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Discussion Starter #1
Evening all,

During the spell of cold weather, I noticed that my 159 was a bit whiney on start up but returned to normal after about 30 seconds. I traced the sound to the power steering pump and went on alfaowner to see if other owners shared the same experience.

On doing this i learned that our 159's had originally been given the wrong p/s fluid and to check if it was the correct type based on it's colour. I did this and was dismayed to see mine was red, the wrong type. Then i got to thinking about how the steering had become a bit vague over the last few months and constantly needs little corrections when on a straight stretch.

Into my local (non-alfa) garage who informed me today that the inner tie rod end/drag link has play (though the track rod end remains perfect). A phone call to my usual alfa parts main dealer revealed that alfas do not have serviceable parts on this part of the rack, only track rod ends.......€1200 plus vat for a new rack is your only option or a recon unit for €650 plus vat. and thats without labour.

My alfa is a 2006 model, so i'm assuming my warranty is ended (the alfa fiat dealer i bought it off went bust last year). But with 50k miles on the clock, and the wrong p/s fluid from factory do you guys think i have any comeback regarding what this is gonna cost me??? My mechanic reckons that because the ram and rack are contained in the one housing, the type of p/s fluid used is a factor rather than if it were the usual ram bolted onto rack set up. He thinks i have a case regardless of the warranty,given the mileage invloved.

what do you guys think? any suggestions?

thanks guys
 

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Hi Green Alfa, I too have a 06 159 at 47k and as has been posted on several threads,( see Steering Rack Bust, Noisy When Pulling Away, to name but a few.) basically I get a whine and slight vibration through steering wheel when turning especially from standing start and engine is at low revs below 2k after that the pitch rises and it cannot be heard but comes into hearing range everytime I change gear and revs drop. pitch is quite low but not a groan or a lumpy sound?? I have appointment in 2 weeks car is going into dealer for overnight inspection, not too hopeful will post in "Noisy "thread when I know what's what.
Does your whine only appear when car is cold or does it return occassionally as mine does?
 

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Hi alfamoment, sorry to hear you're having the same kinda trouble as me, though hopefully the uk garages will go easier on you than over here. It only whines, or should i say squeals, when the temp is -1 or colder and goes away after 30 seconds. My tie rod end is gone on the passenger side, so when i lock hard to the left and reverse, the wheel appears to groan loudly and acts as though it's slipping on the road.
I really can't believe that so many people are having issues with their steering racks and no official recall has been made. I think it's shocking that the factory can put the wrong grade p/s fluid into the car and expect the customer to pay 1200 euros PLUS vat for a part after 50k. and i'm an alfa fan having upgraded from a 156. Will be looking forward to your reply. I would suggest if you can, jack the car up on both sides and look for play in the wheels. If you find any, which i suspect you will, take care not to kerb the wheels or hit potholes till you get her seen to. all the best!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Result!!!

Left my alfa into Tractamotors, Dublin today to have the steering rack and p/s reservoir replaced. The car is out of warranty being 06 but Gary in tm's managed to get a brand new rack for me f.o.c. from Fiat Ireland as a customer care issue. All I had to pay was the labour (which was surprisingly good value for a main dealer). Alfa feels like a new car and amazingly ALL the dash squeaks have gone!! thanks Fiat Ireland!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think it would help, but don't forget the original reservoir had a design flaw which stops the fluid circulating which is why it was replaced along with the rack in my case. If your car is 06 i'd ask about getting this done as a good will gesture before the rack suffers. My rack went with 50k miles on it. Then again, if your power steering pump doesn't whine like a b*tch on a cold morning (-1 degree or colder) then you're probably gonna be okay.
 

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I have had my steering rack replaced 6 months ago under warranty and now the whine has just started..especially when cold. Could this mean its gone again or just the pump???
 

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I have noticed a return of the whineing sound too since the cold weather! My rack was only replaced last November and the car is now out of warranty. I also feel an ocassional "click" in the steering wheel when adjusting the steering too.

Maybe its nothing, but I'm a bit paranoid having had the rack replaced already and I know what an expensive job it is out of warranty! The steering has never felt quite right though since I've had it.
 

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I had similar issues. Changed from Red fluid to green, and got a new steering fluid resevoir. All has been well since it was done 2 months ago by Allams.
 

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Can anyone provide pictures of the new and old reservoir please..... getting new rack next week, already had fluid changed and not sure if i have the correct reservoir, would like to make sure everything is ok from the start with new rack..... Thanks in advance
 

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Can anyone provide pictures of the new and old reservoir please..... getting new rack next week, already had fluid changed and not sure if i have the correct reservoir, would like to make sure everything is ok from the start with new rack..... Thanks in advance
+1 Mines an early 07 and it has the red fluid but I have no idea if the reservoir has been changed.
 

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Found out the fluid was red in mine..... Changed it to the green stuff today. We will see if im greeted by that groaning sound again on a cold morning ;)
 

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Hmmm. I have an April 2007 159, it has red fluid in, no noises or problems to note with the steering so far. I asked SimplyAlfa to check the fluid after reading on here and they said it was fine.
My fingers are crossed nothing is going wrong....
 

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Mine was red. I spoke to one Alfa dealer who said this was OK. He said if they (the other Alfa garage) had changed the reservoir it should be green but if they didnt then red was OK. This doesnt make much sence to me. The Alfa garage who did the warranty repair and changed the rack now have the car back (thanks to Green Flag) so I will see what their verdict is today. Keep you all posted.
 

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They have changed the pump and reservoir and put red fluid back in. Is this OK I wonder or am I going to go through all this again sometime soon. Anybody???
 

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They have changed the pump and reservoir and put red fluid back in. Is this OK I wonder or am I going to go through all this again sometime soon. Anybody???
My steering was damaged due to a fluid leak following the bump the car had back in December (the hoses for the power steering are attached to a bracket behind the bumper and when the bumper got pushed sideways, one of the hose unions split). When it came back from the bodyshop, it was filled with red fluid. I queried this with the dealer, Western of Edinburgh, but they assure me that 'red' is the official factory specification and it is only changed to the thinner green if the system becomes noisy.

Well, mine has started moaning like someone with a bad hangover in the last few days but as it's getting traded-in next weekend all I can say is : "Am I bovvered?" :rolleyes: :lol:
 
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