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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a little hotter than usual here, and a weird issue popped up on my 04VR that I've never seen before. I'm getting this weird groan/whir, similar to what a PS pump with low fluid would sound like and feel. The steering wheel tends to vibrate, and the brake pedals vibrate a little too. This seems to be happening only at idle and at low speeds, and seems to go away when the temperature is colder (When it shows less than 80F on the dash thermometer). It groans when I'm stopped, and when I'm accelerating it becomes a whir and a groan. It goes away or becomes unnoticeable at speeds above 40 mph or so, or at RPMs above 2500.


I'm tempted to say it's the power steering pump going bad because I know it's leaking a little, but I checked the fluid levels and it seems OK. It was happening even with the wheel straight, and my previous PS pump problems usually showed up only when the wheel was turned. The problem's gone away now that it's cooled down a bit too, so I can't reproduce or record it.


Any ideas / suggestions?
 

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It could be your alternator bearing causing all the moanin' and groanin' within a certain RPM range ...the only way to find out is by loosening out just the accessory belt and then manually turning the alternator pully with your hand and feel if it has a rough spin to it. Thats what happened on my R and mine didnt sound like a groan, more like an angry cat living in my engine...RRAAAIIIIIIIIRRR!! hehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would a slipping accessory belt cause this? I already know that I have a leaky PS pump that's leaking onto the belt. It's definitely a groan and not a squeak though. Prienzo, how long have you had this problem? I'm hoping this isn't something that's going to cause my car to completely implode within the near future.
 

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I've got a clattering-squealing noise when i launch or drive uphill slowly.
Also gets unnoticeable at higher speeds and RPMs.

Gonna try a new accessory belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

I managed to take some audio, the whining is really soft in the video but pretty loud in the car. It happened again yesterday, and it seems like it starts up around 78F, at speeds below 40 MPH. Goes away pretty quickly once it hits 76F.
 

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Would a slipping accessory belt cause this? I already know that I have a leaky PS pump that's leaking onto the belt. It's definitely a groan and not a squeak though. Prienzo, how long have you had this problem? I'm hoping this isn't something that's going to cause my car to completely implode within the near future.
Would you have a 2004? Known issue with Power Steering Reservoir cap leaking. Replace the reservoir with a 2005 model year version. Don't let them order you a 2004 replacement or it will also leak.
 

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That sounds somewhat similar to when my timing belt pulley was going bad. At first I thought it was an alternator bearing as well, but after a new alternator it was still there. Finally traced it down to a pulley that was about to go (at only 70k miles) for the timing belt. Lucky I didn't just ignore it.

Have you had your timing belt and pulleys changed yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@djkronik57: when your pulley was going bad was the noise consistent, or was it dependent on conditions?

@vloGrok: I have an 04, but the leak isn't coming from the reservoir, it's coming from the pump. I'm planning on replacing the pump and getting an 05 reservoir as well later. I did check the PS pump fluid, and it's still good.
 

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If you take a screwdriver and stick the tip onto the component suspected of causing the noise you can put your ear to the handle and listen to the bearings inside as they spin. This is a poorman's stethoscope and can be used to tell if a bearing is close to failing. Not sure if there is enough access to try it on a spinning pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you take a screwdriver and stick the tip onto the component suspected of causing the noise you can put your ear to the handle and listen to the bearings inside as they spin. This is a poorman's stethoscope and can be used to tell if a bearing is close to failing. Not sure if there is enough access to try it on a spinning pulley.
The component in question would have to be making a sound to do that, right? It isn't hot enough outside right now to reproduce the sound, which is really annoying.
 

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For those that think it's low PS fluid, but you just topped it off: Try turning the wheel from lock to lock a few times with it running, holding at each side for a couple seconds. This will hopefully work the last of the air out of the system.
 

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The component in question would have to be making a sound to do that, right? It isn't hot enough outside right now to reproduce the sound, which is really annoying.
If a bearing is failing, you will hear the vibration through the screwdriver blade even though the bearing may not be making a noise loud enough to hear in the open air. You can even compare the noise from one component with bearings to another, like the alternator vs the tensioner.
 

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I know this is a really old post, but I was having this exact same problem and tried pretty much everything listed here from timing belt to power steering and then figured out that it was the AC compressor. I used the screwdriver stethoscope method to figure out where the noise was coming from. It didn't show up until hot weather because it wasn't being used. Turning the AC off makes the noise stop. The sound hasn't gotten any worse throughout this summer, so I'll probably wait to replace the compressor.

Hopefully this will help other people having the same problem.
 

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Bumping this also. I have the exact same noise in addition to some heavy groaning when I turn the wheel. I have an 04 VR. The pump was replaced and the fluid level is good. I picked up a used 05+ reservoir and will swap it out. Any thoughts?
 
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