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2005 Forester X MT
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Where to Start. I'm tired of fighting with this. Can anyone help me before I catch it on fire and drive it into a lake.

2005 Subaru Forester X
5 Speed
USDM
91,000 Miles

Problem:
Milkshake in Power Steering reservoir/whine (Air in the System)

Tests/Fixes/Failures

1. New Power Steering Pump/O-ring + Permatex where intake nipple attaches to pump
2. COMPLETE Powers Steering Fluid Flush (Replaced with ATF per manual specs)
3. Upgraded Both Clamps on suction hose (reservoir to Pump)
4. New Belt (needed one anyway, why not)
5. The system has been bled properly
6. Upgraded Both Clamps on return hose (reservoir to steel line)
7. The reservoir screen is undamaged. No Cracks or faults with reservoir

So. Here is where i'm troubled.
New PS intake hose?
Clamps on rack an pinion?
Is the PS pump cavitating? Its from Autozone factory spec (not impressed)
Is the pump crap? This is my 3rd pump in 4 years. They have lifetime warranty but this is getting annoying


Any help would be appreciated. I'm NOT going to put Power Steering stop leak in the system. I want to do it the right way.
 

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2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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I've had terrible luck in the past with power steering pumps from auto parts stores. Once I went through 3 before I hit the 4th. What's the cost of an OEM unit?
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've had terrible luck in the past with power steering pumps from auto parts stores. Once I went through 3 before I hit the 4th. What's the cost of an OEM unit?

$429 was my quote from the dealer....



Yea I have heard a lot of other people are getting "crap parts" recently. I have switched over to Advanced Auto and had good luck with other parts (Cardone)

But the Duralast AutoZone stuff has gone down hill. (If it is the pump)

Asking for my money back wouldn't be unreasonable at this point. I just want to do everything I can before I go back and "raise a fuss."
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
** Update**

Problem still remains after installing NEW intake hose from reservoir to pump nipple.



**Question***

Could a loose fitting under the car(rack and pinion) cause air in the system?


Another mechanic friend said that he has NEVER got a good pump from Auto-zone and it could be another faulty pump.
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I put 'Real clamps' on the rack and pinion hoses under the car and put a new o-ring in the ps pump.

I've drove around 150 miles and let the car sit for three days. I still have the same whine today driving around. I'm really starting to think its another faulty pump....

Any other ideas?
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
New intake hose rubber and problem still remains after extensive bleeding. Still struggling.

I just bought an metric o-ring kit with various metric sizes and will try a few different sizes tonight. I have tried 10X14x2, 10.8x15x2, 11.8x16.6x2. None seal

Advice greatly appreciated....

Thanks
 

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2004 Forester 2.5X 5 speed manual
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661 Posts
Don't discount other sources for air in the system. Mine had a crack in the hard line under the car, near where it is connected to the rack. It also never hurts to check the fittings for tightness where the hard lines meet the rubber stuff.
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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Discussion Starter #9
Don't discount other sources for air in the system. Mine had a crack in the hard line under the car, near where it is connected to the rack. It also never hurts to check the fittings for tightness where the hard lines meet the rubber stuff.
Thanks for the input!

I'll admit I know little about PS systems and need help since my simple knowledge is not working! I'll get under the car sometime and look at those hoses. I had a mechanic tell me it could NOT be in the rack because that system is pressurized and you would see fluid squirting????? But when you rock the wheels back and forth i guess it could potentially draw in a small amount of air?


Thanks so some ideas I'll get the car up clean up the area and look around!!!!
 

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2004 Forester 2.5X 5 speed manual
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Your mechanic is correct in that a leak from the rack itself would be pretty obvious if you looked up under there with the engine running. That being said, it is mighty hard to see up under there and doing a check with the engine running by yourself is not really safe. The line set that connects the power steering pump to the rack is part rubber, part steel, and has pressure fittings where the line set is connected to the rack. IIRC, there is a 90 degree bend on the feed side where that connection is made and that is where my line set failed. It was a very small crack on the inside of the 90 and it would only leak under very specific circumstances which made catching it a real PITA. I actually replaced my steering rack TWICE before I figured it out :/ The best indicator of that sort of leak is that you will start leaving puddles of PS fluid when you park it, and the fluid will get EVERYWHERE on the underside of the car as you drive, especially the exhaust where it will burn, and stink. Good luck!
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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Discussion Starter #11
there is a 90 degree bend on the feed side !
Thanks for the input. This has been a learning process!


Last night put the car on the lift and didn't see any around the rack an pinion under use. There just some small motor oil seepage from my oil pan (an unrelated issue)..... I cleaned up the area with a de-greaser and washed it off. I'll check back in this area in a few hundred miles (Not ruling it out) but have reason to believe I have found the issue...


I have heard of stress cracks on the PS intake nipple allowing aiw in the system with the plastic units on some WRX/STI's. So i took it off once again poops and giggles, and to my amazement I plugged one end with my finger and blew air from my mouth into the nipple and air was coming out of somewhere..... (Which I should have done from the beginning I know)

I found a hairline crack in the intake nipple and ordered a new one off ebay along with an OEM O-ring. In the meantime I roughed up the area on the outside and applied JB weld to try to allow me to use my car for work. After the cure time it helped, but still will need replaced.

If the new intake nipple and oring combo doesn't work, I will be walking into Autozone and asking for my money back and purchasing a new pump elsewhere.

THAT BEING SAID. Aside from the $400 OEM Pump, where would you buy a oem quality replacement??

Thanks for the help so far!
 

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Super Moderator
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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cardone select 965330 is a brand new pump as opposed to a remanufactured unit. I have no experience with it but most of the ones you get from the auto parts stores are all remans and seem to have a lot of trouble with quality...maybe new is a better option.
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
cardone select 965330 is a brand new pump as opposed to a remanufactured unit. I have no experience with it but most of the ones you get from the auto parts stores are all remans and seem to have a lot of trouble with quality...maybe new is a better option.
New cardone pump is in and has the slightest whine but the car seems much happier now. Auto zone Refunded me my cash and the Cardone pump seems great so far. It's also 20 degrees here and the thing always whines when its cold out.... I'll keep you guys updates.
 

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2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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Great to hear! At least now you know what the culprit is, so if the whining persists you know that a replacement pump is all that's needed.

Hopefully the whining settles down. Is it still whining when warm?
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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Discussion Starter #15
It does has the slightest whine when warm. Only driven about 50 miles since the swap and its gotten better since the install and initial bleed.
 

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2005 Forester X MT
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Discussion Starter #17
I'm kicking myself for being an idiot. I just looked at the bottle of ATF I put in with the pump install and its Dexron V1... I didn't even look what the guy grabbed me the other day checking out.

So just a minute ago on lunch break I pulled a hose under the car and bled the Dexron VI out, put in fresh Dex. III. Bled properly without a jack (I'm sore now). And.... NO WHINE.



It makes sense.... DEX. VI is a more "thin" fluid than DEX. III

So here are the viscosity properties between DEX. VI and DexIII PER Castrol's website. Its amazing that such a small change in Viscosity made the pump that unhappy. Give your car the right stuff kids!

Castrol ATF DEX III Viscosity Index = 185

Castrol ATF DEX VI Viscosity Index= 148
 

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Your mechanic is correct in that a leak from the rack itself would be pretty obvious if you looked up under there with the engine running. That being said, it is mighty hard to see up under there and doing a check with the engine running by yourself is not really safe. The line set that connects the power steering pump to the rack is part rubber, part steel, and has pressure fittings where the line set is connected to the rack. IIRC, there is a 90 degree bend on the feed side where that connection is made and that is where my line set failed. It was a very small crack on the inside of the 90 and it would only leak under very specific circumstances which made catching it a real PITA. I actually replaced my steering rack TWICE before I figured it out :/ The best indicator of that sort of leak is that you will start leaving puddles of PS fluid when you park it, and the fluid will get EVERYWHERE on the underside of the car as you drive, especially the exhaust where it will burn, and stink. Good luck!
Seem to be having the same problem but can't find the part to fix it,it's just either return hoses or high pressure lines
 

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Just wanted to let ya'll know got the power steering fixed broke down and took it to an auto place that made a custom metal line going to the gear box on drivers side, seemed impossible to get to with the exhaust and rack and pinion in the way, said they couldn't seem to find the part to buy individually, so that's fixed, but...on my way driving back had sum spark plug surges and misfires on cylinders 2,3, and 4....starting to have sum regrets on this buy
 
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