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Author Topic: Checking Power Steering Fluid?  (Read 22689 times, 30 Replies)
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Copperhead13
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« on: September 20, 2008, 04:13:19 PM »

2009 Manual states to "remove oil filler cap then slide engine cover back and lift".
I tried sliding the cover back, but it didn't slid.
Anyone remove the engine cover yet?

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 05:52:52 PM »

Once the oil filler cap is removed, I found the trim cover pretty much lifts straight up...there are 3 or 4 little rubber grommets that the cover fits into.  The first time I pulled it off, it was a bit stubborn.  As long as you pull upward and start at one of the corners you shouldn't have any problems.
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2008, 06:07:21 PM »

Is your vehicle an 08 or 09?
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 09:44:03 AM »

It's an '08...I see now you were asking about an '09, which may be different.  Sorry.  The '07's and '08's were the same so jumped to conclusions.
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 07:21:53 PM »

on the 09 you remove the oil cap and pull straight up. sounds like it was the same on the 08 but I have never done one.
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2008, 06:56:57 PM »

Thanks, i'll check it out later.

Someone mentioned about slightly over filling the
power steering fluid on the 2007 and 2008 models.

Anyone know anything about this, and if so, should the 2009's
also be filled the same?

Thanks!
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 08:01:26 PM »

I talked with my service dept and they said that the TSB indicated to overfill when the symptoms occur.  They indicated that I should not just overfill because the few with the problem are fixed this way.  I would leave it alone unless you have the symptoms.  Ours has been fine from the factory.
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 08:32:17 PM »

Thanks GAR!
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 10:22:26 AM »

I would make sure it is properly filled to the correct level. If you are having steering issues then it needs to be directed to the dealer for proper repair/maintenance.  Like your vehicles brakes, steering is something not to be taken lightly, if there is a problem safety is rule #1, get it looked at ASAP. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 11:49:10 AM »

I just found a similar issue on my hybrid BMW. I never thought about how much PS fluid is used by a system while in operation. When I moved it yesterday, it was growling, so I looked at the reservoir and sure enough it was low, but not anywhere near dry. I added fluid and technically overfilled* it, and the noise went away.

* This car uses a Mustang Cobra hydroboost braking system, so PS fluid is used by both the steering and brakes. Due to this situation, I found that overfilling the reservoir is necessary.
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 06:59:09 AM »

Checked the PS level in our '09 last night. There are three grommets that hold the engine cover in place. A firm pull upwards will remove it.

I was initially concerned due to hearing what sounded like a little PS whine when parking, and then seeing what appeared to be some type of oil on the plastic parts in front of and behind the motor under the hood while I was looking to see if there was a fuel filter there. I have attached some pics of these pieces. As far as I can tell, this is some type of protectant (maybe Armor All) the dealer used on these pieces. You can see the bugs and debris trapped on the pieces in the pics. None of the fluid levels were low, and it occurred to me if this was a leak, it would be all over the motor, not just on these pieces. I used some cleaner and wiped it off.

I'm going to pay close attention to the PS & listen to it w/ the window down in the garage to see if it is indeed making any noise.
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2009, 12:26:00 PM »

I talked with my service dept and they said that the TSB indicated to overfill when the symptoms occur.  They indicated that I should not just overfill because the few with the problem are fixed this way.  I would leave it alone unless you have the symptoms.  Ours has been fine from the factory.

why would overfilling make the noise go away?
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2009, 04:02:38 PM »

I participated in another post related to the Power Steering at http://www.acadiaforum.net/forum/index.php?topic=2769.40   It discusses using the "1/4 inch" overfill method on the powersteering.  It might be helpful. 

Some possible reasons the "1/4 inch overfill" solution works:  Perhaps the Power Steering reservoir on the Acadia is simply slightly too small (i.e. the "full" mark was mis-marked lower than it should have been by the manufacturer).  Not enough fluid to properly suction feed the power steering pump can cause "whirling" noises when the pump is running (when the steering wheel is turned).  Imagine the gurgling noises associated with whirl pools, like bath water draining, but at a higher frequency as the system in the Acadia is much smaller and faster.   Reservoir levels are designed to have enough fluid in them to prevent this from happening.  Maintaining a higher fluid reservoir level provides enough fluid to prevent the whirl pool effect and prevent fluid bubbles (foaming).  Additionally, any motor designed to be submerged in a given amount of fluid is louder when it is not submerged as designed.  Less fluid = less sound insulation = louder noises. 

 
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2009, 12:31:04 PM »

anyone know what needs to be removed for this to be replaced and what was the success rate on giding ride of the noise gone or still there?
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2009, 03:54:36 PM »

I participated in another post related to the Power Steering at http://www.acadiaforum.net/forum/index.php?topic=2769.40   It discusses using the "1/4 inch" overfill method on the powersteering.  It might be helpful.  

Some possible reasons the "1/4 inch overfill" solution works:  Perhaps the Power Steering reservoir on the Acadia is simply slightly too small (i.e. the "full" mark was mis-marked lower than it should have been by the manufacturer).  Not enough fluid to properly suction feed the power steering pump can cause "whirling" noises when the pump is running (when the steering wheel is turned).  Imagine the gurgling noises associated with whirl pools, like bath water draining, but at a higher frequency as the system in the Acadia is much smaller and faster.   Reservoir levels are designed to have enough fluid in them to prevent this from happening.  Maintaining a higher fluid reservoir level provides enough fluid to prevent the whirl pool effect and prevent fluid bubbles (foaming).  Additionally, any motor designed to be submerged in a given amount of fluid is louder when it is not submerged as designed.  Less fluid = less sound insulation = louder noises.  


Actually, I believe the technical term would be pump cavitation.  This is a lack of continuous flow of fluid through a pump that expects a continuous 'fluid bath' and causes the impellor to "suck air' thus creating cavities in an otherwise continuous strean of fluid.  It causes the pump to make noises and decreases the efficiency of anything the pump is used to activate.

Please, be very cautious when doing an "overfill" of the p/s reservior by yourself.  Don't over do it!  Someone did that on one of my company vehicles and caused an underhood fire when fluid was pushed out of the reservior cap onto the exhaust manifold.  Luckily, I had a handy fire extinguisher and prevented a complete vehicle melt down.
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2009, 03:58:37 PM »

Mine was making a groaning noise when turning the steering wheel right or left.  Over filling 1/4 " cured the noise.  Just remove the oil filler cap and pull straight up on the engine cover to access the p/s pump.
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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2009, 04:40:07 PM »

Actually, I believe the technical term would be pump cavitation.  This is a lack of continuous flow of fluid through a pump that expects such.  It cause the pump to make noises and decreases the efficiency of anything the pump is used to activate.

Please, be very cautious when doing an "overfill" of the p/s reservior by yourself.  Don't over do it!  Someone did that on one of my company vehicles and caused an underhood fire when fluid was pushed out of the reservior cap onto the exhaust manifold.  Luckily, I had a handy fire extinguisher and prevented a complete vehicle melt down.

wow are you serious!
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2009, 04:42:10 PM »

Mine was making a groaning noise when turning the steering wheel right or left.  Over filling 1/4 " cured the noise.  Just remove the oil filler cap and pull straight up on the engine cover to access the p/s pump.

I can't believe that really worked and still baffled how this would do it. i mentioned it to the service manager and he said that was impossible? he said when you hear a noise like that it means that the fulid is to low and when he checked mine it was on the level mark..i'm to afraid to fill it myself..after reading speolos story .
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2009, 04:43:50 PM »

Mine was making a groaning noise when turning the steering wheel right or left.  Over filling 1/4 " cured the noise.  Just remove the oil filler cap and pull straight up on the engine cover to access the p/s pump.

did you do this when the engine was hot or cold?
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2009, 05:09:03 PM »

did you do this when the engine was hot or cold?

It's always good to measure and fill p/s when the fluid is 'cold.'  That serves well to minimize any errors.
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