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I have a 2009 159 1.9 JTDm. The power steering started to make a noise. In my non-Alfa cars, I have fixed this simply by checking the fluid level.

I had green fuild in the reservoir and the level was between min and max. I don't know what fluid it was but it was green (GI/R, Synpower, something else,..). Not red.

I live in cold climate. Some owners here recommend Valvoline Synpower because that works well in cold climate. I thought it would not hurt if I remove old fluid and add some fresh fluid. The Synpower is green, so I assume it works with another green fluid.

I did not bleed the system from the lowest point. I simply pumped out all the original fluid in the reservoir and filled it with Synpower. And next day i did the same again.

But the noise did not go away. It was away for a some time, but then it returned again.

When I opened the reservoir immediately after driving, I noticed that there were bubbles in the fluid. So I decided to remove the reservoir and take a closer look. I found a filter rolling inside the empty reservoir. I don't know why it had got loose, because it looked good. It was not dirty or anything.

The reservoir: Picture

The filter: Picture

I found a thread on the Finnish Alfa Romeo board about the filter. It says that the filter should be on the return line. Unfortunately, I think the reservoir can't be opened (?) and it is not possible to plug the filter back to where it belongs.

Do you know, why there is a filter on the return line? Doesn't this mean that if there is any dirt in the system it can't get out? It would make more sense to me, if the filter would be on the line that goes to the power steering pump.

I removed the filter that was rolling inside the reservoir and filled the system Synpower. Now my power steering works perfect, no noise, no bubbles.

How important is the filter in the reservoir? Should I worry if the system works, fluid looks ok, and the power steering does not make any noises? I am a person who changes power steering fluid every now and then. If there is any significant dirt in the system, I will see that in the reservoir when changing oil? And other particles will be cleaned from the system when I change the power steering fuilds?
 

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Think you need a new reservoir.

There have been a few revisions of that part.
The latest p/n I have is 51880990 (there may be even later revisions!).
 
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I have now ordered a 51880990 reservoir.

But I still don't understand, why is the filter in the line that brings oil back from the power steering pump, not in the one that goes from the reservoir to the power steering pump? (This is based on the reservoir picture in above alfabbs thread.)
 

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I have now ordered a 51880990 reservoir.

But I still don't understand, why is the filter in the line that brings oil back from the power steering pump, not in the one that goes from the reservoir to the power steering pump? (This is based on the reservoir picture in above alfabbs thread.)
Maybe its because all the ****e will come from the rack, so it stops it entering the res with the clean fluid?

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I think it is just confuse what exactly by return mean ( behind tank, behind pump or behind steering gear ).
Anyway tank is in return irrespectively where this net located ( in or out ).
My view this net located from right inside tank which is out and directed to pump.
Here in Russia this bloody tank is not stock article and needs some time to wait for replace.
Everyone here put this tank back net- less for temporary use to wait new tank arrival.
Someone use temporary solution for the rest of life.
It is not right, but creates no problem in reality.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think it is just confuse what exactly by return mean ( behind tank, behind pump or behind steering gear ).
Anyway tank is in return irrespectively where this net located ( in or out ).
My view this net located from right inside tank which is out and directed to pump....
Makes a lot more sense. I guess I read the picture wrong.
...Here in Russia this bloody tank is not stock article and needs some time to wait for replace...
Same thing here 500 km to the west. I had to order my new reservoir tank from Germany.
...Everyone here put this tank back net- less for temporary use to wait new tank arrival.
Someone use temporary solution for the rest of life.
It is not right, but creates no problem in reality.
Great to know. I will replace the reservoir, when the new part arrives, but will not worry too much unless the pump starts whining again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have now the new 51880990 reservoir in the car. The power steering seemed to work great also without the filter, but better safe than sorry.
 

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Gosh, I had the same sound-ish problem and I was totaly convinced that steering pump left the house. But I just check it and the filter was free in the reservoir! I took it of and now is good as new.

Monday to the dealer for new one.:thumbup:
 

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Just wanted to confirm that the intermittent whining sound went away once I removed the broken off filter from the reservoir.

I cheated a bit by not removing the reservoir completely - clips on the tubes are tough. Instead I drained the oil, unscrewed the reservoir, turned it over and managed to get the filter out. It seems there is a plastic wall inside the reservoir which gets in the way - I had to crack a piece of it off with a large flat screwdriver to let the filter out.
 

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Just wanted to confirm that the intermittent whining sound went away once I removed the broken off filter from the reservoir.

I cheated a bit by not removing the reservoir completely - clips on the tubes are tough. Instead I drained the oil, unscrewed the reservoir, turned it over and managed to get the filter out. It seems there is a plastic wall inside the reservoir which gets in the way - I had to crack a piece of it off with a large flat screwdriver to let the filter out.
but the filter is there for a reason right ? without it the fluid will get dirty and will cause problems in the future , thats my logic ...
 

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but the filter is there for a reason right ? without it the fluid will get dirty and will cause problems in the future , thats my logic ...
This thing is mounted on the exhaust end of the system. I think it does not help much to prevent outside dirt from entering the system.

After having done some experiments, I am pretty convinced by now that the whole purpose of this meshy thing is to catch air bubbles and not let them back into pump. These bubbles seem to cause all sorts of whining. It seems that bubbling occurs at times, not right away. Once the air is in the system, it keeps to circulate there until the engine is turned off for some time.

I ended up replacing the entire reservoir, after having driven a couple hundreds miles, the whining is gone almost completely. My theory is that this filter eliminates the bubbling once it occurs.
 

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Nope - bubbling is air in the system
So the air dissolved in the fluid, perhaps due to the phenomena of cavitation, form tiny bubbles that get caught by the mesh on the exhaust pipe, accumulate into a large bubble there, then eventually escape into the atmosphere at once.
 

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The white filter is locked inside the reservoir by a brass tube inside the entrance pipe. Some how it slides down the tube into the rubber pipe. To fix, slide the filter down into the two locating groves inside the reservoir and then push the brass pipe back up into the reservoir to lock the filter in place. I think the filter is required to provide some back pressure to the pump and to stop agitation and frothing of the fluid. Pic in this post - Alfabbs.fi - katso viestiketjua - Tyhmiä kysymyksiä 159:stä (ja muut 939:t). Worked for me.
Cheers
 
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