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Power Steering Pump Out!

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Feb 2010, 01:38 pm
lovemyturbo's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denver, CO
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Unhappy Power Steering Pump Out!

Hi!

So I got myself a 2005 convertible Cruiser back in June 2009. For the most part everything has been working fine so far (had to get a new battery back in September/October-ish, and replaced the rear brakes/rotors in November, but I digress) until now. I had heard the high pitched whine that every describes when I moved the wheel back and forth for about a month or so. Figured since it was cold, that's the reason my car was making that sound. This past Sunday, I was coming home from work when suddenly my power steering went out and it become very difficult to steer my car (not good when its snowing!). Made it home and as I turned into my parking spot, the car gives out this nasty grinding sound. Checked my power steering fluid and it was non existent yet no warning light came on, so I had no idea.

My boyfriend took a look at the car yesterday and noticed that when the car is turned on, some sort of liquid comes gushing out. He described it as being like chocolate milkshake coming out of my car and believes the power steering pump is messed up.

I called the dealership where I bought the car and of course it isn't covered by the warranty and they quoted me $660 for parts and labor. Honestly, I found the pump for around $200 and should be able to have someone put it in for me for much much less if that is truly the issue.

The point of this whole post is...has this happened to anyone else? Any
ideas on what I can do to fix this and prevent it from happening again? I really love my Cruiser and have another 4 years to finish paying it off...I don't want something like this to happen again.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09 Feb 2011, 06:43 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Default Re: Power Steering Pump Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyturbo View Post
Hi!

So I got myself a 2005 convertible Cruiser back in June 2009. For the most part everything has been working fine so far (had to get a new battery back in September/October-ish, and replaced the rear brakes/rotors in November, but I digress) until now. I had heard the high pitched whine that every describes when I moved the wheel back and forth for about a month or so. Figured since it was cold, that's the reason my car was making that sound. This past Sunday, I was coming home from work when suddenly my power steering went out and it become very difficult to steer my car (not good when its snowing!). Made it home and as I turned into my parking spot, the car gives out this nasty grinding sound. Checked my power steering fluid and it was non existent yet no warning light came on, so I had no idea.

My boyfriend took a look at the car yesterday and noticed that when the car is turned on, some sort of liquid comes gushing out. He described it as being like chocolate milkshake coming out of my car and believes the power steering pump is messed up.

I called the dealership where I bought the car and of course it isn't covered by the warranty and they quoted me $660 for parts and labor. Honestly, I found the pump for around $200 and should be able to have someone put it in for me for much much less if that is truly the issue.

The point of this whole post is...has this happened to anyone else? Any
ideas on what I can do to fix this and prevent it from happening again? I really love my Cruiser and have another 4 years to finish paying it off...I don't want something like this to happen again.
I've been doing all of the wrenching lately for a friends 03 PT Cruiser and though I started out thinking what a cool car it was, so interesting enough for me to wrench on in the evening (I'm a large website operator by day, so the wrenching is more for the fun than the funds), I'm liking it less and less.

I was replacing her left hub and bearing and found that the rotor was very cracked and gave her a good estimate to just chuck both sides, rotors and pads, and put decent ones in.

She brought it back a couple of days ago and as I was out bedding in the new, relatively aggressive pads for her, the power steering seemed to be doing little more than agreeing I wanted to steer, but not really pitching in to help.

Got it back home and the belt was off.

After fighting the shield underneath to get a glimpse, I could see that the pulley wasn't in line with the other pulleys. I should've looked more closely.....

After trying once to apply some force to the pulley to get it back onto the shaft, and having the pulley back off again, I started the dismantling process.

Ummmm, you ain't gonna get the labor for less than the parts. And $200? O'Reilly has remans for $77.99 and the pulley is something like $12.99, so I'd call it about $90, but maybe you feel about that pump the way I feel about reman starters and alternators: as soon as it's just barely in enough to do so, test it because too many are dead in the box.

Anyway, the dismantling process. I wasn't using a manual. Just an experienced eye, and knowing that there were places I needed to reach that my hands couldn't, so off comes the grill (easy), top mount for AC condensor (easy on, a tad of a fight going back on), a few other other things and I suddenly had a good view. As far as PT's go. Meaning, if I squinted just right and had 1000W of halogen lighting on it, I could kinda make out some bolts that were going to have to come out, but would be working blind because even with the condensor scooted out of the way a bit, my forearm occupied every bit of space, so the lights didn't help much.

I'd guess it took me at least an hour to get the pump out once I knew it needed to come out.

What was kinda different, though, is that I decided it'd be easier if I took the loose pulley off to get a little more room, so I pulled on it and it pulled away easily until it hit the inner fender. And at that point had little sideplay to it all. Uh-oh. There was a big enough gap there I would've thought the pulley would've dropped to the ground when my cramping hands gave up on it.

To get to the point, the pulley was on the shaft just hunky-dory. The shaft, however, was backing out of the pump.

Dismantled it all and found that the cheap circlip on the end of the shaft had come off. Looked to get like it hadn't been squeezed tightly enough when the pump was built, and I was the lucky SOB who was driving it when it came off.

Taking the pump apart, cleaning it, squeezing the clip smaller, telling it pretty sternly I don't ever want to see it again, putting everything back together wasn't such a bad job. In fact, it was a job for a lobotomized monkey compared to getting that SOB back into the car.

Removing PT parts: dreadful work with hands that start cramping. Putting PT parts back in: one curses the name of each and every person at Chrysler (alphabetically) because those same parts I had to remove with hands larger than the available space now had to go back in and line up correctly for fasteners.

I put 4 hours into that job. I don't think I would've saved much time using power tools. I was working in my smaller garage because at 0 degrees outside, it's actually possible to throw enough torpedo heaters in there to get downright, well, cold instead of shaking so much you can't hold anything still. I'm not sure there are enough BTU's in existence to make the big garage comfy.

I thought taking it, like anything else on this car, off or apart was so difficult I wanted to have a heart to heart with some designers and show them my right hand very rapidly and convincingly, then when they get back up, explain to them that this hand won't fit anywhere it needs to go under the hood unless I practically take the whole front clip off.

When I start working on parts of this car where my average-sized American hands have to reach, I look at each one and decide which one I could best live without if it got so thoroughly trapped as to need sawing off.

I work with my left hand more often than not because I figure just like you keep a Homelite nearby to get the Stihl unstuck from the tree, I needed my right hand's comparative strength to run the sawsall if needed.

The looks of the PT Cruiser have really grown on me, and when I took it for a spirited romp while bedding in the brakes, I loved how well it handled and especially how well it communicated and responded to inputs.

I'm a performance road course instructor. Well, I instruct instructors too. And sit in the passenger seat of a stupid-fast stripped Viper from time to time, calling the driver a name that questions his gender through the helmet mics if he chickens out and brakes too hard and exits a turn at 160 instead of the 170 he'd been doing.

In other words, not just certified for the role with many manufacturers and their clubs, but apparently certifiable...

Let's just say that my spirited romps are really hard on tires and I save most of that stuff for the turns. Any idiot can mash the loud pedal.

Leading me to wonder if the first time the car had been driven at very high speeds with the steering wheel moving both directions with a strong sense of purpose might've caused the pump to come unglued.

The world will never know because that pump probably won't be falling apart or even getting disassembled again thanks to a couple of quick tack welds to convey to the clip my wish for it to remain where I put it.

In my experience, there are a number of items in this car that are simply destined to failure perhaps a few times before the scrap heap beckons, and this fact should be considered prior to buying one. If you're a good mechanic with a masochistic streak, get it. It's sweet!!!

But if you're going to be strapped financially getting the car and won't be able to afford to hire a grease monkey and lack the experience or inclination to cut your hands to shreds working on it yourself, give it a miss. I'm fixing nothing that doesn't need fixing and it's costing her a small fortune. And last night nailed shut the coffin contain whatever fascination I had with that typically American and typically Chrysler "it's nuts but we're gonna do it anyway cuz it's way cool too!" charm.
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Old 09 Feb 2011, 07:22 pm
BladeRunner's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Innisfil Ontario Canada
Posts: 372
Default Re: Power Steering Pump Out!

There was a recall on some early yrs..I think '01~04..it was about the low pressure steering hose splitting, maybe that's all you need? Unless you drove it a fair distance with the pump dry? Then it may be toast
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Old 09 Feb 2011, 09:09 pm
VNT's Avatar
VNT VNT is offline
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Default Re: Power Steering Pump Out!

You could have had a leaky hose and when you heard it squeaking it was telling you hello, I am low on fluid and if it is low you have a leak.

That is one reason one should also be checking fluids including the PS fluid once in a while.

I would get a couple of opinions on the price if you do need a new pump.

Once thing you can do as a precation is run synthetic ATF like mobil or amsoil
in the PS system and once a year get a turkey baster and suck the resevoir dry and refresh it with new. This will keep your pump and power sterring rack and pinion happy.

If you drained out the 6 year old fluid in PS system it would probably be like brown cooked fluid.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12 Feb 2011, 06:10 am
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Connecticut
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Default Re: Power Steering Pump Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bytor View Post
... one curses the name of each and every person at Chrysler (alphabetically) because those same parts I had to remove with hands larger than the available space now had to go back in and line up correctly for fasteners.
I cracked up when i read this... i thought i was the only one that cussed out every Chrysler Engineer... and their Momma for having them. I even made up some new swear words everytime I've had to stick my hands in that engine compartment(or lack their of...).

Just a little more space would have made this a neat car to work on... but this up and down with the motor like a yo-yo just to get at some bolts is nuts.

Just my 2 cents...
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