I just took my 2009 Subaru Forester (80,000 miles) in to a mechanic because it was having an intermittent power steering assist failure during low speed maneuvering (i.e., parking lot). This is always accompanied by a loud rhythmic whining form under the hood (kind of like a whaawhaawhaawhaa). By intermittent, I mean maybe 50% chance of it happening when I am maneuvering in a parking lot. By failure, I mean I can still turn the wheel but it’s much harder. The mechanic diagnosed it as the following:
- dry rot in drive belts, recommended replacement
- leaky rack and pinion, recommended replacement
- 2 leaky front struts
I checked my power steering fluid before I brought it in and the level/color looks great. The mechanic said in addition to the leak that there’s a little bit of a catch in the steering at a certain steering position when going faster, but I haven’t noticed it myself. I have trusted this shop in the past and had good experiences, but there has been a lot of turnover lately, so I’m unsure of what to do. I went ahead and had them change the belts, but decided to wait on the rack/struts until I did more research/got a second opinion. Any advice on this issue?