Noisy power steering pump? Cheap and easy fixs for older pumps! (without replacing the whole thing)
When the cold weather months come in and not uncommon to find your Power steering pump a bit more noisy than it was during the warmer months. As your engine and components go through countless heat cycles rubber begins to deteriorate and shrink, clamps that were once tight loosen up. Many of these issues can attribute to noisiness, lack of power steering, leaks and etc.
O-ring: On the top of the power steering pump is a hose that brings the fluid from the reservoir into the pump. The hose connects to a metal/plastic inlet that is bolted onto the pump. This seems to be the most likely candidate of Power steering noise/issues. Over time the o-ring shrinks and doesn’t seal out air and will allow fluid to leak out. The air being pulled into the pump will cause a lack of power steering as the air disrupts the fluid flowing to the rack. Subaru O-ring 34439FG000
Rubber hoses: With a line running from and to the Power steering reservoir you will find that time and heat will take a toll on these two hoses. With the hardening of the hoses it will become very tough to keep the clamped connections from leaking. The stiffer/harder hoses can allow air to be taken in and fluid to leak out. The easiest way to repair these are by replacing them, they are formed lines to help keep them away from the fans and belts. I have had a P/s line tear in my hand when removing it from the pump, showing just how bad they can get. Sunsong Power steering feed line 3403729 Sunsong power steering return hose
Clamps: Time makes fools of us all… and the metal clamps on the Power steering hoses are no different. Replacing these with new factory clamps is the best practice. Using worm gear clamps instead of spring clamps can cause premature damage to the hoses. Older clamps will struggle to seal older brittle/hardened hoses as they do not have the force necessary to do the job. It should also be known that even shifting the reservoir and moving the hoses can disrupt the clamps ability to seal. Subaru Power steering suction clamp 909170063
These are the fairly common issues that arise with Subaru power steering pumps and how they can go from great summer pump to awful winter pump. The above fixes can keep you from prematurely replacing the entire power steering pump. Lastly, if all these checks/repairs have been completed and steering problems still persist it might be time to check your lower lines to the rack and pinion. With the rack and pinion seals being the last place to inspect for issues.
Links to product on Amazon. Subaru O-ring 34439FG000
Subaru Power steering suction clamp 909170063