Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
2007 CTS Luxury
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm pretty confident this insane amount of snow, cold weather driving, and other winter issues in New England, and maybe the one time I decided to have some fun doing a donut in my stores parking lot may have put too much pressure on my power steering pump.

My '07 has ~90k miles. Suspension components are fine, no mechanical issues to speak of, and no issues prior to this one time doing some donuts.

Now I'm hearing a whining from the PS pump (right behind speedometer, only when touching the wheel, goes away at speeds greater than 5mph) coupled with a resistance in the
wheel during any parking lot type situations, pulling into my driveway, reversing, etc.

No leaks anywhere. I've read of people flushing the system, putting in new fluid and additives (I assume a Lucas oil type product?) and it "band-aiding" the problem.

What should I be looking to do if I want to do that for a month or two until it warms up? How do I flush the system, aside from suctioning out what I can through the resevoir?

Also, any steps/pro tips on removing and replacing the pump? Searching didn't find too much. I have another car I can drive, however its not ideal, as I enjoy the CTS much more.
 

·
Registered
2006 3.6L CTS, Hotchkis Sway Bars, FE2
Joined
·
526 Posts
You can continue to drive it unless the whine annoys you that much. Your power steering pump isnt just going to implode on itself and cause you to go careening off into a wall. I have never flushed a power steering system but from what I've heard it's a temperamental bitch just like your brake system can be. The pump itself it not hard to replace. You of course have to drain the reservoir and then remove the pulley which also might be bad. Then disconnect the pressure line. After that it's just 3 bolts and the pump is out. Then another 3 bolts to remove it from the bracket holding it to the engine. Run some ps fluid through the new pump to lube it up, then bolt it back in w/bracket, re-attach the pressure line, bolt the pulley back on and then reattach the reservoir hose. After that refill the reservoir and I guess bleed the system of air. Not sure how air affects your power steering but i'm sure it's not recommended.
 

·
Super Moderator
'05 CTS-V
Joined
·
8,022 Posts
I wouldn't assume there's anything wrong with the PS pump yet. Replace the fluid first - that may very well fix the problem, particularly if the fluid is the original 90k mile old fluid.

There are a couple of different ways you can replace the fluid. The slower, less effective, but easier way to do it is to suck all of the old fluid out of the reservoir (or as much as you can get out - a turkey baster is good for that), top it off with clean fluid, start the engine to circulate the fluid through the rack, shut the engine off, and then repeat that process a number of times until the fluid in the reservoir looks clean(er). That's not really replacing the fluid, though, you're just freshening the fluid by diluting the old fluid with new fluid.

The better way is to jack the car up to get the front tires off the ground. Suck the fluid out of the reservoir, then unhook the PS return line from the reservoir and route the line to a drain pan. Put a rubber hose cap on the nipple on the reservoir where the return hose is normally attached and refill the reservoir with new fluid. Remove the belt from the PS pump pulley so you can spin the pump. (On a couple of my cars, the shaft of the PS pump is threaded, so I can thread a bolt in there, then use a drill to spin the pump. I vaguely recall having to spin the pump on the other car manually, which obviously is a heckuva lot slower process.) Spin the pump, which will pump the new fresh fluid from the reservoir through the rack and push the old fluid out the return hose into the drain pan. Keep the reservoir topped off, and watch the fluid as it comes out the return line into the drain pan - once it's clean, you're done. It's a good idea to stop the pump once or twice and cycle the wheels all the way left and all the way right (which is the reason for jacking up the front tires - you don't want to really load the PS system as you're doing this, and with the tires off the ground the steering will move very freely).

The Service Manual procedure is essentially that, but they have you do this with 2 people and start the engine to spin the pump. My experience is that the pump moves a lot of fluid, even at idle, and with only 1 of me to control starting and stopping the engine and also trying to keep up with adding fluid to the reservoir, it just didn't work - pretty much as soon as I started the engine it would suck the reservoir dry. If you've got a partner while you're doing this, then you can keep the belt on the engine, let the engine spin the pump, and have someone right there to immediately fill the reservoir and keep it from running dry when you start the engine.
 

·
Registered
2007 CTS Luxury
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the help.

I had meant to update the thread. I'm doing the less effective turkey baster method now. Its too damned cold to be jacking up the car. So far I've drained the reservoir 3 times, each time the fluid has been black, I'm sure it was the factory fluid. The good news is that the whining has gone away considerably, and I
only hear it while the car is cold. Steering is much smoother now.

As soon as the snow melts I should be do for an oil change, so I'll flush the power steering fluid and coolant as well. Might as well do the differential as well, as I'm sure thats factory fluid.
 

·
Super Moderator
'05 CTS-V
Joined
·
8,022 Posts
I fully understand the "too damn cold" comment! Good to hear the turkey baster method is helping.

On the diff fluid note... Years ago my brother and I were both stationed out in HI. He and his wife bought a 70s Mercedes 460SL convertible "island car". We were doing some maintenance on it and changed out the diff fluid. The stuff that came out was like syrup - I don't know that it was original, but clearly it had been in there a looooong time. My sister-in-law jogged to the shop and drove the car home while my brother and I continued working on my car. When she got home she called my brother and asked, "What did you guys do to the car? It definitely feels more peppy!" The fluid was so bad that just putting new fluid in the diff made a noticeable difference! We both got a pretty good chuckle out of that.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming... ;)
 

·
Registered
2007 CTS Luxury
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So my "too damn cold" comment lasted less than 24 hrs. It was a sweltering 35 degrees out here today. I took that opportunity to change my oil a month ahead of schedule, and handle the power steering
fluid as well.

I followed the process outlined above, and with 2 people got the job done in no time.

I took the extra 2 minutes to disconnect the plastic intake resonator (I assume) where the PCV hose (I also, assume) to get a clear shot at the return hose on the bottom of the resevoir.

I noticed a tiny bit of oil residue on the inside of that resonator, and on the end of the PCV hose. I suppose my next project will be to install a catch can or look up that PCV drilling process and see benefit
that may have.

Thanks for all the help!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top