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Discussion Starter #1
I've researched all the awesome threads on here about the power steering whine. Mine started happening yesterday, but it isn't whining all the time. It takes a while driving until it starts making the noise.

Would you guys suggest starting with the o-ring replacement first? Or should I just bear down and get a reman. from NAPA? If I start with just the o-rings, do I need to completely flush the fluid out or can I just bleed and top off?

Thanks!
 

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I would change out the TANK, POWER STEERING OIL #53701-S3V-A11 (it's cheap)and change out the fluid as well as the o-ring first and see if that makes any difference.I would also think if it's the pump you would want to have changed the tank and fluid any ways to be sure that's not why it failed in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would change out the TANK, POWER STEERING OIL #53701-S3V-A11 (it's cheap)and change out the fluid as well as the o-ring first and see if that makes any difference.I would also think if it's the pump you would want to have changed the tank and fluid any ways to be sure that's not why it failed in the first place.
Is it a bad idea to clean out the reservoir instead of buying new? I know they're cheap, but I'm honestly so tight on my budget I'm surprised if I can afford the o-rings XD! I saw a youtube video of a guy changing the pump out and he just cleaned the reservoir with brake cleaner. If it's a bad idea, then I guess I'll have to get a new reservoir. Trying to save as much as I can.
 

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Is it a bad idea to clean out the reservoir instead of buying new? I know they're cheap, but I'm honestly so tight on my budget I'm surprised if I can afford the o-rings XD! I saw a youtube video of a guy changing the pump out and he just cleaned the reservoir with brake cleaner. If it's a bad idea, then I guess I'll have to get a new reservoir. Trying to save as much as I can.
Just clean it & move on. If you don't have a leak, you don't need the o-ring either. The reason folks mention just getting a new tank is simply because it's so inexpensive it makes cleaning it seem a waste. BUT, as you clearly understand, the exchange of time for money can be different for each of us.

The main thing is to get the contaminated fluid out of there. Suck out the old & fill with new fluid.... and do this more than once if the fluid is still dirty (drive the car between D&Fs & be sure to do a few "lock-to-lock" turns in a parking lot or elsewhere to fully exercise the rack & get as much of the dirty fluid out & mixed in with the new stuff before you do your second D&F).

You "should" be able to squeak out a couple of D&Fs with a single bottle of fluid. Good Luck.
 

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Elevate the front and get the wheels off the ground so you can wrack the steering wheel without stressing the steering gear. Don't run the engine until it's time to move the new fluid back into the system.

Fill the newly cleaned reservoir with fresh fluid and wrack the steering wheel and move some fluid into the system. Top off the reservoir again (to the full line) and when it quits taking fluid without the engine running, then crank it up and wrack it some more. It won't take very long to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Took the truck into the dealer to have it diagnosed. Got the bad news...needs a new steering rack.:(

That just ruined my day. Honda Genuine rack is 1125 and an aftermarket one is 775. Anyone have an opinion on the aftermarket one? They said it holds the same warranty as the other and they haven't had any issues after replacing them.
 

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Took the truck into the dealer to have it diagnosed. Got the bad news...needs a new steering rack.:(

That just ruined my day. Honda Genuine rack is 1125 and an aftermarket one is 775. Anyone have an opinion on the aftermarket one? They said it holds the same warranty as the other and they haven't had any issues after replacing them.
No advice other than make sure you have exhausted the suggestions above about "cleansing" your fluid & getting a maybe even get a new pump before you give in to this very expensive repair. (or otherwise confirm it's really your rack that's gone) You wouldn't be the first guy to be sold a whole cow when you only wanted a steak, if you know what I mean.
 

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No advice other than make sure you have exhausted the suggestions above about "cleansing" your fluid & getting a maybe even get a new pump before you give in to this very expensive repair. (or otherwise confirm it's really your rack that's gone) You wouldn't be the first guy to be sold a whole cow when you only wanted a steak, if you know what I mean.
I completely agree with this. The odds that you actually need a new rack are pretty low unless there is OBVIOUS signs of leaking fluid. The dealership knows that when they replace the rack, they need to replace the fluid as well, which is the likely culprit of the root of your problems. If it takes a little while for the whine to show up, I'm assuming it's due to the fluid heating up which causes the o-ring to expand and form an air gap - causing the whining. Do yourself a favor - take off the reservoir and clean it. I wouldn't recommend brake cleaner as it's pretty harsh. Just use a small amount of dawn dish soap and water. Make sure you flush out the reservoir of every last spec of soap and let it dry completely before you re-install it. Replace the o-ring as you had said before and do a full power steering fluid flush as per Honda's recommendation and using Honda genuine fluid. You'll have about $30 into this as opposed to a hefty bill to replace the rack. If it's not actually the cause of the issue, you've only got $30 into it and you have a clean reservoir and fluid as well as a new o-ring. If it does end up being the rack itself, well, that sucks, but at least you exhausted all of the inexpensive fixes before you had to bite the bullet.
 

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Roughly one month ago, I needed to drive the Ridgeline on a 6 hour round trip. I had to leave home at 4:00 AM on a Monday to start the journey. On Sunday before the trip I could hear the PS pump whining. I had the dealer change the PS fluid roughly 40,000 miles earlier. So I checked the reservoir and found the fluid was at the proper level but it had a strange dark color with a bit of milky appearance. I keep an eye on the level but this was a shocker. Oh no! What happened? I thought the pump and the rack are GONE.

So there is no way to get fluid on a weekend and I only had about 1/2 of a quart in my workshop. Not enough to help. But then I know that PS pumps are simple devices. This could be a solvable problem.

Since the fluid looked so bad I thought I might as well change it. So with the motor running I inserted my Mityvac Fluid Extractor (like a Pela 6000) hose and a FUNNEL into the PS pump reservoir. Basically I changed the fluid while the engine was running using the pump to circulate the fluid. I added new fluid as the pump extracted the old until the fluid ran completely clear. Completely clear? Yep. I used Valvoline PS fluid.

Some years ago I had a whining PS pump on my Infiniti then later on a Nissan I had purchased used. So in three different cases I've seen Valvoline PS fluid resolve whining pump issues -- except on a Ford F150. No whining when turning the wheel while setting still or when driving. I've been using it for roughly 5 years now. So I though I would give it a try on the Ridgeline.

Here's a picture of how Valvoline PS fluid looks out of the jug.

 

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I've done mine twice now with a new reservoir and Lucas power steering fluid, which states it's good for Honda. The reservoir has a filter screen on the bottom that can get clogged and starve the pump for fluid. I'm at 108k and all is well.
 

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I've done mine twice now with a new reservoir and Lucas power steering fluid, which states it's good for Honda. The reservoir has a filter screen on the bottom that can get clogged and starve the pump for fluid. I'm at 108k and all is well.
I'm going to order a new reservoir and flush it again with some fluid for Honda/Acura. I'll purchase enough fluid to do another full flush.
 

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Chasing a noise after recent service *seemed* to be traced to power steering fluid. I say *seemed* because once the sound I was hearing was diagnosed, my shop did a single drain/fill cycle and the sound disappeared for a few days. Now it's back only in this iteration, it manifests under different conditions than it did prior to the D&F. And the sound is not the type I associate with PS pump "whine" (which in my experience happens under most - if not all steering angles, engine speeds, ETC), its more of a WooWooWoo sound occurring under specific steering direction/speed/conditions that have changed over time.

So... following the excellent advise of forum members experiencing similar but not the same descriptions, I'm going to order up a new reservoir and fluid, lift the truck do the turn to turn lock procedure in effort to get the gunk out.

After getting under the RL so many times lately - partly out of curiosity and partly out of necessity, it's starting to feel pretty comfortable down there. Which is cool even when its hot.
 

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That's next on my list of to do's for the RL. My steering feels a little "firmer" than i remember...
 

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Chasing a noise after recent service *seemed* to be traced to power steering fluid. I say *seemed* because once the sound I was hearing was diagnosed, my shop did a single drain/fill cycle and the sound disappeared for a few days. Now it's back only in this iteration, it manifests under different conditions than it did prior to the D&F. And the sound is not the type I associate with PS pump "whine" (which in my experience happens under most - if not all steering angles, engine speeds, ETC), its more of a WooWooWoo sound occurring under specific steering direction/speed/conditions that have changed over time.

So... following the excellent advise of forum members experiencing similar but not the same descriptions, I'm going to order up a new reservoir and fluid, lift the truck do the turn to turn lock procedure in effort to get the gunk out.

After getting under the RL so many times lately - partly out of curiosity and partly out of necessity, it's starting to feel pretty comfortable down there. Which is cool even when its hot.
There is an O-ring on the pump that could be the culprit by letting air into the system. Search for it on here or Google it. It's a fairly common thing on Pilot and Odyssey as well. Easily replaceable and should fix your whining issue along with the new reservoir and fluid.
 

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Ian, (or anyone who's replaced it) do you know a part number or know which "O-Ring" or "O-Rings" that are typically the culprit. The attached diagram references several "O-Rings"

http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/prddisplay.jsp?inputstate=5&catcgry1=RIDGELINE&catcgry2=2006&catcgry3=4DR+RT&catcgry4=KA5AT&catcgry5=P.S.+PUMP+-+BRACKET+%28-+11%29

from this thread...

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117778

I'd like to just order it along with some bottles of PS fluid and the tank all at the same time
 

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I'm sorry. I didn't have to replace the O-rings in mine. It was old fluid and a clogged filter in the reservoir. Quiet as a mouse since the full flush a few years ago. I would assume the part numbers are floating around here somewhere.
 

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There is an O-ring on the pump that could be the culprit by letting air into the system. Search for it on here or Google it. It's a fairly common thing on Pilot and Odyssey as well. Easily replaceable and should fix your whining issue along with the new reservoir and fluid.
Thanks Ian. It seems logical if an O Ring is located in the system where air can enter, shouldn't fluid be escaping as well? I'm not well versed on that so unsure.

For anyone who might be experiencing a similar issue, the sound I'm hearing is a variation of "typical" PS pump whine. It is not constant and as immediately familiar as other vehicles with PS pump issues. Steering is appropriately "light" and 99.9992% of the time steering is totally noise free. After clearing my head of preconceived notions on the location and cause of the sound, it now appears to be originating in the lower passenger side engine bay and only occurs at engine speeds around 2K RPM under slight R or L turns.

Based on comments on the forum about "clogged screens" at the bottom of the PS tank, I'm imagining enough fluid can find its way thru the screen at low and high pressure but with mild fluid turbulence, it skips over the screen causing the pump to cavitate - which explains the sound disappearing with increased/decreased engine speed and the champagne sized bubbles I've seen. But that's pure speculation at this point.

I've looked around but don't see specific info on the culprit O Ring. New tank arrives tomorrow and Saturday morning is set aside to do a version of the drain, turn, fill procedure. While I'm under there, gonna keep both eyes open for signs of minor leaks. One thing for sure, no driveway drips at this point.
 

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