Ford Fiesta 2003. I was told recently during a service that my power steering pump was leaking. I took it into the garage, they replaced it and the belt, steering was much smoother, but in doing so they managed to introduce a whole host of weird noises. Namely:

  1. Squealing when the wheels are turned just before full lock (wasn't there before)
  2. A thunk (power steering pump turning on) on cold ignition
  3. A loud whining sound, that I assume was the new power steering pump, proportional to the car's speed (or amount of gas pedal depression, not sure)

They said that it may just be a noisy pump and that if I had any problems I could bring it back for a warranty replacement. I did, they replaced it (for free at least) and it feels worse. Now I don't have power steering when the car is on a cold idle, it only kicks in (again, with a thunk) when I hit the gas for the first time. No issues driving the car from what I can tell though it feels a touch heavier than it was with the first new pump.

The fluid level looks OK, just on the max line and doesn't seem to be dropping - I wondered if it was just a case of getting the fluid around the system.

I can always give them a ring and ask them to take another look at it, but I'm tempted to go to another shop for a second opinion. Any thoughts what it could be?

3 Answers 3


It sounds as though your serpentine belt is the issue. The serpentine belt is connected to each pulley (a pulley is the circular disc that the rubber belt travels over) of various engine components (power steering, AC, turbocharger if you have one, etc) and as such has a lot of tension on it, but can't have too much. It may be that the dealer installed a pump whose pulley is too large, in turn putting too much tension on the belt (which is the cause of the squealing).

Or the belt is too worn and is slipping. If this is the case, it may also be the cause of the squealing, but would definitely be the reason for decreased functionally in power steering.

My advice: don't go to the dealer unless to have them replace a part that is under warranty. Instead, research some mechanics in town with a solid reputation and at least get their opinion. Some warranties allow you to have your car repaired elsewhere and will have the dealership reimburse you for the cost (research this first, don't assume I'm right).


It seems to me pump has bad bearing or I no it does when power steering pump can be turned buy hand or fingers when there right . Your drive belt may be wore to the point of making squealing noises but no way should pump make thumping noise or have give gas nto get it pumping .trade it or go another garage get second opinion.good luck hope you get it fixed


Many times it is not practical to find real cause. I can say with 80% certainty if you properly install another new pump, it should solve your problem. Buy one from autohausaz.com and watch Youtube to learn how to do it yourself and then do it yourself. Should cost less than $200.

  • 2
    The OP is on his third pump. Statistically, it would not be very reasonable to suppose all three were bad.
    Jul 22, 2015 at 8:24
  • The statistics is skewed. They might have installed it incorrectly. They might used a wrong model. They might suppplied a used faulty pump. If you rely on statistical method, it should not have happened in the first place. To turn this situation around, I suggested using another source so that we can eliminate these interfering possibilities.
    – David Xu
    Jul 22, 2015 at 8:31
  • "it should not have happened in the first place" - agreed. The garage should not have released the car in that state.
    Jul 22, 2015 at 8:35
  • Mechanics can't really be trusted. They need to rush the job or risk bankrupt. It can take 20 hours to diagnose problem and no customer would pay that amount of money, so they have to rush and make do. No one takes care of your car better than yourself.
    – David Xu
    Jul 22, 2015 at 8:46
  • 2
    You are over-generalizing. Some mechanics can be trusted - generally, those who are still in business after some years. Others do a botch job every time, and end up losing customers. I guess every branch of human activity has its bad elements. As for doing all car maintenance myself, somehow the idea of spending 10 times the value of the car just to set up a properly tooled garage just does not make sense to me. Some things I will leave to professionals who have made this investment.
    Jul 22, 2015 at 9:21

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