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Growling/groaning noise from power steering pump?

(2004 Ford Ranger)
in Ozark, MO on March 09, 2011
After driving about 15 minutes, I hear a growling noise that seems to come from the front. It's a continuous noise, but very noticable when slowing down to come to a stop, while turning the wheel while stopped and especially turning the wheel while backing out of a parking space. I don't hear it until the truck is warmed up. I believe the sound is there when going fast, but because of the wind noise, hard to be sure. When the truck is not moving, the sound is really loud when I turn the steering wheel in either direction. It sounds as if it is coming from the steering column. I also hear it when I first step on the brake when coming to a stop. Actually that's when I first heard the sound, only when I stepped on the brake, and now it always there. I took it to a repair shop and was told it was the power steering pump and that nothing could be done. Replacing it wouldn't help. That it was just something I would have to live with. Is this right? It's also been suggested by friends that it might be CV joints. Is this a safety concern?
Displaying 2 answers & 2 comments
Popular Answer
on March 09, 2011
Sure sounds like power steering pump. It has been well documented that Ford p/s pumps can be noisey but should not have to live with unbearable noise. My recommendation is to have another shop replace it with reman unit from the dealer, the aftermarket remans have a bad rep, make sure lines have no restrictions, flush system out thoroughly, please remind the shop that during the initial bleeding process to have front end off ground to have least weight working against system while turning back and forth. Should be done with engine off and then engine running and only then front end on ground engine running. Maybe even use synthetic fluid for best chance to help against natural heat build up in system when turning. Good luck.
on March 09, 2011
Even the Ford remanufactured pumps out of the box tend to be a bit noisy. may not be money well spent, really.

My biggest concern is - I'm not certain that your noise is the pump. I'm not sure where brake application has anything really to do with the pump in your truck. What I would suggest is getting some more "ears" on the truck and get some further opinions. Taking a tech on a road test in most places is stil "complimentary" and would be worth your trouble.
on March 10, 2011
Agreed. I thought the brake application was iffy at best having to do with it. I have found that out of all the possibilities for pumps that the dealer ones seem quieter and more reliable when first installed. I guess it just depends just how noisey the old one is. Extra ears always helps.
on March 10, 2011
Thanks for the input. The first shop said it was something rubbing in the steering column. The second the pump. I will be taking it to a third shop. As far as the brake goes, stepping on the brake was the first time I heard the noise, maybe just a coincidence.
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