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i have an '06 mdx that makes an obnoxious whining sound from the power steering pump when i first start up. this only happens when its cold outside (anything below 50) it typically goes away once the car warms up. This makes me think its not a bad pump but something to do with viscosity of fluid perhaps?. is there a filter in the line could somehow restrict the flow if the fluid is a little thicker when cold??. I am reluctant to simply swap the pump as it seems as if there is a little more to it. any ideas??
 

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i have an '06 mdx that makes an obnoxious whining sound from the power steering pump when i first start up. this only happens when its cold outside (anything below 50) it typically goes away once the car warms up. This makes me think its not a bad pump but something to do with viscosity of fluid perhaps?. is there a filter in the line could somehow restrict the flow if the fluid is a little thicker when cold??. I am reluctant to simply swap the pump as it seems as if there is a little more to it. any ideas??
Have you tried changing out the fluid? When my power steering has made a slight noise when cold (and also a little vibration felt in the steering wheel when turning at slow speeds), changing the fluid seemed to remedy my problem. Now I change out the fluid every year and it does not seem to act up anymore.....knock on wood! 2004 MDX.
 

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Chesterbigfoot, I had the same exact problem a few months ago and the fix was quite simple, changing the 2 o-rings should do the trick! You can DIY by following any youtube videos as there are many and the o-rings cost cents literally, do not change your pump as I was advised to do so but the solution was the o-rings being worn. I would change the fluid afterwards to remove any air causing minimal sound just like onid says.


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The O-ring you need to change is the lower one, not the one under the metal fitting on top. It's easier to get to that one, but if it leaks, it'll just cause a trickle of fluid, not any odd noises.

The bolt holding the inlet on is a little fiddly to get to (10mm IIRC) but a well-placed wrench worked just fine for me, after taking off the engine cover. The old O-ring stayed inside the reservoir housing when I pulled out the hose, so make sure you get it out when installing the new one.
 

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Wow, what kind of wrench gets to that lower bolt? I've seen videos where they appear to be reaching between the pulley and belt but I can't tell what tool they're using. I tried a flex box wrench but it didn't seem to quite get in there. Is a 1/4 drive ratchet too big? I don't have one but could borrow or buy a set.
 

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I recollect using a closed end 10mm wrench to access bolt. It is a bit tedious but fingers work fine once loosened.

good luck
 

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TexasHonda is right - a regular closed-end 10mm wrench with a bit of an offset worked just fine for me. I'm thinking a totally flat wrench might not work quite as well. There was JUST enough room to get the wrench in there, and to turn it. It was fiddly until it was finger-tight, but swapping out the O-ring was about a 5 minute job even so.
 

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Just curious as to why worn O-rings would make the power steering system whine. Anybody know the mechanical reason?
 

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Woof, it's because the worn O-ring allows air to be sucked in (the hose is on the suction side of the pump), and the air bubbles circulating through the pump is what you hear. You can normally diagnose this easily by looking inside the reservoir with the engine running - air will make the fluid foamy and bubbly.
 

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Thanks guys. I ended up getting a 12 point box wrench instead of the 6. It was tedious but I got it. Started the car and got the air sound 2 quick times and that was it. The true test will be when I start it with a cold engine in the morning.

I'm holding out hope that this is related to my CEL and VTM-4 light. CEL is always on and VTM with cold engine goes out when it's restarted warm. But no AWD when it's on.

The other day when I couldn't reach that bolt my father in law suggested that I suck out PS fluid from the reservoir and replace it over time. Well we did that once but then I drove to the dealer upon noticing I was way low on coolant. When I walked out and restarted the car the damn CEL turned off! Came back on the next day though.

I imagine I will be removing carbon deposits from somewhere to fix this but like I said, maybe this will work. I have 187k miles on her.
 

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Woof, it's because the worn O-ring allows air to be sucked in (the hose is on the suction side of the pump), and the air bubbles circulating through the pump is what you hear. You can normally diagnose this easily by looking inside the reservoir with the engine running - air will make the fluid foamy and bubbly.
Thanks for the explanation! It definitely does make sense now. Good tip!
 
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