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Old 12-31-2008, 11:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Power steering is moaning.

A buddy said my tensioner pulley might be too tight. I loosened it and now the steering is still moaning, but also squealing. Tightened it back up and its just back to moaning. Going to flush the power steering fluid, and refill it with clean tomorrow. If this doesn't fix it, does anyone have any advice as to what is causing this loud moan when I turn left or right, and when the engine is hot or cold. I have a 96 Tacoma 4x4 2.7L
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Last edited by brota4x4; 01-01-2009 at 09:07 AM. Reason: I can't spell lol
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the fluid could possibly be low. Flushing the system then filling it to the full point should do it.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you filled it with power steering fluid it is VERY possible either your pump or the rack are toast.

Toyota trucks take ATF in the power steering!

Other thoughts are that your tie rod ends are toast.

As for your buddy's recommendation, personally, I would think moaning would be from the belt being too LOOSE, not too tight...
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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belts squeal (if too loose)

pumps moan (if low on fluid)

Those are the popular fixes. Drain and fill with Dexron ATF and see what happens.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My '88 4Runner was doing this. I just filled up the power steering with ATF. I seem to have a leak so I just keep a bottle in my truck.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quick question. I don't know the difference between Dextron Levels. I'm guessing it is it's viscosity or something. But the auto store I go to only has Dextron 6 ATF, and my manual calls for 2 or 3 in my power steering pump. Will the Dextron VI hurt it? Is it not good for my truck? IDK.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Nah it's all the same stuff, with regards to the p/s system. The dexron fluids are backwards compatible, AFAIK.

If you want Dex3 for your trans, go to the dealership, they still sell it.

The p/s reservoirs are marked "use dexron type ATF" so any/all dex will work.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So I drained the fluid, put ATF back in. Bled the fluid and now I'm sitting with a full pump of clean fluid. The noise is still there. I'm trying everything I can before I buy a new pump. While the engine is running, I noticed that when I pull the vacuum hoses off, the one on the left is sucking and the one on the right is suppose to allow sucking back from the engine.I blew threw the hoses back toward the engine with no restrictions. Im pretty sure that its at this vacuum adapter connected to the pump, would this be a good assumption and could this be replaced/repaired?
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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can you see ATF fluid swirling around in the pwr steering fluid reservoir? thats where you put in the new fluid. With the engine running you should see fluid movement esp when someone is cranking the wheel one way or another. If there was a restriction in the system it'll cause a moan. How did the fluid look coming out? If you cant see movement check the low pressure return line ( the one with hose clamps on it). with the line off and the engine running ATF should be flowing out back towards the reservoir.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is not the same pump that I have, but what is this part I circled called? I think this is where my problem is.
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Power steering is moaning.-img_1008.jpg  
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes the fluid was swirling, and the pump seems to be working fine. When the old fluid came out it was pretty dirty so I ran a quart through it to make sure I flushed it out. The ATF is clean now. There are four hoses coming out of the pump, and 3 have clamps on them. I don't know which is the low pressure one you were talking about. I know that 2 are for fluid feed and return, and the other two are for air. The two for air connect to the thing in the picture on my other reply. I think there may be some sort of air restriction with this part. I don't know what its called, but could this air restriction be causing my moan?
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Autozone said that the part was just a sensor, and would have nothing to do with the moaning sound. Now I'm stumped. I guess I have to buy a new pump? Hopefully that fixes it, and I don't need to buy a new rack. It just sucks cuz i really feel like the pump is functioning properly and if I replace it and its still moaning I'm out a couple hundred for nothing. At least I'll have a new pump, and if I have to replace the rack too then I'll have a whole new steering, and suspension system cuz I'm lifting in in a couple days.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I would be inclined to let it be for a while and see if it gets better/worse as you work the new fluid through the system more.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

your inclination was right. I just left it alone, and now it's not making any noise at all. I guess all the air finally worked itself out. Thanks for all the advise guys, and saving me from buying a new pump.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Glad to hear it finally quit groaning. I had a similar issue on my 80 after flushing the power steering system. I lost prime at some point during the procedure and in spite of bleeding the system well it groaned for a day or two.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Glad it's quiteted down!

If there was PSF (not ATF) in there, hopefully, you caught it early enough ... I would be saving up for a power steering pump...
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah right now I'm short on cash cuz I bought an OME lift, but soon after that I'm going to do a few projects on the truck. I wanna start replacing everything so that I will know how it all works, and when it breaks I can fix her. I know it will be costly but I'm gonna start with the whole steering system, and them maybe the whole fuel system. My truck will be like brand new, and I will learn a lot about it that I didn't know, and have fun doing it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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or buy a parts truck and learn about it stripping and cataloguing all your new parts!
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That would be awesome if I could afford it, but I think if I budget my money I can do one system at a time. Even though some things don't need changing I just get bored, and working on my truck never gets boring to me for some reason. My wife hates my truck by the way. lol .
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:35 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I was thinking about what you said about buying a parts truck, and I might just do it. Not right now, but when i get the money to buy the engine I want (3.4 or higher) I might just buy the whole truck with it from a junkyard. shouldn't cost too much more to buy a wreaked body with the engine. IDK though.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:35 AM
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