is $451.52 from Subaru.

Back in the real world, a Cardone 21-5330 rebuilt PS pump can had for ~$64 plus core charge plus ~$9 shipping. I just bought one from CarID - total $116.24 includes ship and $45 core charge. Also included in this is a pre-paid return label for the core. This should work out to $71.24 net cost delivered. CarID and Partsgeek were the same price - Rockauto was a buck or so more expensive. Cardone remanufactured parts are quite good - I've never had or heard a complaint.

I did call my local Advance Auto (somebody posted a link to them above) but the guy who answered said they couldn't get that part. I think he was wrong, but who knows?
 

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15 Forester XT CVT
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the remans are the same part just manufactured to factory specs. A lot of times they are good as new, I have ran them without issues. Advanced can order the part or you can order it to the store. It just takes time, but it will not be the best price. Sounds like you found the best price.
 

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The ps pump on my 04 XT would howl on startup in very cold weather and the ps fluid would froth up and out of the reservoir. The dealer said it was common to have a cold weather air leak in the ps pump suction hose. They just replaced it along with new clamps. It hasn't been very cold again so I don't know if it solved the problem, but if you replaced the o ring on your ps pump and the fluid is still foaming up, the source of the air might be the suction hose/clamps.
 

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1998 Forester
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951 Posts
IF the p/s pump top hose nipple is plastic, replace it with a new o ring. I just did one today. In moving the p/s hose to get better access to the spark plugs I stresses the nipple. Tried a o ring but no success. put a new nipple on it and issue gone. The frothing fluid is telling you its sucking air from somewhere. On old cars I will also replacing the hoses if they are stiff. Just a small air leak can cause this issue.
 

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2003 Forester XS Manual
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5 Posts
I'm having a similar but different issue with my power steering pump. My 03 XS starting whining this morning it was whining I opened the lid of the reservoir the fluid was all bubbly and cloudy. After my drive home I checked it again and it looked clear but its still whining. It looks like something is leaking like crazy but I cant find a leak. Has anyone had a similar problem?
 

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07 Forester XT
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6,760 Posts
^^ Like a milkshake ? That would mean air is getting in. That O ring on the top will let air in but not allow fluid to leak out. That's how it was on mine.
 
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