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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Quick background.

06 developed odd sound - seems to be P.S. system related. Sound is not typical P.S. pump whine. Lower frequency than a whine but not a growl - like "woo-woo-woo" only appears ~2K RPM when executing light L or R turns. When sound happens, increase/decrease in engine speed or change in steering angle (mostly) makes it disappear. Can sometimes be heard up to 40MPH. Might be there @ higher speeds but suspect sound is overcome by ambient road noise. No tactile seat-of-the-pants or steering column feedback at any speed.

One drain and fill of fluid caused noise to disappear for several days, then same sound reappeared under new/different but similar conditions described above.

Steps taken to resolve:
- No concern over "O-Ring" in pump ports allowing air ingress because there are no signs of fluid egress
- Drained original tank, removed. Although fluid removed was darker than new fluid, there was NO evidence of debris inside the canister filter.
- Using Phoenix Systems injector/bleeder, attempted to pump new fluid in standard flow direction.
- After displacing approximately 6 OZ of old with new, abandoned that idea, although this would be a very cool way to get every last drop of old fluid out of the system prior to refill
- Installed new tank, filled with OEM PS fluid
- Lift front end, approx. 5 L to L.
- Start motor, 90 second run time, no complaints from pump.
- Topped of tank.
- When surface of fluid appeared smooth, more L to L after which the fluid showed clear signs of aeration.
-Repeating: smooth fluid surface, L to L, aeration, wait, L to L, aeration, ETC.
- Every L to L cycle results in aeration thereafter.

Out of time, fluid level good. Put her back on the ground and drove. 12 miles later, sound reappears.

I don't have experience with healthy 3.5 engine sound, but there is a low level rotational sound / noise that is not disturbing or concerning (might be valve train related) it sounds normal to me for anything spinning at the top of an engine. To best of memory, she's sounded the same under the hood since purchased about 26K miles ago. Using the old school "Skull Check" (long screw driver pressed against P.S. pump body, temple of my head pressed against handle) nothing concerning detected in the pump.

Since this issue "appeared out of nowhere" and doesn't seem to be related to fluid, I suspect the pump - even though the sound is intermittent and seems to be heat related. No explanation for why sound manifests only at certain steering angles. Perhaps something is impeding fluid flow and causing the pump to starve only when fluid is hot, which would imply cooler blockage. At idle, the fluid swirls in the tank - so I dunno.


Both in/out ports are spotless.
NoLeaks.jpg

I used the Phoenix System on my 76 GMC coach a few years back after replacing scary looking brake lines with stainless steel and a bunch of other goodies. Great one-man tool that'll be used on the RL when its time. Bailed on using it to flush the system only after several attempts to get a good seal between the injector and OEM hose. The tapered adaptor for larger hoses was simply inadequate to maintain a good mechanical connection.

Phoenix.jpg

Cleaned and ready for new tank.

Clean.jpg

After many L to L, fluid aeration never changed. I assume this is not the result of releasing air from down in the rack. One thing is certain, this fluid aerates easily when handling.

bubbles.jpg

Ideas welcome. And Thanks!
 

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I think it does aerate pretty easily. I bet mine does the same, but haven't checked since I last did the fluid change. Probably getting time to do it again. Better check my records!

Time goes by pretty fast these days. I replaced a battery in my wife's Pilot that I *thought* was about 4 years old (Everstart Maxx 24FN from Wallyworld). Son-of-a-gun but it was just 6 weeks short of being 6 years old! Not bad for a 3 year battery that cost $80. The new 24F (no N this time) was $105.
 

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Batteries are a funny thing, sometimes you get one that will actually hang on for while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Couple of notes on the sound emanating from the steering system...

History:
@ >97K on the ODO - before knowing much about the RL, I decided to take the 06 in for service discussed in this thread
The net result is: unknown "flushing" and P.S. fluids were used as part of a terrible service experience. Here's a copy of the invoice documenting the a$$ rapping my wallet took on the last day of 2014:

Rip_Off_Invoice.jpg

Names have been removed to protect the innocent! - although this business deserves no protection - least of all from me. BASTARDS! Can you count how many things are absolutely WRONG with this invoice? I was an unarmed man in a battle of wits with shysters vying to increase my personal debt.

Approx 14K miles later, an odd sound appeared, which I first associated with recent wheel bearing replacements. Subsequently diagnosed by my 'trusted shop' (if there is such a thing) as P.S. fluid related. The "solution" was to extract the liquid occupying space in the reservoir & refill w/OEM fluid. The sound disappeared for a few days, returning under slightly different steering & speed conditions but sounding exactly the same.

Armed with the excellent advise, wisdom and experience of the members of this forum, I replaced the reservoir and attempted to "flush" the system with OEM fluid as described in this thread. Bottom line here is: between the first tank extraction/fill a few weeks ago, followed by my efforts, approx. 16oz of new fluid found its way into the system. The sound persisted from Saturday evening thru the drive home last night. This morning, I broke out the Mighty Vac and pulled this fluid out of the reservoir:

PS_Fluid_Today.jpg

Not exactly the light honey color of new fluid, huh? Its important to note: the old reservoir screen had no visual evidence of debris or blockage. What I did notice is the screen on both old and new tanks are SO micro fine that fluid literally sits on the surface, so without pressure fluid ain't gonna flow thru the thing.

See what I mean? This is the old tank with old fluid literally sitting on the internal screen surface. That's some tight mesh! Just to make sure there was no invisible gunk blocking the old tank screen, I poured a bit of new fluid into the new tank fill port - it sat on the surface just like this:

20151003_130925.jpg

After Saturdays unproductive efforts, it seemed the sound had to be pump related. Even though I can't hear or feel a mechanical issue. But the more I drove, listened and thought about it, the more convincing it is to suspect the fluid itself. Perhaps the discoloration seen above is what happens when the system becomes contaminated with water - I thought. But then again, water has a way of causing most compressed hydraulic fluids to foam. At the very least, there should be some evidence of separation? The presence of suspended contamination wouldn't necessarily cause the intermittent issue under very specific pump speed & steering angles either, would it? And just handling new fluid will show you how easily it aerates, which made me question the conventional wisdom of air in the system causing variations of P.S. audible issues. My brain hurts from thinking about this chit.

I'm no fan of magic elixcers, potions or snake oil, but coming to the end of diagnostic abilities - or other options - and facing the cost of a new P.S. pump, or maybe even (GASP) a new rack, I looked into various Lucas hydraulic solutions and landed on this one. Not because of its cosmic sealing abilities, but because they "guarantee" it to resolve steering system noise OR YOUR MONEY BACK! What could go wrong?

Picked up a 12oz bottle at the local NAPA store. It was sitting on the same shelf as Marvel Mystery oil, head gasket repair fluids, muffler bearing grease and touchless car wash fluids that smell like newly cleaned stalls in the mens room of a sports arena. What the he!!, I'll give it a go. After extracting 6oz of the fluid seen above, Lucas goopy thick red magic elixcer went in its place. This stuff is way more viscose than OEM PS fluid, at least at 65F. Driving along, I thought: why didn't I just do a d/f, d/f, d/f, d/f, d/f... until the fluid looks new? My brain hurts!

The 20 mile trip to the office earlier today was quiet and smooth - until.... approaching a stop light at the last turn to the office, I heard a faint woowoowoo . CRAP! There it is again.

But then I realized that sound was coming from the brakes of a dump truck about 50' ahead, one lane over stopping at the same light. So now you know the sound I'm hearing. Its the sound huge drum brakes on heavy trucks make under normal stopping. That's the frequency, timbre and oscillation of the sound heard coming from under the hood of the 06.

So far so good. If the sound stay away for another 1/2 tank of fuel, I'll be able to turn up the stereo again. Fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Update:
At my wits end with this sound. Other than drifting mechanicals in the PS pump, the intermittent appearance of this sound seems to be related to air entering the fluid path. Armed with info from this thread, ran to the dealer this morning for low and high pressure side O-rings. When's the last time you walked away from a Honda Dealer parts counter for less than $2?

Started by removing the pressure side output fitting. My thought was there would be less fluid to drip out of the low pressure side fitting located physically lower on the pump housing.

When the upper hose was removed, the gurgling of air entering the system could be heard.

20151024_094246.jpg

The original O-Ring is not so much O shaped all the way around anymore, but being the pressure side, the only reason I'm replacing it is to avoid dealing with a future issue and potential mess from fluids system, just get it all done now.

View attachment 205665

What an easy swap this was.

In the video linked above, a 1/4" drive 10mm swivel socket is used to access the low pressure/fluid return port - not having on of those in the tool collection, and no available space to use a swivel adapter between an extension and a shallow socket, the only option available was a closed end wrench. To make enough space for that, release this wire loom from its bracket by pressing down on the unseen latch at the bottom of this keeper. It's on the under side - you can feel it but not see it - unless using a mirror.

WireLoom.jpg

The bolt didn't become free enough to spin with 2 fingers in the tight location where it lives, so the going is low at about a 1/4 turn per wrench turn. Once its out, it spins back in with 2 fingers easy enough.

The O Ring didn't come out with the fitting so had to fish it out.

LowSideHouse.jpg

Same thing with low pressure side O-Ring, not so O no mo. If air was the source of the annoying sound, it came from this. By now, everyone knows the low side ring has been updated to the orange/red color on the right. This old ring was either original or had been replaced before the material update, so this may explain the sudden appearance of the sound in the P.S. system. Air sneaking by on suction but no leaks when sitting static. At least thats what the thought/hope.

LowSideO.jpg

Unlike the high side, where the sealing ring fits in a groove, the low side "crushes" into a flat mating surface of the pump housing.

HighO.jpg LowO.jpg

Really easy job & low mess if prepared. As far as eliminating the sound, we'll see. Need to drive X miles before knowing for sure.

Upon reassembly, I didn't worry about air in the system. Just put it back together and started the motor. Observed fluid motion inside the tank, let it run for a few and went for a short drive up the hill.

No audible complaints from the pump at start up and no woo woo woo groan YET. More miles will reveal it that's gonna happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Must have been a glitch. Couple of images didn't load. Anyhow, for reference, O-Ring part numbers and cost from my local dealer.

PS_O-Rings  Invoice.jpg

PS_O-Rings_PN.jpg

The high side ring was pretty flat, just like the low side.

PressureSideO_Ring.jpg
 

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Keep us informed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Keep us informed.
The odd sound continued and grew worse. Eventually, I suspected something brake related but that suspicion was tempered because the sound remained constant - level and tone - regardless of vehicle speed but quite w/a light touch on the brake pedal while maintaining speed.

One week ago today stopped by my shop, spoke to Harry at length about the sound and what I had done to address the suspicion of P.S. aeration, ETC. One of his techs lifted the 06, pulled the caliper bolt/slide & pads.

20151030_084831_0.jpg

Everything moved freely, no glazing, excessive dust or visible weirdness. 5 minutes later, she's back together & I'm down the road.

One week - 250-ish miles - no odd sound.

Ain't that the derndest thing? I keep waiting for it to reappear. We'll see.

Btw: the point here is mis-diagnosis. Evidence was aeration of ps fluid. Sound was foreign to brake what is normally associated w/brake bouse but thats now what appears to be the cause. Very frustrating [email protected]
 

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I had that same sound mainly when turning at slow speed or backing out of garage with tight turning..... long story short replaced the PS pump and sound was gone.... bearings must have been going...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At this point, conclusion is: RF brake.

Reason: removing lower caliper bolt and popping out pads seems to have solved the issue. The only change from pre/post presence of the sound was exercising caliper slides (which moved freely) and removing/re-seating the pads (which seemed properly aligned/seated to start with). Those components are captive and self aligning so they shouldn't be suspect in the first place.

Further confusing is sound coming from brake components *should have* changed in tone & intensity w/vehicle speed - I think. But it didn't. It was only intermittent. I'm OK with the few $ and time spent on the P.S system cuz it's good maintenance, but chasing this issue and still being unsure is frustrating. From symptom to diagnosis to (assumed) conclusion. Weird stuff. I love learning new things but this "lesson" isn't clear - yet.
 

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Does the attached list look like everything necessary to replace the (2) O Rings and Tank, with 4 bottles of fluid?
Or do I need more fluid?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Does the attached list look like everything necessary to replace the (2) O Rings and Tank, with 4 bottles of fluid?
Or do I need more fluid?
Mak: since swapping out the reservoir and subsequent work under the hood (like the radiator swap and projects done at that time) I've rethought the process and am going for a do-over when the snout comes off again for DRLs.

The process theorized is this (remembering the snout/bumper cover will be removed for my purposes):
- front end lifted, passenger side tire off (probably both due to personal OCD)
- inner fender/wheel house liner remove (this provides easy access to the high pressure side PS hose where it connects to the hard line coming from the rack)
- drain & remove reservoir
- remove low pressure hose from cooler
- attach short hose to LP cooler fitting, run to bucket
- engine off, turn rack lock to lock until no more fluid exits cooler

In this image, the yellow arrow points to PS low pressure hose & clamp, red points to high pressure side.

PS_Do_Over.jpg

In the lousy image below, the arrow points to the high pressure hose connecting the rack to the cooler. In my case, the clamp in this location was BY FAR the most corroded part observed last time things were apart AND the PS hoses were showing signs of age - mostly appearing very dry and on the verge of cracking. PLUS, a teeny drip has developed at the LP feed from cooler to reservoir, SO.... OCD demands: 1) replace the formed hoses connecting rack to cooler & cooler to reservoir. 2) replace corroded clamps. (I know generic hose will work, but that damned OCD again....)

PS_Do_Over1.jpg

Using CheaperHondaParts.com | cheaperhondaparts.com as reference, this is the breakdown. Tank is included for your reference - fluid not included:

PS_Do_Over_Price.jpg

CSV in case you'd like to export to spreadsheet:

Description, Honda PN,Cost
HOSE, OIL COOLER,53732SJCA02,20.72
CLIP, OIL HOSE (NICHIRIN) 3X,90635S5AA02,17.79
TANK, POWER STEERING OIL,53701S3VA11,14.16
HOSE, OIL TANK,53733SJCA01,10.29

For anyone curious who doesn't have the FSM, PS system capacity:

PS_Fluid_Cap.jpg

This guy documented what I tried to describe, basically the procedure uses the rack to displace fluid inside - more or less "pumping" it to the low pressure side of the rack.


On the practical side of reasons to do this, I've read how guys like STUV - an accomplished mechanic skilled at engine removal and such, and fluid changing maintenance aficionado - experienced rack related issues. (EDIT: so if he can experience PS related problems, it can happen to any one. And it's my impression the PS system is pretty much neglected until noises or leaks happen. Given the scale of dealing with rack related PS issues - END EDIT), this seems like cheap insurance to me. I'll add that since replacing my reservoir, and the small amount of fluid exchanged during that procedure, the fluid has since returned to the color and transparency of dirty blood, so it seems a 'real' flush is in order.
 

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Thanks Six,

I hadn't thought to check the FSM or OM, for capacity of the entire PS System, Duh...
But 1.15 liters (almost 39oz) but that tells me a lot more than I knew before. (4 bottles would cover it)

I ordered (6) 12oz bottles of PS Fluid from Majestic, It didn't change my shipping costs so I'll have a few spares. I'll have to check, I know my PS fluid is dark and I've been doing the suck and fill method for several years now. No noise or other issues. I may just replace the tank for now and when I plan on taking the snout off I'll add that to the list of work.

Thanks for the CSV, I love spreadsheets...
 

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Unless you are taking off a bunch of stuff for other reasons, you can flush your PS system from the hoses at the reservoir. I simply ran the engine while the supply hose was open to air and the reservoir return hose was extended into catch pan. If you put the truck up on jack stands you can turn the wheel back and forth to get just about all the fluid in the rack out. All this just takes a few moments. Once it is all out, you refill the reservoir and keep topping it off while someone turns the wheel back and forth. I had ZERO issues getting the air out. If you are worried about the pump running dry, you could stick the supply house (to the pump) in a container with fresh fluid in it and wait until the fluid being pumped out looks clean. . .Pretty much like an ATF engine driven flush.

I changed the supply hose oring on my 06 and it got rid of all the PS noises that I was experiencing. The issue was worst on cold mornings and cold performance was a bit off. My original oring was hard as a rock and significantly flattened. This repair should be done to just about any Ridge that was built before they upgraded to the improved oring.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Unless you are taking off a bunch of stuff for other reasons, you can flush your PS system from the hoses at the reservoir. I simply ran the engine while the supply hose was open to air and the reservoir return hose was extended into catch pan. If you put the truck up on jack stands you can turn the wheel back and forth to get just about all the fluid in the rack out. All this just takes a few moments. Once it is all out, you refill the reservoir and keep topping it off while someone turns the wheel back and forth. I had ZERO issues getting the air out. If you are worried about the pump running dry, you could stick the supply house (to the pump) in a container with fresh fluid in it and wait until the fluid being pumped out looks clean. . .Pretty much like an ATF engine driven flush.

I changed the supply hose oring on my 06 and it got rid of all the PS noises that I was experiencing. The issue was worst on cold mornings and cold performance was a bit off. My original oring was hard as a rock and significantly flattened. This repair should be done to just about any Ridge that was built before they upgraded to the improved oring.
Understood and totally agree. Under *normal* circumstances, there's no need to pull the bumper cover - Mak and I have reason to do so.

In fact, I suggest that removing the bumper cover is to be avoided where possible. Not only is it not part of PS service, taking the cover off is risky - because - plastic stuff gets brittle. Clips and attachment points break easily. Personally, I was prepared for my project by having a bunch of new clips and retainers on hand. Some of the OEM clips in 06 broke/disintegrated simply by touching them - literally. No prying what so ever, just spinning to align a pry tool would cause them to fall apart. And once the cover is off, simply moving it around introduces opportunity of scuffs and scrapes.

So YES, don't take major body parts off unless absolutely needed.
 
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