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.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Ford Escort Change Power Steering Fluid to Avoid Steering Pump/Gearbox Problems
Ford Escort Problem
Average Mileage: 101,000 mi (73,000 mi - 152,000 mi)
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.
Visitor, 2001 Ford Escort, 78,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 2000 Ford Escort, 152,000 mi
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.