Cold weather groaning


It’s gotten cold here in central Florida, and for the first 10 min of driving the power steering groans when turning left or right. It goes away when the car is good and warmed up, or when the air temp is above 40. I did have a major service done on the car last summer when the timing belt was replaced. Any connection with the timing belt? Any ideas? Thanks Kevin

No, there is no connection with the timing belt.
However, there is likely to be a connection with either the power steering pump or the steering rack. Given the price of repairing an Audi, I really hope for your sake that the car is still under warranty.

How about revealing some details such as:

Model year?
Odometer mileage?
Warranty still in effect?

Well,this 04 Avant with 86,000k isn’t, I’m sad to say, under warranty.
After spending a ton on the last visit to the dealer, I’m not sure I’m ready for another expensive visit. Might be time to start looking for something else before the car starts to nickel$$$ and dime$$$$ me.
Thanks for your quick response to my question. Kevin

If you want to avoid ultra-high maintenance and repair costs on your next car, I suggest that you avoid anything made in Europe. Japanese, Korean, and US makes will cost far less in the long run than a European car.

When you say last summer, do you mean this very one that just past, or the previous one (2009)?

Anyway, my gf’s '01 PT Cruiser has been making an unpleasant groaning noise the past couple of winters in the morning, when cold out, for the first several turns she makes.

After getting nagged to death a couple weeks back about not caring about her PT Cruiser as much as I should, I picked up a bottle of power steering fluid, and started doing some research.

We found out that there’s a sort of filter screen in the bottom of the power steering reservoir on her car, and that over time, carbon gunk builds up on it. When the car is cold, this restricts the fluid from flowing freely through it, which then causes the power steering pump to groan, since it isn’t getting enough fluid.

What we had to do was suck out as much fluid as we could reach, scrub the screen with a modified tooth brush, and then top back off with fresh fluid.

The result was a nice quiet power steering system in cold mornings, and a happy gf once again, who no longer believes that I’m neglecting her car’s feelings. Happy gf’s are always better than unhappy ones.

So, that’s something you might want to talk to your mechanic about.
Ask him if there’s a filter in the power steering reservoir, and if he would be willing to see if its dirty. He might want to just replace the entire reservoir instead of taking the time to scrub it clean, however.