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98 Lumina Power Steering?

The last time I had my car serviced, the mechanic told me that while it wasn’t a pressing issue, my power steering pump was starting to go. Lo and behold, it’s that time. I started to notice that while idling I hear a dry, raspy sound coming from the engine. I left the car on, opened the hood, and it’s definitely something spun by the belt. I’m 99% sure it’s the power steering pump, so I’m going to replace it. That said, can anyone offer any words of caution before I embark? Furthermore, do I need to “bleed” the lines? How does one go about doing that, anyhow?

I’m somewhat mechanically inclined. I’d just really hate to get in over my head on this.

You’ll need a pulley puller. They rarely come with a pulley. You can rent one at many auto parts stores.

To bleed it, you put the car on jack stands and turn the wheel from stop to stop a few times and your good to go.

it would be nice if they did come with a pulley.
anyone know why they don t?

You’re supposed to use the same pulley as before, for some reason.

Any reason why you have to do that on jack stands?

Seems if you just turned the wheel while stationary it’d work. That seems to be what most of the youtube videos have been doing.

It doesn’t matter. The power steering fluid is constantly recirculated and flows into the power steering rack only when the wheel is turned and it’s directed there by the spool valve. The whole reason for turning the wheels back and forth is to get it directed into the PS rack. It’ll force air out automatically. The amount of force with which the fluid is pumped into the rack doesn’t vary based upon the load on the wheels or on the steering, so it doesn’t matter if the wheels are suspended or not.

Most of us probably wince at turning the steering wheel of a stationary vehicle because of the added and unnecessary forces put on the steering gear. However, we would probably approve of doing it while slowly moving the vehicle.

The impact of the added forces required only affects our imaginations. The steering system is quite capable of handling it.

Thanks for the help. I plan on taking several pictures of how the belt actually goes on the pulley system so I shouldn’t have any issues getting it back together. If I change the pump and I’m still hearing the noise, I’ll probably be back. :slight_smile:

Oh, something else, real quick. How important is it to get all of the old fluid out of the system? Is it going to possibly contaminate the new pump if there is old fluid in the lines?

You don’t need to drain all the fluid. Just be sure to replace what was drained before you start the car. You don’t want to run a pump dry.

When you remove the lines from the pump be sure to have a drain pan under it.

There should be a decal under the hood or on the underside of the hood with the belt routing.
I’d replace this belt too unless it’s been done in the last year.

I was always told not to turn tyhe wheel all the way to the stops for getting the air out of the rack. I was told to only turn it one revolution left then one revolution right and repeat about 6 times.
Someone may correct me, but that is what I was taught.


I just noticed that you have a post concerning a flood car.

Was the water high enough to get into the old pump. If it was then you may want to take it to your mechanic to be sure the rack is flushed.


The water wasn’t high enough to reach the power steering pump, no. I’m taking it in first thing tomorrow anyways. I was able to take off the surpentine belt and found that the noise was absent (since I’m pretty sure the power steering pump is spun by the belt). I was able to get the belt back on, but not at the expense of the belt tensioner. I think I cracked the casing that surrounds the bottom, probably because I loosed the tensioner incorrectly.