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Thread: Power steering system noise?

  1. #21
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    I used DEX/MERC from Advanced Auto and it's working fine. Ralph






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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Yes, anything that says Dexron III compatible is good. I always feel better when it says Dexron II compatible too, but since Dexron III supersedes Dexron II, then I can accept it's worthiness . Tim

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Ok. I was a little confused at first with the roman numeral system. I know that VI means 6, but in the natural numeric order, I thought you were referring to 4 because it superceeded III. Funny enough, the guy at Autozone made the same mistake and said they only carry dexron 4, but when I got there, all they had was dexron VI. I figured out that it was exactly like you said - dexron VI. Anyways, enough of the numeric confusion.

    What I bought was Autozone ATF Dexron VI (also says GM compatible) When you said it should be backwards compatible, I freaked out a little and hoped that a transmission flush wasn't something I had to now worry about, but I read the back and sure enough it says "This fluid is also suitable for use where Dexron II, Dexron III, JasoM315, Toyota WS or Toyota T-IV fluids are recommended."

    Phew....

  4. #24
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    Power Steering Problem

    I got about 550 miles into my first trip from Council Bluffs, IA back to Fort Worth and my power steering pump started whining. I figured that it was low on fluid so I pulled over and bought a quart of Dexron III to add. When I pulled the cover off of the access panel I saw that ATF was coming out of the reservoir all around the cap. The cap was tight so it was just blowing past the seal.
    The pump itself was dry as a bone on the exterior and so I could only surmise that it had failed internally from sitting for so many years. I ordered a new pump and installed it in the van in the hotel parking lot last night. The new (remanufactured) pump from Autozone whined a bit and doesn't work properly. It feels as though I don't have any power steering at all. It doesnt whine and it runs quiet but it is still blowing ATF past the reservoir cap seal.
    I did a search on the forum and about the only thing I could see was possibly the filter screen in the reservoir being clogged, however I would think that if it is blowing fluid back out the reservoir that it would push the stuff back up and out of the screen unless the fluid being pushed out is coming from above the screen already.
    I have a 1900 mile trip ahead of me in a week and a half and I want to have this fixed before I go. Help?

    New (remanufactured) pump
    new belt
    Fluid not flushed before installation
    Reservoir not removed and cleaned out
    43,000 miles (total) on van
    Fluid blowing out of the top of the reservoir past the cap seal
    No power steering felt at the steering wheel
    pump not whining

  5. #25
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Can someone post a picture of where the drain on the rack is? I would like to get at it when I remove the reservoir this afternoon.

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    I'm not aware of a drain, I always just took a line off it.

  7. #27
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Sounds good. So the line coming out of the bottom of the reservoir and going to the top of the pump is the low pressure inlet and the line with the banjo fitting at the bottom of the pump going to the rack and then back into the side of the reservoir is the high pressure return side, right? This would make sense if the screen were clogged. No ATF would be getting through the screen, and everything returning would be returning above the clogged screen and have nowhere to go but up through the cap. Sound logical?
    Last edited by Rufus; 04-06-2016 at 01:49 PM.

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Yes, all you just said is correct. Of course I haven't seen it coming out the cap before. If the screen is clogged, there will be cavitation at the pump, so the volume it moves will be reduced to whatever can flow through the screen. Because return flow and output flow are matched, it shouldn't overflow unless it's overfilled..........although I suppose that's possible in some situations. A clogged screen & pump cavitation typically result in diminished/jerky performance when system is under demand (maneuvering in tight quarters) and the pump will make noise. Tim

  9. #29
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Problem solved. My troubleshooting worked.
    Here was the problem:
    The reservoir screen had become completely clogged from sitting for such a long time. It had a black, tar-like goop completely covering the screen of the reservoir. So the pump would attempt to draw fluid down from above the screen but could not due to the blockage. The return line was above the screen and was doing its job and returning fluid to the reservoir. Since the screen was blocked, fluid wouldn't go through it and adding fluid only made it overflow faster. This would cause it to vent out past the cap as that was the path of least resistance (thank God, better than the middle of the high pressure-return line) and wouldn't let the pump operate properly.
    This is a very simple power steering system. The filter screen in the reservoir is truly the Achilles heel of the system. I think that Toyota expected people to occasionally remove the reservoir and flush it out, and that's why it is so easy to remove. I wasn't able to get the tabs pried back to remove the cover so I just bought some good chlorinated brake cleaner and filled the reservoir up, agitated it, scraped as much tar off of the screen as I could with a flathead screwdriver, and repeated the flush a few times until it was clean. I then let it dry, and ran a bunch of Dexron III through the reservoir to purge any remaining solvent out of it. Two 12mm bolts and two hose clamps and the reservoir comes out. Easy as pie.
    I did all this in the hotel parking lot and the only casualty were a few white hotel towels. Real "field maintenance".
    The power steering system now works properly and as intended.
    Time to get the AC charged up (anybody know if shops still use R12?) and I will be ready for my road trip!

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Wow, I've never seen one clogged so thoroughly. Over the years I've had a few that started making noise, and that was my cue to clean that screen. So now we know the reservoir will overflow if the screen gets bad enough . That's awesome you got it fixed.

    I'm sure there's still some shops that do R-12. I stocked up on that stuff a few years back. I also got a high end R-12 recovery/recycling machine when they were practically giving that stuff away, so I'm set for life. When I replaced the compressor on my van 2 years ago I was able to suck it all out, run it through my machine in the "recycle" mode, replace my compressor, then put it back in . Today we broke a temperature record (was over 80°) and I was cruising in style with my AC blasting .

    Next time I run that machine I'll have to takes some pics, perhaps a video, and make a thread. BTW, the experts say that converting over to the R134A is the best way to go, but I like my R-12 (too set in my ways to change now). Tim

  11. #31
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    Power steering pump overflowing

    Howdy everyone! Long time reader. First time poster. Proud owner of Luna Cos Mika, 1988 2wd
    nice to meet ya'all.

    Power steering pump overflowing:
    Here is what is happening. When I turn the vehicle on there is a loud noise from the area of the power steering pump after letting it run for a couple minutes I turn the vehicle off, and the reservoir Starts permitting fluid to bubble out.
    My apologies if this has already been covered, I tried to search but the service does not seem to work well with my iPhone. Thank you so much for your help
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  12. 01-06-2017, 12:25 PM

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    Re: Power steering pump overflowing

    I was able to get the reservoir off, and indeed it was very mucked up. The problem now, is that the inner screen appears to have come loose and all but one tiny section. My next question is, if I put it back together with the screen as is, how long before terrible things happen? And if I need a new reservoir, do you know if they are still available? Thank you so much
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    I hate to bring this thread back from last year, but I think I am having this problem now with my 1987 2wd Van. Though I am more than happy to do the work, what is to prevent this from happening again down the line after I clean out the screen? With that in mind, is there any type of replacement reservoir that anyone has tried that works more efficiently/ doesn't have this problem?

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    I've had this problem on 3 vans now, all with over 150k miles. Cleaning the screen took care of the issue on all 3. 2 of them don't get driven much, but the 3rd is my daily driver and I've driven it almost 100k miles since cleaning and the problem has yet not reoccurred (knock on wood). Keep in mind this is a closed/recirculating system, so unless you introduce foreign material when adding fluid, there's not really anything to clog the screen. As the system wears it will produce some debris, but unless you have a component failure, I think you're looking at 10+ years and over 100k miles before it should become an issue again. Tim

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    I bet mine probably needs to be cleaned, it makes a whine on tight corners. Where is the screen located exactly? In the reservoir? Do you remove the reservoir to clean it? Thanks for the tips.

    EDIT: I just saw there was a 1st page to this thread - cleaning the screen was literally the original topic! Now I feel like an idiot. Sorry guys!

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I've had this problem on 3 vans now, all with over 150k miles. Cleaning the screen took care of the issue on all 3. 2 of them don't get driven much, but the 3rd is my daily driver and I've driven it almost 100k miles since cleaning and the problem has yet not reoccurred (knock on wood). Keep in mind this is a closed/recirculating system, so unless you introduce foreign material when adding fluid, there's not really anything to clog the screen. As the system wears it will produce some debris, but unless you have a component failure, I think you're looking at 10+ years and over 100k miles before it should become an issue again. Tim

    Thanks for the insight Tim! I will update when I complete the work.

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    I will be the guinea pig for having no screen.
    I think it was already damaged\gone.

    I replaced the fluid. Was very dark.
    Drain and repeated a week later.

    Been a few months and no whining.

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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    You have a tremendous amount of information here that helps with other Toyota vehicles (not just vans,) notably: my 1993 Geo Prizm (Corolla clone) which has that stupid screen mesh at the bottom of the reservoir along with a diffuser. Since I have the mechanical aptitude of a German Shepherd, I have deferred all my maintenance to a capable mechanic just across the border in Acuna, Coahuila Mexico. Apparently, the Mexicans don't seem to have a clue about this screen mesh problem, and I was wondering if any of this information was available in Spanish. All the Spanish language videos that I have been able to find deal with flushing the fluid properly, but remain mute about cleaning the screens. I've tried to tell this guy, but I had to threaten to get another mechanic until I finally got his attention. Any Hispanics out there? I would appreciate any help. Muchas gracias por ustedes ayudos. (And I apologize if I screwed that up, my Spanish is only slightly better than my mechanical aptitude.)

  20. #39
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    Yes, all you just said is correct. Of course I haven't seen it coming out the cap before. ... ... Because return flow and output flow are matched, it shouldn't overflow unless it's overfilled.... .....although I suppose that's possible in some situations. . Tim
    well, I've seen it now... ...Wednesday night, I pushed a little bit sideways on the (molded) steering-fluid return hose, so I could check my engine oil ... ... Started it up yesterday morning, and, I noticed some steering-pump noises, so, I shut it down to look around. It turns out the garage floor has a red puddle of steering fluid. I examined the van for the source of the leak and found 2 wet areas.

    Firstly, it was a bit wet where I found a sneaky crack in the underside of the factory return-hose...(a dry + weak spot in the old hose that finally let go after being shoved out of the way for 31 years to permit easier access to the engine-oil dipstick)

    Secondly, the whole reservoir was soaked. And, the reservoir was topped out, "bubbly", and had obviously been blowing out through the closed steering fluid cap !!!

    My thought is that, the crack in the return hose may have been pulling air into the system and, the pressure of being "over-filled" (because of the extra air), causes it to blow out of the cap.

    So, one thing to check if you ever find your reservoir filled to the top and overflowing from the cap is the airtight condition of your return lines.


    Solution: new return line for power steering fluid.





    Part Number: 4434828040


    didn't feel like waiting for the part, so, of couse I used "gates" bulk 5/8" hose---
    didn't like the way bulk hose wanted to route itself, so, I made this too--

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  21. #40
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    Re: Power steering system noise?

    Yes, the pump sucked air, whipped it into the oil, compressed it, then it expanded when it came back to the reservoir. Result = messy overflow. Keep in mind there are different grades of hose. Some are intended for hot antifreeze and some are intended for hot oil. If you used heater hose for this it may or may not hold up. Always best to use the stuff that's made to do the job. The good news is there is only low pressure/low stress on this particular hose. Very creative with the copper BTW . Tim

  22. 04-27-2018, 11:09 AM


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