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mustang84

First new car woe

24 posts in this topic

My car has always had a small whine coming from the power steering which I had read was pretty normal with LS's and 90s-early 00s Fords in general, but the last couple days with the weather getting colder the faint whine has become a loud squeal and it sounds terrible. I have to go home this weekend which is a 500 mile round trip, so I'm thinking I probably don't want to risk the power steering pump going out on me with that many miles ahead. Right now the plan is to head to Lincoln Mercury tomorrow morning and see if they can diagnose for sure that it's the pump and if they have any in stock. If they can't get it done tomorrow, I'm probably going to be renting my first car to get myself home and back this weekend.

Any general idea how much a power steering pump + labor will run at a dealership? Online, I'm finding remanufactured OEM pumps for $60-90.

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Have you checked the belt?

And how about the fluid level?

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Fluid level is fine, I just checked it tonight. The belt is buried but I had it checked out 4 months ago when I bought the car and my mechanic said it was in good shape.

Edited by mustang84
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Is there any change in the performance of the power steering?

No, it still steers like it usually has. The only change I've noticed is the louder squealing.

I just got back from poking around...from what little I can see of the belt it looks like it's in good shape.

Pic

p1060607v.jpg

Edited by mustang84
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No, it still steers like it usually has. The only change I've noticed is the louder squealing.

I just got back from poking around...from what little I can see of the belt it looks like it's in good shape.

Pic

p1060607v.jpg

Does the pitch of the squealing change as you turn the wheel or at different speeds?

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It only changes when I turn the wheel at low speeds...I don't notice it at high speeds.

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I'm pretty sure it's power steering related. It's not a constant squeal, only at certain angles of turning the steering wheel will you hear it, especially when the wheel is turned near max. I've done a lot of reading on LS's and power steering problems are very common due to a badly designed pump pulley. On LS sites they recommend replacing the OEM pulley with an aftermarket one.

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Dealership labor rates are comparatively high, but they should have no trouble. Good luck in getting it taken care of quickly and at reasonable cost, mustang.
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Mustang: If you are in Cedar Rapids, I can recommend Albert Auto for their service. They are usually pretty cheap, and Chad and his guys do great work. They are car guys through and through.

Good luck!

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Mustang: If you are in Cedar Rapids, I can recommend Albert Auto for their service. They are usually pretty cheap, and Chad and his guys do great work. They are car guys through and through.

Good luck!

I went to Junge LM for this, but I usually go to Albert Auto...and yes, there are an awesome bunch.

Well, it wasn't the power steering pump or pulley....it was the steering knuckle on the LF side. I have noticed the camber has been a little weird for a while, but I thought maybe I was just seeing things. $615 was quoted, which is a little lower than average for this repair ($650 seems to be the norm), but I still had the wind taken out of me a little when the quote was read.

I also rented a car since I need to be able to get around this weekend. 2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5 from Enterprise. I had a choice between two Kia Optimas, a Sonata, an Accent, a Focus, a PT Cruiser, and an Altima...decided to go with the Aura to test out the Epsilon. Overall, it's a decent car but there are flaws. The Aura drives very well with a tight steering feel and good power, so no complaints there. The brakes are a little touchier than I would like. The interior is pretty craptastic though...bad graining and hard plastic all around. I love the gauges when they are lit, but during the day when they aren't it is very hard to see the speedometer because they are set so far back and there is no white lettering or anything to make them stand out. It took me forever to figure out that to open the gas tank. You just have to depress it in. I spent 10 minutes looking for a gas cap unlock button like on my car and browsing the owner's manual at the gas station, so I'm sure I looked like an idiot.

This car has 36000 miles on it and has seen some hard use...the turn signal is starting to go out and the automatic door locks are seemed like they were having a little trouble locking at times.

Overall, decent car, but I can see why some of the reviews were lackluster when it first came out. It looks like the Malibu improved on many things.

Edited by mustang84
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A steering knuckle? As far as I know, a knuckle has no moving parts (there may be a bearing or ball joint in it) and is usually made of iron or aluminum. What did the shop give as a reason that kind of noise could be caused by a knuckle? I am curious. If I think of it, I will ask one of our mechanics at work.
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A steering knuckle? As far as I know, a knuckle has no moving parts (there may be a bearing or ball joint in it) and is usually made of iron or aluminum. What did the shop give as a reason that kind of noise could be caused by a knuckle? I am curious. If I think of it, I will ask one of our mechanics at work.

I'm thinking that a ball joint/tie rod end joint has seized somewhat and the whole joint is turning in the tapered bore... this quickly ruins the taper, and the whole knuckle needs to be replaced.

I don't understand why the manufacturer's don't have a keyway to prevent this. Of course, I also hate that the joints don't have a notch or allen hex to prevent the ball from spinning while tightening it... it seems I have to replace even fairly new components as I can't properly torque them without spinning the joint.

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Well I can understand a screech or squeak but not a whine from such a problem. I hope it's fixed. Thanks for the information, SAmadei, it makes sense.
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I'm thinking that a ball joint/tie rod end joint has seized somewhat and the whole joint is turning in the tapered bore... this quickly ruins the taper, and the whole knuckle needs to be replaced.

I don't understand why the manufacturer's don't have a keyway to prevent this. Of course, I also hate that the joints don't have a notch or allen hex to prevent the ball from spinning while tightening it... it seems I have to replace even fairly new components as I can't properly torque them without spinning the joint.

I think that may be what it was. He also mentioned the ball joints and control arm while he was talking about the steering knuckle now that I think about it.

I'm really learning quite a bit about how my car works though, so I guess there is some good to take away.

Edited by mustang84
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You will be impressed I think with how much better the car drives with "fresh" parts.

Chris

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Well I can understand a screech or squeak but not a whine from such a problem. I hope it's fixed. Thanks for the information, SAmadei, it makes sense.

Actually, I think a Groan is the best description of that kind of noise.

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Back in my days at the service counter, GM handed out a list of proper terms for noises to prompt the customer in pointing a tech in the right direction. It was humorous.:)
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Which is why a thorough test drive is important for a tech to solve all of a cars problems safely and correctly.

When I work on anything mechanical, be it a refrigeration system, an electrical motor control center, or a car, finding one problem often doesn't solve things completely.

Good luck Mustang, glad to hear she'll be back on the road and safe.

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True, that's why mustang's use of the term "whine" has me concerned for him, but... if it's fixed, it's fixed. We have a lot of ppl holding onto these LS's because Lincoln hasn't put out an effective replacement. One guy said he bought his 2001 "despite the RWD" (I could have beaned him for that comment), but that he was so happy after he bought it he intends to run it into the ground, unless he can find a super-clean final year 2006.
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The LS are really nice cars, one of my favorite Lincolns in the past 30 years or so. It's pretty rare that I see one in bad shape.

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True, that's why mustang's use of the term "whine" has me concerned for him, but... if it's fixed, it's fixed. We have a lot of ppl holding onto these LS's because Lincoln hasn't put out an effective replacement. One guy said he bought his 2001 "despite the RWD" (I could have beaned him for that comment), but that he was so happy after he bought it he intends to run it into the ground, unless he can find a super-clean final year 2006.

It was a faint whine until a few days ago when temps started dipping down into the 40s and 30s and then it became a loud metallic groan (probably the better term for it) as the wheel was turned left or right. I'm guessing the colder temperatures contracted the metal in the ball joints and there was some rubbing? I'll be interested to see if the whine is still there afterward...I know Ford's power steering pumps tend to whine a little regardless if they are going bad or not.

My plan was to get a new Mustang 5.0 in a few years, but I don't know if I'd want to sell the LS since it's original and in really good shape (I can see these cars becoming future classics). It all depends if I have a place to store it.

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The LS are really nice cars, one of my favorite Lincolns in the past 30 years or so. It's pretty rare that I see one in bad shape.

You know, hindsight is always 20/20.

I drove an LS in 2001, and was less than thrilled. I didn't care for the styling, it was very, IMHO, un-Lincoln-like. It was kinda cramped and I felt the V8 lacked power and torque, barely more than a 3.8 V6.

Since RWD platforms have since become like unicorns (Outside the G8 and large Mopars), and cars continue to cramp, the LS and older Mark series have gotten better with age.

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