Power Steering Pump/Gearbox Problems Due to Fluid Contamination on Ford Escort

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Failure to change the power steering fluid can cause the fluid to become gray with metal particles. The contaminated fluid can damage the power steering pump resulting in a growling noise when the wheel is turned; the damaged pump will require replacement to eliminate the noise.. Life of the power steering gearbox and pump will be shortened if the fluid is not serviced regularly.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 101,000 (73,000–152,000)
9 model years affected: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, more1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001
12 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 4 of 4 comments
Yes, it makes noise but only if freezing out. I warm the car up thoroughly b4 driving & it helps a lot. I do replace the fluid every so often. This has been happening for at least 3 years now and the steering itself still works fine.
Purchased a used 96 Escort and power steering pump is out and has to be replaced now. I assume fluid was not replaced/flushed or monitored.. part cost is around $70.
I've been having this problem for years and do the same thing as report#2. So far so good. Every so often I have a friend siphon out the fluid and then add fresh fluid but I haven't done it in well over a year & it still works fine. Its no bother in the summer but does make that grinding noise in freezing weather. I avoid it by warming up the car.
This has been an ongoing problem with mine, but I haven't changed the fluid as I should. It's not easy to change the pump.