Power steering gives a loud groaning noise when I make a turn. on 1997 Saturn SW1

When starting the car from the parked position, moving slowly, and steering to the left or to the right, there is a loud "groaning" noise, seeming to come from the steering shaft area under the hood. Does this appear to be serious, or do I just need a new belt or to flush the fluid?

by in Rochester, NY on July 10, 2012
2 answers 7 comments
ANSWER by on July 11, 2012
have pwr steering flushed and see if that helps
COMMENT by on July 11, 2012
I tried to look up this service on RepairPal but there is no entry for it. Any idea of the cost? Thanks!
COMMENT by on July 11, 2012
Isn't that 'throwing parts at it' which you usually recommend against?
ANSWER by on July 11, 2012
Have it properly diagnosed first. 'Groaning' could be caused by a restriction or air leak in the system ,or it could be a faulty pump or pressure regulator.Do you here the noise while sitting still in park , turning the wheel full left or right? Perception of a noise [on-line] is diffcult. Again , diagnose first , flushing won't fix a 'hard' mechanical failure.
COMMENT by on July 11, 2012
The noise occurs only when turning the wheels left or right at low speed (1 to 10 mph), as when making a turn from a stop sign or from a driveway to the street.
COMMENT by on July 11, 2012
all fluids need to be repl at sometime, i have had good luck flushing p/s systems and its a very cheap thing to try
COMMENT by on July 11, 2012
Agreed..if the tech doing the flush is observing the conditions creating the noise he/she will notice other hints about the cause of the noise.The dealership I work at charges $110.00 to flush the p/s (Honda dealer Northern VA.)-VS.- $60.00 to diagnose , that's where my angle was from. Sorry if offended.
COMMENT by on July 13, 2012
I took my car to the service station I always use (I trust them) and asked them about the noise. I asked about the need for a flush or repair. The shop owner told me the steering is just "getting tired" -- as you would expect on a 15-year-old car -- and is nothing to worry about. He said I should buy a bottle of power steering fluid (such as Bar's "Power Steering Repair" -- about $10), which contains an additive that should control the noise. For ~$10, It sounds like a plan. Frank
COMMENT by on July 13, 2012
Good luck with that. Please let us know what works.