Power Steering Issue

My power steering starts “whining” after about 20 minutes of driving. It is not a loud whine…yet. There is no visible fluid leak. A reputable mechanic has said that it is too early to diagnose the exact problem. He has determined that air bubbles are coming up in the fluid. He has blead the fluid twice. He says that it will be easier to determine once it gets worse. I would prefer to fix it now because of obvious safety issues and I want to take a road trip at the end of the month. It could be the pump itself or a leak somewhere, such as in the steering, allowing air to get into the system. I did some research online and found this info for my model and models with similar pumps.

It seems all the late model Acura’s use a similar pump design and are susceptible to air leaking through an o-ring in the reservoir.
This either causes a whine or in my case a clicking noise. There was even a TSB for the Acura TL so I assume the same problem exists on the CRV since it’s the same pump.

I have not tried to change this o-ring yet because I wanted to get some second opinions before I start putting any time into this. Anyone out there have any idea what I might be dealing with here? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Honda has issued a Technical Service Bulletin 08-070 that addresses the power steering system.

It states that some power steering pumps were manufactured with inferior components. And because of this the power steering pump may fail and lock up causing very hard steering. The whining noise you hear may be the early signs of the power steering pump beginning to fail.

Honda has issued a recall campaign to replace the power steering pumps on vehicles with certain Vehicle Identification Numbers. So if your vehicle has the proper VIN you should have gotten this recall notice. If not, you might contact your local Honda dealer to determine if your vehicle is included in this recall campaign.


I actually called and gave them my VIN number a couple of weeks ago and the service guy said there was no recall on it. Is this recall something that has just happened? Why are they only including certain VIN numbers on the recall? It seems to me that if my pump is starting to fail and it is from the same year of the other recalls that it should be included. It is really disappointing to buy a Honda, expecting quality, and then having an issue like this after only 50k miles.

Any thoughts on the O-ring replacement that I mentioned?

You could try it, since the recall doesn’t cover your car. It may just save the pump. And, it’s a good reason to change the fluid. Just make sure you use Honda fluid when you do this.

Is the PS pump driven by a belt? If so, before investing time and $$$ thinking the pump is the problem, make sure the belt is not worn out or the inside surface slick, and is at the specified tension.