Power Steering noise

Our 2006 Honda Odyssey had a power steering pump replaced in the spring. It makes a loud whining noise especially when turning. Our mechanic said this is normal!! It looks like air is in the line as the fluid looks foamy. Is there a special way to bleed the lines? Any thoughs anyone?

When I have to deal with a noisy power steering pump…I just jack up both side of the vehicle until the tires move freely. I set a jack stand on either side for safety. Take the power steering cap off and start the engine. Move the steering wheel back and forth slowly from stop to stop until all the air is gone. The mechanic that told you this is normal, especially when the fluid is foaming, is not a mechanic. He is just a person that can use a wrench. My 8 year old nephew can use a wrench.

You might have air sucking through a bad o-ring at the inlet of the P/S pump. If the o-ring wasn’t changed when the pump was replaced, an air leak might result. There is a Honda TSB 07-060 describing the problem. Although the problem occurs all by itself on undisturbed Honda/Acura vehicles (which is why there is a TSB in the first place), in your case it might be happening due to an incomplete or not thorough repair.

Very simple thing: if the mechanic used the old belt, it could be slipping. A slipping belt makes noise when the pump has to work hard. Also, if a new belt were used, it could have stretched a little since spring and now be slipping. Check the tension–PS belts are supposed to be pretty tight, but I can’t give you a precise spec for it. Maybe someone here can.

You shouldn’t be having this kind of trouble in a vehicle that new. Feel the hoses after the engine has been running for awhile and if they are too hot to touch, that means that the pressure control bypass valve in the rack is stuck. That causes the pressure to rise, and increased pressure means increased temperature. This can reach the point where the car begins to wander around and it becomes difficult to keep going in a straight line.

Just to add one more possibility to the bowl, he may have used a rebuilt pump…and not all rebuilds are equal. It may not be a good one.

But I think Melott is going to turn out to be right. If the belt is stretch, glazed, or not under proper tension (tensioners can become weak with age), it’ll slip and squeal under the load of the power steering pump.

I agree 100% with the assertion that a loose drive belt could cause a squealing noise but a whining noise would almost have to be internal to the pump. Besides…a slipping belt would not cause the foaming of the power steering fluid.

What if the belt is noisey because it’s glazed?

Listen to AlanY . If your fluid looks foamy, it is sucking air in on the return side, the o-ring will cause this. Also, the return hose from the reservoir to the pump will do this too. (allow air into the system) especially after it has been removed and reinstalled. They get hard and won’t seal against the pipe. They are preformed, so buy it from Honda, they don’t cost much. I would suggest finding a mechanic that is more knowledgeable about Hondas.

A stuck PRV in the rack will also cause the fluid to foam, and the excessively hot coolant will damage the pump as well. So step one is to check the return hose for heat, if it is too hot to touch, then you will probably need a new rack. It only takes a second and costs nothing to check, so why not start there.

Thanks to all who commented on my Honda Odyssey. I will let you all know the outcome.