Car Problem Reports
Lexus LS400 Power steering "growling", leaks around P/S pump and white smoke when car is first started in morning.
Lexus LS400 Problem
Average Mileage: 175,333 mi (141,000 mi - 210,000 mi)
If your power steering pump is making noises or leaking, get it fixed ASAP or you will likely be replacing your alternator too. The alternator is located right below the P/S pump and if fluid drips into it it will short out the alternator, this has been occured many times.
Also, if you get a puff of white smoke in the morning it may be a bad speed sensitive steering solenoid, which screws into the power steering pump and has a vacuum line running to it. Either order and replace the solenoid/switch (about $100 online) or it can be plugged with no loss of function in the steering also. *DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK*, I just plugged mine after others online reported it would work OK and it seems to steer fine.
Visitor, 1991 Lexus LS400
It doesn't so much growl as it does whine. happens only in the winter and is the loudest thing on my car. No clue how to fix it and I don't want to keep replacing both my PS pump and ALT