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Old 10-22-2006, 05:44 AM   #1
hondaman
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Rubbing noise from steering

As many of you know, or perhaps don't, I own a 1997 Buick LeSabre Limited. 3.8 Series II, and variable assist magnetic steering or something along those lines, if it's important. I can look up the precise term if necessary, but anyway...

Lately I've been noticing a rubbing/belt whine noise every time I make a 90 degree turn onto another street, any direction, though I notice it only seems to occur at speeds of about 10 mph and up. Now, I've heard this sound before, but only when the wheel was turned to either extreme at low speeds. This sound is often accompanied by a slight vibration through the steering wheel, though it's not severe. Something that might be affecting it, though it has only just started, it has also just started getting quite cold outside. I've noticed that the frequency of this phenomenon decreases as the temperature gets warmer or as the car warms up. Eventually, the occurence disappears completely when the car reaches it's normal operating temperature. When it makes this noise I also notice no difference in the car's path of travel, it takes no correction with the wheel to keep it going in the direction I want.

The belt whining noise might be my drive belt, I recently got it replaced and it makes a whining noise when the throttle is applied, though it is only audible at lower speeds. I have also recently gotten my power steering pump replaced, if it's relevant.

I hope I've provided enough information, if not just ask and I will tell more.

Does anyone know if this is a serious problem? Or even a problem at all?

Thanks for any light you may be able to shed on this subject.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:36 PM   #2
Cliffy
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As you've just had the PAS pump replaced I'd have the garage (if applicable) check this out. Did it start to happen as soon as it was replaced? The noise you describe sounds like either the belt is slipping, or you are low on ATF (Auto Transmission Fluid.....I wont teach ya how to suck eggs, I'll go with the assumption that you know that acts as PAS fluid too...). Maybe whoever replaced the pump, didn't put enough fluid in the resevoir?
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #3
hondaman
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Thanks, Cliffy.

Well, I believe it was doing this before the pump was replaced as well, though I don't believe it was making quite the same belt noise (though this may be due to the drive belt.) It was only doing it then at lower speeds with the wheel turned to either extreme though, not turning onto another street. This started happening just a couple of days ago, and the service was about a month and a half ago. The transmission just had a service also so it SHOULD be ok with fluid, I checked the fluid levels about two weeks ago and they were good, for both the power steering and the transmission. I'll check again though.

Now that you say that, it does sort of feel like something is slipping, but yet I don't have to make any steering corrections when this occurs. I'll see if it happens again today, if possible I might even try to capture a small video to get the sound.
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:37 PM   #4
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Well, thanks again Cliffy...I checked my power steering fluid again and it was indeed low. Filling it up again completely removed the problem. Perhaps I didn't check it earlier...it's possible. Either way I'll keep watching it and hope there aren't any leaks.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaman
Well, thanks again Cliffy...I checked my power steering fluid again and it was indeed low. Filling it up again completely removed the problem. Perhaps I didn't check it earlier...it's possible. Either way I'll keep watching it and hope there aren't any leaks.
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You're welcome. Chances are, whoever fit the new part didn't wait and 'feed' the new fluid through the system. This being the case, when the new stuff circulated through the system, the level dropped, thus being too low!
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