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Screeching Sound when turning steering wheel and not moving

Hi, I have a 2006 subaru outback. A couple of months ago I noticed that the car would screech loudly when I would turn the steering wheel but only when I was parked and at very very low speeds (ie. >5mph). When I drive there is no screeching at all. The screeching gets worse when I turn the steering wheel all the way left or right. It also seems to be aggravated even more when it’s colder.

I read a while back that this could be indicative of low power steering fluid so I checked that and when I looked it seemed like it had enough. The PS reservoir has a level to check when the engine is warm and one to check when it is warm and the fluid level seems to be sitting at the right level both times I checked it (once when the engine was warm and once when it was cold).

I’ve also read that it could be a problem with the power steering pump or the serpentine belts or that there may be a leak somewhere. How can I troubleshoot this and what would be the logical place to start?

Also, to give a bit of background, at the end of the fall I gave the car a 100K mile service where part of it was to change out the timing belt, water pump and the serpentine belts (there was 2 of them). I can’t say for sure that I started hearing the screeching right after that service but I think it may have been around that time. It really has been gradually getting louder and louder.

I’d appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks.

Replace the serpentine belt, and see if the noise goes away.

Tester

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Hi Tester, I had the serpentine belt replaced no more than 3 months ago. Is there a way to see if this is the problem without replacing it? should I see any cracks or signs of wear if I visually inspect it?

If the belt is new, the tensioner may be weak.

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I can’t find and auto-tensioner for the serpentine belts for your vehicle.

Bring the vehicle back and have the belt tensions checked.

Tester

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Thank-you.

Just to report back. One of the serpentine belts was loose, squeaking is gone now. Thanks for the feedback

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