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Diagnosis help. Waterpump / power steering related... I think

Car: 2007 Honda Accord LX 2.4 liter

Recently my car has been making a little too much noise from the water pump. It doesn’t happen immediately, it happens after the car has driven for a while. for example, I have an hour commute to work and today the sound was noticeable during the last 5-10 min when I turned the radio down to check. This is similar to other instances in the past week or so. I opened the hood and saw the point that had the sound, checked online and found it was the water pump. Also when I looked under the hood today I noticed my power steering fluid was right at the min level, I will be refilling that of course. What should I do to diagnose this issue?

Additional note: I was told there was some water dripping from my car, but thought little of it since I had been using the A/C that day and the humidity was a bit high.

My current plan of action is to refill the power steering fluid, see if that removes the noise. I will also put a cardboard under the car engine to see if it catches any fluids shortly after I park. Just in case there is a leak somewhere in the system.

I’m a little confused . . .

If you know the water pump is the source of the noise, are you asking our advice on whether to replace it?

Agree. If the water pump is making noise, the bearing is probably going south. It may or may not leak yet. Often will not leak unless the engine is going. So check fluid level and time to replace the water pump. Have you replaced coolant yet? If power steering also making noise, separate issue.

It sounds like you’re not sure where the noise is coming from. Take an old piece of garden hose and put one end against the suspect parts (steering pump, etc). Put the other end to your ear. You’ll quickly verify where the sound is coming from.

It’s also possible that what you’re hearing is not the water pump but a timing belt tensioner. These sometimes go bad and make noise too. The belt tensioner is behind the timing belt cover in the same general vicinity as the water pump. (Both are hidden behind the timing belt cover).

So an update on this matter. I filled up the power steering fluid about two weeks ago and haven’t heard the noise since then. So I will assume that was the source of the problem causing the noise.

As for the leaking fluid… I noticed I no longer have working air conditioning… Is it possibly related to this? I haven’t really used the AC in some time it was just a fluke I used it at all given the cool temperatures of this fall weather, but I know it was working before I was told about the dripping fluid. Next project… Fix AC… in the fall/winter… I will edit my opening post to fit the discussion for that.

(EDIT: On second thought I will open a new thread as it’s completely unrelated to the topic.)

The next question you should ask is why the power steering fluid was no longer in the system. At this point you haven’t fixed the problem, you’ve only isolated it to the power steering system. Have you checked the rack for signs of leakage? The pump? The hoses?

The AC is unrelated.

The leaking fluid was probably condensation from the A/C dripping from the drip tube. This is normal, especially on humid days, and nothing to worry about

Monitor the PS fluid. If it stays topped off ok without needing to add more, next time it is convenient ask your mechanic to check the power steering hoses. It’s pretty common for them to develop a small leak at the connectors. This happens especially if your frequently turn the steering wheel all the way to the stops, as that puts a lot of pressure on the hoses and they will wiggle around and over time start to break down, causing a leak. Often these leaks are so small as to not create any problems other than having to top off the fluid every 6 months or so. Make sure you are using the correct fluid btw. If you aren’t sure, contact the dealership for advice.

I think it would be a good idea to also ask your mechanic to do a visual of the water pump, checking for signs of leaks. There’s usually a small weep hole somewhere on the water pump housing, often you need a mirror and flashlight to see it, and if water is leaking out of that hole, that’s a sign the water pump is about to give up the ghost and needs replacing. It’s worth the time it takes as its preferable to replace the water pump on your schedule, not its.

@the same mountainbike: I did check around all the hoses and any regions that could have had puddling of fluid and found none.

“The leaking fluid was probably condensation from the A/C dripping from the drip tube. This is normal, especially on humid days, and nothing to worry about”

@BustedKnuckles‌: I hadn’t used the A/C when it was found to be dripping, I initially thought it was condensation, but since the unit wasn’t in use, and weather was far from humid… I ruled that out.

@GeorgeSanJose: When I check the water pump does it matter if I do so before, after, or while the car is running?

Well, not really. A leaking water pump will leave traces that are visible with good light and access. Realize however that often when water pumps leak, they do so through the front seal (even if it’s the bearing that’s going) and may not leak unless the water pump shaft going through the seal is spinning, and often not unless the coolant is hot and the system pressurized.

One method of checking is to add a blacklight-sensitive additive to the coolant, run the engine, and look for the leak with a blacklight. Everything can be purchased at any parts store.

Thanks, guess I’ll try out the additive and black light method.