After doing a little reading today, it appears that I am not the first victim of a power steering related failure. What I'd like to know if it is possible for a person with good mechanical aptitude (but not necessarily a mechanic) to diagnose and repair the problem. I don't really want the dealer to do it (cost and lack of care/knowledge).
Symptoms - Whining noise coming from the front left of the car on startup, gets worse when applying pressure to the steering wheel. No issues with "hard turning", still feels fine, but everything right now is pointing to the PS pump.... it gets louder when turning the steering wheel. Level was a little low (but not horrible). I topped it off with Mobil Mercon fluid, it didn't help. Damage is apparently already done. After sitting a while, there is a little bit of (what I'm guessing) is PS fluid on the ground. Also, while revving the engine, a little bit of oil is spattered on the underside of my hood, and a bit on top of the engine on the belt side. Again, I have driven the car with this whining noise apparent, and the steering "seems" fine.
Logic would tell me that it is the pump since the steering seems to be fine. How do I tell if the rack is not also a problem? My guess is that I should replace the pump and high pressure line/fitting, and possible go to redline or mobil PS fluid. Anyone have a different opinion?
Any advice where to get the pump/lines/fittings for a reasonable price? Is there anything else I should replace while I'm in there? Car has 65k miles.
Has there been any how to posts on how to change the pump and fluid? I did a search on this site and couldn't find it.
My SVTF is stock, it's a 2003 that was purchased new, by me, in early 2004 as a daily driver. I drive 120 miles/day, and I have around 65k miles on it. I guess I can't complain too much, this is really the first major problem I have had. The only other failure I've had is the thermostat. ($20 and an hour, not too bad). I love this car and I'd love to keep it to 150k miles or so, but we'll see!
Any help is appreciated, feel free to reply here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org