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Hi there! I started up my 03 MDX and it was making this funny whinnying noise, and when I turn my tires left or right you can really hear it. I lifted the hood and it is pretty loud. It's never ever sounded like this. My dad listened to it and checked the fluids....I was a quart low on oil, transmission fluid was fine....then he checked the power steering fluid. It's almost to the bottom of the resevoir :- (

So my questions are, does the power steering fluid have to come from Honda and can I do this myself. My dad said it needs a flush because the fluid is so dark and old. Can I flush it and where did the fluid go to in the first place?!? Does it evaporate.....iv never noticed any kind of leaks.
Its well over 250,000 miles. I had the timing belt, water pump, and transmission replaced about 5 months ago...I assumed they did all the fluids.

Oh earlier this week, I parked with my wheels turned kinda cockeyed and when I went to start it up the next morning, she wouldn't kick over. It wasn't till I started twisting the wheel back and forth that it kicked over (something my sister's fiancee told me to do)

Any insight is greatly appreciated!!!....and constructive criticism. Lol!!
 

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Hi there! I started up my 03 MDX and it was making this funny whinnying noise, and when I turn my tires left or right you can really hear it. I lifted the hood and it is pretty loud. It's never ever sounded like this. My dad listened to it and checked the fluids....I was a quart low on oil, transmission fluid was fine....then he checked the power steering fluid. It's almost to the bottom of the resevoir :- (

So my questions are, does the power steering fluid have to come from Honda and can I do this myself. My dad said it needs a flush because the fluid is so dark and old. Can I flush it and where did the fluid go to in the first place?!? Does it evaporate.....iv never noticed any kind of leaks.
Its well over 250,000 miles. I had the timing belt, water pump, and transmission replaced about 5 months ago...I assumed they did all the fluids.

Oh earlier this week, I parked with my wheels turned kinda cockeyed and when I went to start it up the next morning, she wouldn't kick over. It wasn't till I started twisting the wheel back and forth that it kicked over (something my sister's fiancee told me to do)

Any insight is greatly appreciated!!!....and constructive criticism. Lol!!
You do not need to get it from Honda/Acura. You can hit up Walmart and buy the Prestone brand that says "For Use in Honda/Acura" on there and it will work fine. It is the cheapest I have seen at less than $2 a bottle. I believe the fluid is clear compared to normal fluid. If you want to flush it, just do a Google search on MDX power steering fluid flush. I used the turkey baster method and that took maybe 15-20 minutes at most.
 

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Google part number 08206-9002 for genuine fluid. Your local Honda or Acura dealer may give you a decent price if you ask. Need about 5 bottles (12 oz. each) to do a good flush.

Look under the boots on the steering rack for leakage.
 

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I had the timing belt, water pump, and transmission replaced about 5 months ago...I assumed they did all the fluids.

Oh earlier this week, I parked with my wheels turned kinda cockeyed and when I went to start it up the next morning, she wouldn't kick over. It wasn't till I started twisting the wheel back and forth that it kicked over (something my sister's fiancee told me to do)
Timing belt service typically includes engine coolant ( cuz water pump ), but not brake fluid or power steering fluid. Brake fluid takes up water from the air, and that can cause problems, so it's recommended to replace it every 3 years.

AFAIK Power steering fluid has no recommended service interval, but the reservoir has "max" and "min" lines on it so the level can be checked at a glance.

If the car won't start because the key won't turn when there is pressure against the steering, that's normal. The ignition key has an interlock so the wheel can't be turned without the key inserted, as a security measure. But if the key turns and nothing happens, that's a different issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh wow....thanks. Yeah, the key turns and all the lights turn on....it just doesn't start sometimes......but after I turn the wheel a few times and jiggle the gear shift it starts.....and that only happens when I park without my wheels being straight. Thank you so much for your help!!!

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You do not need to get it from Honda/Acura. You can hit up Walmart and buy the Prestone brand that says "For Use in Honda/Acura" on there and it will work fine. It is the cheapest I have seen at less than $2 a bottle. I believe the fluid is clear compared to normal fluid. If you want to flush it, just do a Google search on MDX power steering fluid flush. I used the turkey baster method and that took maybe 15-20 minutes at most.
Turkey baster!!! Uggg that would have been a good idea!!! I bought a $15 hand pump thing from Auto Zone and 3 bottles of fluid for $5 a piece! I'm taking it all back! Thanks so much!!!

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I don't usually go to the dealer but this one I would rather take it to an Acura or Honda dealer if the fluid is already dark. Had the same dark steering fluid last year I did it myself with the turkey baster, bought Acura/Honda fluid, did it twice but I still can't remove most of the dirt.

Paid about $140 CAD with the dealer but it was all worth it I think - very clean fluid, steering wheel shake at high speed was gone, plus peace of mind that your steering pump is not slowly getting worn out.

Below is the service info I got from the dealer,[FONT=&quot]Power steering fluid exchange service[/FONT][FONT=&quot]AI-2[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Operation Description:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]One of our skilled technicians with specialized equipment will use a powerful cleaner to dissolve and suspend the varnish and gums in your vehicle's power steering unit and then flush the entire unit of all old fluid and contaminants and install new high-tech fluid for both conventional sector and rack and pinion. Finally, the technician will road test your vehicle.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Significance:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]If you have experienced steering pump noises, hard or erratic steering, or pump leaks, it's probably time to have your vehicle's power steering system serviced. The power steering pump produces high pressures (between 800 - 2,000 lbs./400 - 1,000 kg, depending on model) and high heat. Heat + pressure = fluid breakdown/failure; fluid failure = power steering pump and/or rack failure; power steering pump and/or rack failure = costly repair.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Advantage:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Our power steering service will alleviate steering squeal caused by sticking valves, correct that jerky feeling on the steering wheel, help prevent fluid leaks, and reduce wear.[/FONT]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't usually go to the dealer but this one I would rather take it to an Acura or Honda dealer if the fluid is already dark. Had the same dark steering fluid last year I did it myself with the turkey baster, bought Acura/Honda fluid, did it twice but I still can't remove most of the dirt.

Paid about $140 CAD with the dealer but it was all worth it I think - very clean fluid, steering wheel shake at high speed was gone, plus peace of mind that your steering pump is not slowly getting worn out.

Below is the service info I got from the dealer,[FONT=&quot]Power steering fluid exchange service[/FONT][FONT=&quot]AI-2[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Operation Description:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]One of our skilled technicians with specialized equipment will use a powerful cleaner to dissolve and suspend the varnish and gums in your vehicle's power steering unit and then flush the entire unit of all old fluid and contaminants and install new high-tech fluid for both conventional sector and rack and pinion. Finally, the technician will road test your vehicle.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Significance:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]If you have experienced steering pump noises, hard or erratic steering, or pump leaks, it's probably time to have your vehicle's power steering system serviced. The power steering pump produces high pressures (between 800 - 2,000 lbs./400 - 1,000 kg, depending on model) and high heat. Heat + pressure = fluid breakdown/failure; fluid failure = power steering pump and/or rack failure; power steering pump and/or rack failure = costly repair.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Advantage:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Our power steering service will alleviate steering squeal caused by sticking valves, correct that jerky feeling on the steering wheel, help prevent fluid leaks, and reduce wear.[/FONT]
Thanks! That sounds really great....I just can't afford that right now....3 kids and school is around the corner....but when I can afford it, i will definitely let Acura have a go at it! Lol! You really can't put a price on peace of mind. Thanks again!

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Google part number 08206-9002 for genuine fluid. Your local Honda or Acura dealer may give you a decent price if you ask. Need about 5 bottles (12 oz. each) to do a good flush.

Look under the boots on the steering rack for leakage.
Oh....what are boots? I should look there for leakage???

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Oh....what are boots? I should look there for leakage???
Black rubber covers with ripples. They keep dirt and grime out of things that shouldn't be dirty and grimy. Unless the fluid level drops quickly, it might not be worth worrying about.

Sounds like this '03 has some "character". Kinda like the one my daughter drives. I'm not sure about the starting issue, but there is a sensor to detect whether the transmission is in "Park", and that can be a problem when the linkage between the shift lever and the transmission gets worn with age. So jiggling the shift lever makes sense. No clue why wheel position would matter.
 

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Once you do refill the reservoir (to the proper line - you will need to clean it to see the right level to fill it to), be sure to keep an eye out for just where all the fluid was going. On my '04, it was weeping out the high pressure line through a crack in the hose. It could be as simple as a leak at the inlet to the power steering pump - that O-ring is known for failure, and the power steering pump gets man-handled pretty hard during a timing belt change (pulled up and over the top of the engine, and bungie corded in place to keep it out of the way).

If it was me, I wouldn't worry too much about flushing the system quite yet, as it's possible that you'll be draining it to fix the leak anyway (and would lose all the new fluid anyway). Once you have located the leak, then you can fix it and change out the old fluid.
 

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I wouldn't worry about flushing the system just yet. locating a leak and see if you have a leak is a most first.
I replaced my engine 6 months ago along with the steering rack so I looked into what fluid should I use? Honda recommended transmission fluid but I'm filmilair with using power or transmission fluid in a streeing system which will be ok for vehicles.
Top off your reservoir and drive your vehicle, look for any oil spots on the ground after it has been parked if you see any oil spots take a white paper towel and match the colors with your power fluid. If the colors are the same as your steering fluid than you have a leak somewhere. Also, keep a eye on the reservoir, if you need to add some than you have a interior leak somewhere in the steering rack.
Overall, you just may have needed to add some fluid with no leak. If your steering system still makes noise or does not fell right than you may have air in the system. Look at the steering reservoir and look for bubbles with the vehicle on, if any bubbles are present than they need to be bleed, don't worry easy job. I put up a picture of some instruction on bleeding a steering system, even do they mention to turn the wheel left and right 10 times you must keep turning the wheel till all the bubbles are gone. Just have some one in the vehicle whit the car running and have them turn the wheel left and right all the way not slow and not fast, someone else needs to watch the reservoir and may need to add some fluid till all the bubbles are gone and no noise is hear on the steering system and a smooth wheel is felt on the turns.

Hope this helps you!
 

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Not sure if you already resolved your issue, but my '03 had similar symptoms and the source of the leak was worn o-rings/gaskets in either or both the inlet or outlet hose connectors to the P/S pump. If you inspect the hose connectors around the pump carefully, you may see wet spots or possibly damp dust spots that accumulated on the leaking fluid. The o-rings are less than a couple of bucks each and fairly easy to replace. Just unbolt the hose connector, remove the old o-ring, and put in the new one, and bolt the hose connector back. You may need to move the engine cover and some wiring in the area to make the job easier. And like in previous posts, you'll need to refill the fluid and purge air from the lines, which may take a while depending on how long it has been leaking. Last time I had the issue for 3 weeks, and it took about an hour of steering back and forth before the lines were completely purged of air. There are also youtube videos on the process.
 
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