Two quesitons.

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hi there!
first things first, i am not, nor do i claim to be a gearhead or knowitall when it comes to cars. i like them sure, but i'm not a nut. so my questions are probably easy to answer. and i can't wait for vwhobo to annihilate me on this.
my first question is about synthetic oils.
what are the benefits of using them? what are the pitfalls? i change the oil in my 65k 2001 honda civic dx and have heard that synth oils are good for 75k+ engines.
anywho, onto question #2.
i have NEVER been able to hear the power steering pump when i turn the wheel all the way to the left or right in my car until recently. and compared to the pump in my dads 2000 25k miles saturn, the one in my honda is LOUD! is this normal? the wheel starts to shake also while turned all the way in one direction. i've noticed some slight "play" in the wheel when driving too. any ideas?
thanks for any advice and comments. and if you want to jump down my throat about not knowing something that's obvious to the rest of the general population, that's ok too!

posted by  cant_army

With oils, they're all pretty good these days as long as you change them regularly, i.e. in accordance with owners manual etc.

Power steering pump - first off, check fluid level.

posted by  diyo

I firmly believe you should just go along with the info provided by diyo, or...

1. As for the synthetic oil question, I'll just refer you to this thread . I think that will answer your question. If not feel free to ask for clarification.

2. As for the power steering dilemma you have roughly three choices. Low fluid level, although I would hope you checked that while under the hood. A worn out pump, but Honda PS pumps are usually good for about 200k miles. Old fluid, yes old fluid. While not highly publicized, power steering fluid, like any other fluid, wears out and will cause a noisy pump. Most higher mileage cars like yours will benefit from flushing and refilling the system with new fluid. Which leads me to a question.

During the life of your car, has PS fluid been added for any reason? If so, and this is important, was it just PS fluid or was it Honda specific PS fluid? The wrong fluid in a Honda will make the pump scream and depending on the amount used, the problem may take a while to manifest itself.

Now to "annihilate" you. It pisses me off when people say sh*t like that for no reason. The questions you asked are fair question, but more importantly they've had some thought put to them, you write coherently and you use the English language. I challenge you to find a thread where, if someone met those standards, I "annihilated" them. Betcha can't.

posted by  vwhobo

thanks for the follow ups. most of thanks to vwhobo. the fluid in the power steering pump has been changed once, i think at 50k miles. a complete flush and refilling. and i made absolute sure to use only honda fluid in the replacement. as for the oil question, the link you gave was helpful and answered all questions.
and of course on to the "vwhobo being mean etc" thing.
it was meant in good humour, nothing sharp intended. i actually think the way you bite into stupid people is NEEDED. granted i'm stupid when it comes to some basic car questions...but at least i know how to spell and use nouns and adjectives in proper form. the comment i first made was just to kinda give ya a jab in the ribs. nothing mean or ill intending.
thanks again!

posted by  cant_army

So the original pump was replaced at 50k miles. How many miles are on it now, was it a new or reman pump and the question I'm sure you don't know for sure, was the PS belt over tensioned? I forgot to mention that earlier but that will kill a pump almost as fast as no fluid.

Oh yeah, as long as we're bullsh*tting around :fu:. Just kidding :hi:

posted by  vwhobo

you know what. the belt being over tensioned sounds like what might be wrong actually. since they flushed the ps fluid at 50k the fluid in use now has 15k miles usage. question: after how many miles should the ps fluid be changed/flushed? :ticking: <---i just like this face.

posted by  cant_army

Yeah, it reminds me of Mr T. PS fluid is good for 60k miles/5 years. I won't bore you with the severe service, your results may vary stuff. Check your belt adjustment now. Sometimes you can find a sweet spot where the noise goes away, it just take a little diddling.

posted by  vwhobo

i am damn sure that's what the problem is. i'll get back to you probably after tomorrow to let you know for sure.
thanks for your help!
keep it real! :ticking:

posted by  cant_army

In addition to anything previously mentioned in this thread, i would add to the possibility of front end problems. The wheel shaking and slight play in the steering wheel while driving concerns me.

The pump set upon to do more than its job by trying to move a bad tie rod or a ball joint thats going south would exhibit more noise as it strains to move .

I would suggest having the front end checked for play and to make sure things aren't loose.

posted by  hitchhiker

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