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Discussion Starter #1
My daughter reports on her 2006 Taurus that sometimes when she turns into her parking space that it feels like the power steering is cutting in an out as she turns the wheel. She has heard a squeal only a couple times and there is no fluid leakage. Initially I thought perhaps the belt was slipping, but I would expect to hear a squeal every time it did this if it were belt related. It has never acted up for me when she visits. I checked the belt and it looked okay. I flushed the system with new fluid but she says it still does it intermittently. Does this sound like the pump just needs to be replaced? I think the car has around 105K miles on it.
 

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Visual check on modern EPDM belts are misleading. They don't crack and you need a wear gauge. At 105k, it very likely needs to be changed.

Not saying it will fix the issue, but it is a good place to start. I left mine too long and replacing it fixed the same noise you are getting (I changed the tensioner too).

While it is off, check the tensioner and pulleys. Inspect the AC clutch too.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to mention that I had changed the belt, tensioner and idler maybe 20k ago so it's not that old...
 

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Had developed this problem on my 94 Taurus & 99 Ranger. I added Seafoam Trans Tune, drove it until they seemed to top randomly acting out, then removed the P/S return line at the cooler & flushed the system with a couple of qts of Motorcraft tranny fluid & added a Magnefine in-line tranny filter to both vehicles PS return line & both have been problem free for about 11 years now.
I had always flushed the P/S system with fresh fluid at 30 - 35 K miles when I'd perform a full tranny fluid pump-out but still developed intermittent P/S boost drop-out that must have been caused by deposits of some kind not visible, as the old fluid always looked ok, no particles visible. but the problem hasn't returned since adding the in line Magnefine filter.
About time for another P/S fluid flush & filter change this time, so I'll have a look to see if the filter media caught anything large enough to see. SO, if you don't have a factory P/S system filter on this vehicle, consider adding one & let us know how it goes. More thoughts for consideration.
 

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OK, good feedback on the SeaFoam Trans Tune seeming to do a internal tidy-up on the power steering system.
I had to run it 3-4 days in mine to be sure both vehicles systems had stopped acting out.
Then raised the vehicles front ends on stands, so the wheels could turn fully left & right.
Disabled the fuel pump so the engine wouldn't run, disconnected the P/S system return line at the cooler, plugged the loose end & added a scrap hose to the cooler, the loose end into my catch bucket.
Then had the wife crank the engine while I kept the pump reservoir topped up while running a couple qts of new fluid through the system as she Slowly turned the steering wheel from lock to lock to bump the stops. This got all of the old fluid & Trans Tune out & all new fluid into the system.
Then I added a Magnefine inline filter to the power steering return line at the cooler on both the 94 Taurus & 99 Ranger, as mentioned above, both have been fine since.
Here is a link to the Magnefine filter. https://magnefinefilters.com/Magnefine-1-2-Magnetic-Inline-Transmission-Filter-R012M.htm
They are now in a metal container, but still have a 1/2" hose nipple size available in the old black glass filled Nylon case & is what my old Magnefine' are.
You can get a metal case inline filter with the Ford logo on it for about Double the Magnefine price!!!! lol
 
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