Tip & How-To about 2000 Volvo V70

Sound like your power steering pump is going bad? Not necessarily...

I had a customer that told me their power steering pump was going out. They described the typical power steering whine and difficulty steering. When I went to verify the complaint, I discovered that it didn't whine or have trouble right away. It took a minute or two to actually appear. I had to do some research and what I discovered was that, while a typical vehicle would have the return hose connect directly to the bottom of the reservoir, in the volvo it connects near the top. Inside the reservoir, to keep the fluid from becoming aerated, there is a small, plastic, "L" shaped tube that connects to the p/s return on the INSIDE of the reservoir. In the case of the vehicle I was working on, this tube had popped off causing the fluid to become severely aerated. The air would enter the system (after developing from running for a short bit) causing it to sound like it had a bad pump.

So, if you suspect that the power steering pump is bad, check the fluid level first (as you always should) and examine the condition of it right after running it. The cap might be pressurized and pop off, which is a very good indication of the problem I'm speaking of. The fluid may pour out as well. In any case, if it's foamy, though otherwise at least filled to the minimum line, look inside the reservoir towards the engine side of it where the return line enters to see if you see either a black plastic tube running to the bottom or a beveled, metal tube that has nothing connected. If you check and see the latter, fish around in the reservoir for the plastic tube. You should find it and can likely pop it back on to the return tube. Bleed the system as you normally would and you should find that the problem goes away. Hope that helps!

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can altenator sound like bad power steering pump?

Many new power steering pumps will exhibit a whining noise for a time after installation. Some won't. Typically, they quiet down within 2-3 weeks once they break in a bit. If the new pump is doing its job and not leaking and the whine is not more like an ear-splitting shriek, just wait it out and see what happens.

Feb 19, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

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My 96 ford ranger 4.0 liter whines while at a low rpm range an ideals rough while its whining i can get the whining to stop by gooshing the gas petal

Whining is typically one of two things. The power steering fluid is low or the water pump is on its way out.

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Whinning Causes
The whining noise you hear coming from the power steering pump is one of three things. The first is more of a loud "hush" than a whine; this is the sound of fluid rushing through the bypass valve when you turn the wheel all the way to one side or the other. Sometimes the bypass valve malfunctions or doesn't open all the way, causing pressure to back up in the pump and cause your engine rpm to drop. The second and third causes result from cavitation -- vacuum pockets created behind the rotor's vane blades as a result of extremely high pump action -- or air in the lines.

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1 Answer

whining sound when turning

Please elaborate. Does it happen when stopped and turning the steering wheel, at certain speeds or both?
Does yours have power steering? That was an option for 1990.
First thing that comes to mind is the power steering pump or just low on fluid. Check the fluid level first. Not necessarily in danger of imminent failure but if yours has never been replaced it would be a good idea to get a new one for peace of mind.
One way to check it is to go to drive into a big empty parking lot, turn off the engine (don't turn the key too far as to lock the steering) and make some of the same kinds of turns that typically makes the noise happen. If it still makes the same noise it's NOT the power steering pump and I'm at a loss without more details. If it doesn't whine, then it still could be something with the power steering. With the car running and parked have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth and listen for it under the hood and you should be able to find the source. If you don't know where the power steering pump is I'd suggest getting a service manual. I recommend one from Haynes.

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Is it full of power steering fluid ? How are the hose's high pressure and low pressure ? Did you bleed the air out after changing the pump ? There is no filter .
Verify power steering fluid level per operating specification. Refer to Checking and Adding Power Steering Fluid.
Start the engine. Rotate steering wheel from left to right. Check for sign of cavitation or fluid aeration (pump noise/whining).
Verify the fluid level. Repeat the bleed procedure, if necessary.

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