I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GT. A few months after a I bought the car the power steering started to moan and would get louder, it seemed, under certain weather or humidity but mostly when the car was under load conditions like acceleration during a turn.
My local shop took a look at this and the mechanic said that the fluid looked odd and full of air. They flushed the system, and the car was ok for a couple of weeks. It’s back big time, and I’ve had it with the moaning. It happens in all directions and at varying speeds, temps, times of day, etc.
So should I look towards the pump now or some other part of the steering?
If you had the fluid changed, and the pump still makes the noise, then it means the pump is worn out and requires replacement.
The groaning may not be in the power steering pump. It may be in the rack-and-pinion. All of the power steering fluid may not have been changed, even with “flushing”. Get a quart of power steering fluid, remove the p/s fluid from the reservoir… by disconnecting the hose on the bottom of the reservoir, or withdrawing it with a turkey baster. Refill the reservoir with new fluid. Drive the car. Make several full left, and full right turns. If the groan is still there, drain and refill the p/s reservoir, again. Drive. If still groaning, take it to a mechanic.
If your car has a separate plastic reservoir, drain it with a turkey baster and see if there is a filter screen inside the tank. if so, remove the tank and clean that screen. “Flush” jobs seldom take the time to do this…If the screen is plugged up, it will starve the pump and make it moan…
Other possibilities could be a dry ball socket on a lower ball joint or tie rod end.