Should I replace my Power Steering Pump?

Should I replace my Power Steering Pump?

Postby gman [OP] » December 9th 2020, 5:29am

Hello everyone.
So one of my pressure lines has been leaking, and my pump would occasionally whine, and recently the leak hast gotten much worse.

I kept filling it up with more fluid, but I didn't know that the reservoir was that sensitive to levels, so I ovefilled it to the brim several times.

Anyways, it is at the point now where I am now practically putting a bottle in every other day.
I have BOTH power steering lines now, and I am about to replace them, but should I get a new pump?

Also, should I be worried about the hydroboost system at all?

The pump is whining when I drive. It would occasionally go away, but now it's a constant whine.

I did the trick of lifting the front and turning the wheel lock to lock 20 times.
I just heard a loud hiss, assumed it was air, but found that some fluid had sprayed everywhere on the underside from the leaking crimp, and possibly the pump.

Once I replace the lines, if it still leaks, obviously I will replace the pump.
BUT, if the leak stops, and the whine continues, is it wise to replace the pump anyways?

It functions totally fine as long as it has fluid right now, and I heard that the biggest thing you have to worry about is a shaft shear, which can happen to any pump regardless of whine it seems.
I have heard of people driving for years with a whining pump.

If things continue they way they are for me, I can only reasonably keep this van for a few more months anyways, so I don't want to just dump a bunch of money into it.

Also, when replacing the lines, any warnings I should know about?
It seems simple, have a drainpan ready, unbolt the lines with a flare wrench, and replace, but is there something else that I should be doing?

Thanks!
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Re: Should I replace my Power Steering Pump?

Postby stent » December 9th 2020, 6:07am

i believe there is a recommended fluid bleeding procedure that involves a special cap or plug on the reservoir top and a mityvac pump to pull a vacuum but i haven't tried it yet. my power steering system has had a minor slow leak for many years - but nothing as bad as yours. if you are going to get rid of the van & money is an issue & you can get to the hose fittings without messing with the pump mounting i would change the hoses & let her whine. but since the power brakes depend on the power steering pump i would make sure the system is bled good.
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Re: Should I replace my Power Steering Pump?

Postby gman [OP] » December 9th 2020, 6:15am

stent wrote:i believe there is a recommended fluid bleeding procedure that involves a special cap or plug on the reservoir top and a mityvac pump to pull a vacuum but i haven't tried it yet. my power steering system has had a minor slow leak for many years - but nothing as bad as yours. if you are going to get rid of the van & money is an issue & you can get to the hose fittings without messing with the pump mounting i would change the hoses & let her whine. but since the power brakes depend on the power steering pump i would make sure the system is bled good.


Thanks. I'm really just worried about a catastrophic failure happening because I did not replace the pump.
1999 Chevy Astro Van
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gman
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Re: Should I replace my Power Steering Pump?

Postby stent » December 9th 2020, 6:38am

i understand your concern. i'm not sure what actually is going on inside the pump to make the whine noise - mine does it too but not very loud. i bought my van in 2015 with the leak & am still OK. i don't see how even a "catastrophic failure" of the pump would cause the steering box to actually lock up, but the resulting "ARMSTRONG" power steering & brakes in the aftermath of the failure could suck.
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Re: Should I replace my Power Steering Pump?

Postby MmusicmanMmusicman is online! » December 9th 2020, 1:21pm

gman wrote:Anyways, it is at the point now where I am now practically putting a bottle in every other day.
I have BOTH power steering lines now, and I am about to replace them, but should I get a new pump?

Should you replace a good working pump because you're replacing leaking lines?
If it gives you peace of mind.. then the answer "for you" is yes.
But you probably really didn't need us to validate that for you.

I heard that the biggest thing you have to worry about is a shaft shear, which can happen to any pump regardless of whine it seems.

Worry can be a strong motivator for some.
But if (according to your statement) it can happen to ANY pump.. then I guess that might include new pumps too?
This is not something I have ever worried about.

I have heard of people driving for years with a whining pump.

True.. but maybe not good option for you?
Especially if you're planning on still keeping this van for a "few more months"

If things continue they way they are for me, I can only reasonably keep this van for a few more months anyways, so I don't want to just dump a bunch of money into it.

You may have answered your own question?
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