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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else had this issue:
After starting from cold, my Spiders' steering is very noisy in any position apart from straight ahead.
Its a "grainy" type of whining, whirring noise, probably power steering pump?
I'm guessing I might need a new one but after driving a few miles, it all but disappears.
Any clues? :read:
 

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Simple things first. Have you checked the power steering fluid level? The reservoir is located on the Offside wing plastic cover/cowl, you can't miss the cap, as there in the middle.
 
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Level must be checked with engine running and turning from left to right

From manual:
FILLING THE POWER STEERING
CIRCUIT AND BLEEDING AIR
- Remove the plug and fill the tank with the specified oil.
- With the engine at idle speed, making sure that the tank does not empty, turn the steering wheel a few complete turns to bleed the air. Then top up the tank to the maximum level mark.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cheers for that - I havent tried yet, will have a look.
 

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Even if it is full it might help to change the fluid even though it isn't specified in any of the service manuals Ive seen. Mine hadn't been changed since new and was black instead of clearish red. after I changed it the steering was MUCH quieter. This is how I did it on my V6:
- disconnect battery (not necessary but as a precaution for the next step)
- remove the bracket that holds the relays next to the steering fluid reservoir (the one with the steering wheel symbol on the lid). This will give you better access to the return pipe (the top one).
- Undo the return pipe clip and drain the fluid into a container. Mine came out black instead of clearish red. unfortunately you cannot just siphon the fluid out of the top of the reservoir as it has both top and bottom chambers
- If you really want to be thorough have someone run the engine with the front wheels of the ground and while turning the steering left to right (full lock) keep pouring fluid into the reservoir to flush out all the fluid in the pipes. I didn't bother with this as I was on my own.
- Reconnect the pipe and fill the reservoir with new fluid. turn the steering wheel left and right to bleed the system.
- Job done. This will also hopefully extend the life of the steering pump due to better lubrication
 

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- If you really want to be thorough have someone run the engine with the front wheels of the ground and while turning the steering left to right (full lock) keep pouring fluid into the reservoir to flush out all the fluid in the pipes. I didn't bother with this as I was on my own.
Ah yes ;)
I was also on my own. I jacked up the right-front wheel and removed the wheel arch liner to get access from below. Then I disconnected the return hose and directed it into a bucket - and then, I started the engine.

You wouldn't believe the rate at which the fluid pumps out - emptied the reservoir in about a second and the pump started gurgling/spitting an emulsified air/fluid mix everywhere. I was meanwhile attempting to pour in the new fluid, which was some special clear type incorporating a seal conditioner (not that I was having any problems, but thought it would be preventative maintenance). I thought it would gently flush out the old fluid, but it was all over (the suspension, the brake, the driveway...) in about a second.

I went back to the shop for another litre (this time of fluid not including a seal conditioner) - knowing that all the dirty fluid had been pumped out, I reconnected the return pipe, filled up the reservoir, and turned the steering from lock to lock several times while pondering whether I should have done this in the second or two as the old fluid was being pumped out :eek:

If the system has emptied itself, it takes some time to get all the air out, and you can expect a great deal of whining and bubbles until this happens. It eventually self-bleeds but obviously needs several top-ups to do so.

So, the advice to drain the fluid without the engine running is probably good - changing most of the fishy-smelling will suffice - and my advice is that if you do try to flush it, have at least two litres of new fluid on hand and expect to make a mess :)

The fact that the noise goes away is a good sign and I think the level is just a bit low - allowing air to get in during startup and the air slowly works its way out.

I suspect that ongoing moaning/whining means one of three things:
- old worn-out fluid foaming/pump cavitation - hence the need to change the fluid
- air getting into the fluid - loose hose connection allowing air in but not fluid out?
- pump worn out (perhaps due to not having fluid changed)

I know for a fact that there have been cases where power steering pumps have worn out and needed replacing to fix the noise. Alfa 156 was where I saw that, but Alfa 159 has a similar problem due to a faulty reservoir screen mesh restricting the flow of fluid. For my Gtv, at least I verified that there was NO restriction to the flow :lol:

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cheers Alex, I will examine the fluid at the weekend (with the engine OFF! - thanks for the warning ?)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like the level was low after all - filled it up with conditioning fluid and after a few turns of the wheel, bingo - totally silent steering! :thumbup:
 
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