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Juznz

2006 Subaru B4 3.0R power steering issues

8 posts in this topic

Hey all, 

 

Was hoping if anyone can shed some light on this issue I’m having. 

 

I recently took my 2006 B4 3.0R for a 70k service. It’s a fresh import, only had it for 9 months. The service station does the service, comes back and says a bushing needs to be replaced as does 2x cv boots as they are tearing, no dramas there. They also mention there is a leak in the high pressure power steering hose that needs to be fixed. 

 

I get them to go ahead with the repairs, instead of replacing the leaking hose they send it away to be refurbished, this seemed odd to me. I get the car back and on the drive home notice the steering is jolting away from me around corners and often shuddering. I also note a loud whinging noise coming from the engine any time I turn the steering wheel. These were not issues the car had prior to the repairs. 

 

I immediately took the car back to the station and told the mechanic to look into it again. A week goes by, they say the power steering pump has gone faulty due to the leak, apparently it must have gone dry and caused the pump to fail. Again, this seems odd to me. They send the pump away for refurbishment. I get the car back today and I’m having exactly the same issues. Steering shuddering, very heavy steering wheel when the car is not in motion, nearly like the car doesn’t have power steering and loud whinging noise when the wheel is turned. See the attached video of this:

 

 

The service station is saying this is simply air in the steering system and that it will stop over the next few days, I believe this is nonsense as they could have bled the air out of it.

 

This is driving me a little nuts, the car doesn’t feel overly safe to drive currently. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by Juznz
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The P/S pump on the 3.0 engine is an absolute PITA to bleed. There is a lengthy procedure that you have to follow with the car turned off. If the engine is started before all of the air is bled then the the pump quickly foams all of the fluid and the system acts in the way you are currently experiencing, shudders and bad noises from the pump.

The aerated fluid also causes wear to the pump as it does not lubricate it properly. 

Once the fluid has foamed you have to wait an hour or more for the fluid to return to normal before you can attempt to bleed it again.

 

Also it is quite common for the hose on top of the P/S pump to draw air into the system if not fitted correctly which can be hard to detect other than the P/S being impossible to bleed.

 

Course of action, either take it back to the service station and tell them to check all their connections and bleed it following the proper procedure. If you fancy you could try bleeding it yourself. Or you could take it to a Subaru dealer who have probably done this before but who will obviously charge you more.

 

I can't remember the specific procedure but it goes something like this.

Engine must be off and fluid must not be aerated (i.e. been off for a while ~1hour).

  1. Turn the wheel lock to lock 30 times.
  2. Let it sit for a little while.
  3. Check fluid level.
  4. Lock to lock 30 times again.
  5. Check fluid level.
  6. Then start it and really hope it doesn't foam again, if it does let it sit for another hour and repeat the process. 

That isn't the actual procedure but it is something close to that.

 

 

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7 hours ago, IZichard said:

Course of action, either take it back to the service station and tell them to check all their connections and bleed it following the proper procedure. If you fancy you could try bleeding it yourself. Or you could take it to a Subaru dealer who have probably done this before but who will obviously charge you more.

 

Hey Richard, thanks for the info. I’ll get them to take it back and go over what you’ve suggested. Random question, is it not a bit odd to refurbish a high pressure hose instead of replacing it? 

 

Does the service station saying “there is air in it, drive it for a few days and it will come right” make sense? From what I understand the steering should be a closed system, air shouldn’t be getting in or out. The service station saying the air will bleed itself suggests to me that there would have to be a leak for it to get out, which means there would be a point for it to get in..

Edited by Juznz

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Yeah not sure on that one. Depends on the type of line and where it was leaking. Could have been leaking at a crimp join.

 

Most systems will bleed quickly on there own but it is still always best to manually bleed. As I said in the first post your vehicle has a finicky system that is more difficult than most.

 

There is an air gap at the top of the reservoir so many systems will bleed themselves.

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4 hours ago, IZichard said:

Yeah not sure on that one. Depends on the type of line and where it was leaking. Could have been leaking at a crimp join.

 

Most systems will bleed quickly on there own but it is still always best to manually bleed. As I said in the first post your vehicle has a finicky system that is more difficult than most.

 

There is an air gap at the top of the reservoir so many systems will bleed themselves.

 

No worries, thanks again!

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Replace the top O ring. They are super common and I bet it will fix your issue 

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2 hours ago, gotasuby said:

Replace the top O ring. They are super common and I bet it will fix your issue 

YES! I was trying to remember exactly what commonly leaked. I remembered that is was the top hose connection but I forgot that the o-ring was the problem.

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The power steer reservoir cap must be removed to bleed the system too. The long pin on the underside of the cap blocks the hole that the air needs to escape through. 

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