1997 Saturn SW1 Q&A

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

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? -
Answer 1
have pwr steering flushed and see if that helps -
Comment 1
I tried to look up this service on RepairPal but there is no entry for it. Any idea of the cost? Thanks! -
Comment 2
Isn't that 'throwing parts at it' which you usually recommend against? -
Answer 2
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 1
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 2
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 3
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 4
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 5
Good luck with that. Please let us know what works. -