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Discussion Starter #1
2002 Ford Taurus SE Vulcan 3.0

Whenever I turn the wheel regardless if I'm moving or sitting idle, the front end makes a low-ish moaning/growning sound, getting louder the farther I turn the wheel left or right, not any louder one direction vs the other. If I don't move the wheel the sound disappears.

A while ago I had added some Mercon V fluid to the resivoir (from what I have read you use the same fluid for your transmission for the power steering, for this car anyway) because I noticed I couldn't see any fluid in the cylinder, but it didn't take much, only a couple cups.
 

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You have some air in the system causing the pump to make noise. Common issue with the Ford CII PS pumps.

The entire system capacity is under 1 quart, so if you had to add a couple cups of fluid, the system was nearly empty, allowing air to get into the system.

You have a leak in the system. Find the leak, fix it, and then refill and correctly bleed the air out of the system.
 

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Either that, or his ball joints or tie rod ends are dry. If you have a needle adapter for a grease gun, you can always try pumping a bit of grease into the ball joint boots.

I still dont understand why Ford puts dry joints on there vehicles.
 

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^+1 on checking outer tierod ends. May also spray some silicone lube/white lithium grease into the plastic/boot at the base of the steering column where it passes through the firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I realized I explained that entirely wrong now that I went out and tested the noise of the car again and I'm sorry lol.

The noise is more like a whirring sound sorta like you hear a lot of bugs buzzing at a pond or river at around sunset that is constant but only gets quiet when the steering wheel is centered.
 

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Definitely air in system.
1- find leak.
2- repair leak.
3- fill system to bottom of dipstick with engine NOT running.
4- jack up front of vehicle so front tires are off the ground
5- with engine NOT running, turn steering wheel lock to lock 100 times (yes, 100 times), check fluid level every 25
cycles and fill to bottom of dipstick.
6- level vehicle, check fluid level with engine NOT running, start engine and enjoy quiet steering and Popeye arms!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I couldnt find a leak anywhere so I went ahead and did the lock to lock steering, and now it's even louder than befire when running the car, and it's foaming a LOT through the resovoir.
 

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PS fluid doesnt vanish for no reason. You have a leak. Follow rsteve56's advice.
 

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The fluid level does go down when the engine is running. It should be checked with the engine off. Now, try the procedure I listed TO THE TEE, after the vehicle has sat overnight without starting the engine. You have a lot of air in your system, running the engine breaks up large bubbles into foam which is impossible to bleed out. Try again, follow the procedure EXACTLY!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I found out in another thread over a decade old that says a common leak is the seals where the boots are on the either end of the rack and pinion. If a leak is there then the boots fill up with fluid before you start seeing any fluid visibly leaking onto the ground. That would explain why I'm not see any fluid leaking anywhere onto the ground, the boot(s) probably haven't filled up yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I checked the seals under the boots on either end of the rack and pinion, dry except for the grease there, no fluid anywhere there. I've never seen fluid leak out of the car anywhere and anywhen.

Then it ocurred to me after having changed the head gaskets some 6 months ago or something,
I NEVER ADDED FLUID BACK TO THE POWERSTEERING RESOVOIR.
I topped off the power steering after the car had sat overnight some days ago, noise gradually went away after a test drive trying to fix another problem, different thread.

Noise is gone, I feel really dumb.
But atleast theres no REAL problem!
 

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OK - glad the problem seems to have been resolved.

Seems perhaps the air came out after sitting, and you added fluid needed to top it up to the correct level.

Changing head gaskets should not affect PS ... unless you had to remove / disassemble PS stuff - which you probably did.

I could only add a couple comments / ideas now - generally.

I had similar troubles after disassembling PS system for other work.
That got air into the PS system, and very difficult to bleed air out successfully.
It took maybe half a dozen attempts doing a "VACUUM BLEED Procedure" - which I described in one thread.

Once the air gets in - very difficult to bleed out easily - and may take several attempts, doing procedure.
The air continues to feed back into itself, and froth and bubble.

To anyone having PS noise / groan etc. I could suggest:

1. Change the PS fluid for new fluid using correct procedure. Make sure to Use the correct fluid / good quality stuff. Might help.

2. On an older car such as this, with likely many miles and years - the pump itself could be "WORN OUT".

[ I replaced my pump with a new pump, at one point in time. Was just worn out / made groan noise always / was old worn out, tired etc.]

replacing the pump is a bit of work, but not too bad, because of the way the large AL bracket and pulley sort of "hold the pump captive" in the car.
In my case, I was able to get the pump large AL bracket, and pulley, out - complete - as one unit, still all together, take it to a garage in a box,
and ask them to "get me a new pump and install on bracket same as old".

Garage did the pulley removal and all that, and sourced me a new pump, and then I installed the whole assembly back in car myself.

Then there's the bleeding again after ...

Best of luck to anyone doing this job ...
 
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mrvanwinkles
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