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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2000 3.0 V6 Vulcan

I am experiencing power steering noise..almost like a rubber squeaking :eek:...when turning the wheels to the right and/or left. It is not a constant sound while turning, but only occurs when moving the steering wheel one way or the other. I can also hear the power steering unit "whining" ;) simultaneously which leads me to think that the "squeaking" may be merely the vibration felt and heard thru the ps unit itself. It is not a squealing.

Anyway, I am wondering if it is possible that the tensioner could be the culprit causing the noise from the unit. I believe I read somewhere here that someone was experiencing these symptoms and after replacing the tensioner, they went away. I replaced the water pump several weeks ago removing the tensioner during the process (...probably should have replaced it as I have heard it is sometimes recommended when replacing the waterpump). These symptoms began shortly after the water pump was replaced.

Also, could someone tell me:

1) After removing ps fluid with a "makeshift pump" from the reservoir (as seen here in the forum), will it be necessary to go thru the bleeding process if only the fluid in the reservoir is removed?
2) What is the recommended ps fluid to use (I have seen conflicting posts here)
3) Can 2 different types of fluid be contained in the unit...in other words, when adding fluid, will a different or new "type" of fluid cause harm to the system when mixed with the old?

Thanks!B)
 

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Taken from the 'Taurus Owner's Guide' Lubricant Specifications: Power Steering Fluid - Motorcraft Mercon ATF. As for capacity, it just states 'Fill to line on reservoir or Keep in FULL range on dipstick' That's for Vulcan engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ya, thanks. I have seen that info in the manual as well, but I have also read in several posts here that those recommendations have changed. I understand the capacity. Am still waiting on answers to my other questions...mainly regarding the noise I am experiencing as related to the tensioner.
 

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Dont mix fluid types, if you use the suction bottle method, just remember it takes a lot of suck/fill passes to change the fluid out. After you're satisfied withthe changeout, get the front end up on jacks, and run the motor at around 2K, turning the wheel quickly from lock to lock around 10 times. This will work any air out.

The " rubber squeaking" noise you describe could be anything from a worn serpentine belt, to lower ball joints, strut tower bearings, etc. Especially considering it's 10 years old located in the rust belt.
 

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For the rubber squeak when turning the wheels (sounds like rubbing an inflated balloon?) change out outter tie rod ends. If you remove the ps fluid from the reservoir only with a turkey baster and refill with mercon v atf there is no need to bleed. Mixing fluids is not a death sentence for the ps system but i would use the recommended mercon v atf. from now on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies...will continue to check this stuff out. Don't want to get into a lot of work if it will not correct the problem, but I know I have to start somewhere.
 

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A squeak while turning the wheels may also be caused by bad upper strut mount bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I know it's not the upper strut mount bearings. The noise still seems to be related to the power steering system after checking it out again last night. Fluids are at capacity, but who knows when it may have been changed and/or flushed. I may start there. I also am still suspicious of the tensioner, but am reluctant to replace it just for the sake of doing it. The serpentine belt also appears to be in good shape as I checked it out when replacing the water pump as mentioned earlier. Will also check out the tie rod ends this weekend as suggested earlier.

This is my daughter's car, so I don't normally drive it too much. But again, she mentioned the "squeaking" shortly after the water pump was replaced. The pump bearings were making a lot of noise so who knows how long the steering noise was there before she actually noticed it.

Edit: Could I eliminate the possibility of this being a power steering pump problem by simply rotating the steering back and forth with the vehicle not running and then listening for the noise? And, would this cause harm to the system or allow air to enter? (Sorry...I'm such a newb...I think I read that somewhere. I've checked out so much here, I can't remember what I've read any more.:))

Thanks to all for your suggestions...this forum is awesome with so many people willing to help.
 
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