Did the repair shop ruin my power steering pump? - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-07-2007, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Did the repair shop ruin my power steering pump?

Had my 2004 WRX wagon in the shop recently to replace a broken radiator. The shop asked if I wanted to replace the serpentine belt while I had it in there. Although I only have 27,000 miles on the car, I like to get work done when I happen to have the car in the shop so that i don't forget to have the work done later.

When I picked up my car, the steering was making horrible noise and the power assist was not reliable. The repair shop said that my power steering pump was bad. I thought that the timing was awfully coincidental, but the car is out of warranty, and that's when everything goes wrong, yeah? The pump was bubbling the fluid, but there was no leak that they could find, thus they decided that the pump was bad.

So I brought the car back in and had them replace the pump. It fixed the problem. There is no noise, and the power assist works fine. But there was another noise coming from the AC. I had originally assumed that this was part of the problem from the power steering pump, but I took it to another shop (that I trust) and found out that the AC noise was caused by an error in the serpentine belt replacement.

Now I suspected that the original repair shop somehow damaged the steering pump when replacing the serpentine belt. I asked the shop that I trust about the possibility of this, and he mentioned that he has seen this with certain Honda models. The Hondas have an issue where if the pump is rotated backwards at all, the pump is permanently damaged. So I need to know if this is a possible issue with my 2004 WRX as well. Basically I need some proof that this is a known issue with the Subaru power steering pumps before I can go to the original repair shop and demand my money back for the pump replacement.

Thank you all for your help with this.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-07-2007, 10:03 PM
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Well all I have to say is, its probably their fault. Cause if the power steering pump was bad already why didn't they tell you? Sounds fishy to me, looks like they screwed you over. I would argue with them that the fact they messed it up and should be liable for it. Good Luck bro.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-09-2007, 10:28 AM
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I feel for you man but in my experence when a shop screws something up you and your car are the only screwed ones and the shop does nothing to fix the problem they caused.
I took my old Talon in to get the t-belt done and drove it to the shop, the next day I get a call from them saying that my secondary t-belt/balance shaft belt broke and my engine was done. Then they said they wanted to charge me $850 for the labor and that the belt was broken when I took it in. Like hell, I drove it there. But long story short I yelled and yelled and the best I got was my dead car back without paying them for destroying it. I hope you have better luck at dealing with them then I did but hey, some day they will get theirs.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-09-2007, 10:54 AM
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my only question is ..why didn't you take it to the shop that you trust first? I just cant see how replacing a belt would cause the pump to fail.

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-09-2007, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nagyhead View Post
my only question is ..why didn't you take it to the shop that you trust first? I just cant see how replacing a belt would cause the pump to fail.
With Bad Labor, anything is possible bro....
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-27-2010, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drhigh View Post
Had my 2004 WRX wagon in the shop recently to replace a broken radiator. The shop asked if I wanted to replace the serpentine belt while I had it in there. Although I only have 27,000 miles on the car, I like to get work done when I happen to have the car in the shop so that i don't forget to have the work done later.

When I picked up my car, the steering was making horrible noise and the power assist was not reliable. The repair shop said that my power steering pump was bad. I thought that the timing was awfully coincidental, but the car is out of warranty, and that's when everything goes wrong, yeah? The pump was bubbling the fluid, but there was no leak that they could find, thus they decided that the pump was bad.

So I brought the car back in and had them replace the pump. It fixed the problem. There is no noise, and the power assist works fine. But there was another noise coming from the AC. I had originally assumed that this was part of the problem from the power steering pump, but I took it to another shop (that I trust) and found out that the AC noise was caused by an error in the serpentine belt replacement.

Now I suspected that the original repair shop somehow damaged the steering pump when replacing the serpentine belt. I asked the shop that I trust about the possibility of this, and he mentioned that he has seen this with certain Honda models. The Hondas have an issue where if the pump is rotated backwards at all, the pump is permanently damaged. So I need to know if this is a possible issue with my 2004 WRX as well. Basically I need some proof that this is a known issue with the Subaru power steering pumps before I can go to the original repair shop and demand my money back for the pump replacement.

Thank you all for your help with this.

Was the backward rotation question answered?

This exact same thing happened to me in the addition of the told me the rack and pinion seal was bad... all your symptoms right after I drove out of garage I didnt trust...and same bubbles and same response... but I know it was fine when I brought the car...the bastards...
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-04-2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeyeblue View Post
Was the backward rotation question answered?

This exact same thing happened to me in the addition of the told me the rack and pinion seal was bad... all your symptoms right after I drove out of garage I didnt trust...and same bubbles and same response... but I know it was fine when I brought the car...the bastards...
I would like to know as well,

I just ran into the same issue with me wife's Subaru Legacy. I took it into Performance Subaru in Chapel Hill, NC for AC service since the expansion valve started making some racket. I figured there was some contaminates in the system since I just recharged it and finally made it to the expansion valve. They gave me a big long list of reasons of why I shouldn't even try and have to the AC flushed. That I actually needed the whole system replaced. I felt like they just didn't want to work on my car and thought I would be better off buying a new one since my wife's car is over 120,000 miles. Apparently, according to this dealership cars aren't worth keeping over 120,000 anymore. After a big long conversation with the "Advisor" they went ahead a flushed it. They claimed they AC was making noise after the flush, but I haven't heard it make a peep. However, the steering pump is screaming for mercy. It's an uncommon sound to me at least on Subaru. I've replaced bad steering pumps on Subaru cars before. Once on an 1995 SVX LXi, and the other a 1998 Impreza both of which had bad seals and started leaking, but they did not sound like this at all. Before I finally convinced them to take the car back by telling them they must of over tightened a belt or tried to turn the wheels while they were locked in a position and over pressurized the system I had the chance to look over the steering system. There wasn't a leak in sight. The fluid was a little burnt, but that was to my own neglect and laziness and I just don't have the time to work on any of my cars as much as I would like to, especially my old 95 SVX. There also was lots of bubbles in the resevoir. So it is just dumb founding me what is wrong with this car. I drive it at least once a week, because my wife doesn't notice when something is wrong with the car. I try and catch stuff before it goes bad. Plus she doesn't like my shifting habits with the manual. The dealership has had my wife's Legacy for 4 days now and she's been driving a dealer loaner 2010 Forrester while the investigate the issue. I've decided since they've had it for so long they're probably waiting on parts for a problem they caused and will hopefully have a solution to this issue shortly.

My wife's Legacy has had plenty of parts replaced for free on it thanks to stupid dealership techs

in 2005 (service done - oil change and inspection) new long block after they neglected to put oil back into the crank case and the engine seized 1/2 mile down the road while trying to return to the dealership
in 2008 (service done - CV boot replaced) new driver side CV joint, rack and pinion, 2 struts, and hub assembly after they neglected to attached the hub assembly to the driver side ball joint and the car went off the road after hitting a bump at 55 mph 2 miles down the road.

and now in 2010 (service done - AC service) steering pump and belts after doing who know what.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-10-2010, 12:04 PM
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Damaged power steering pump after repair

Hi all, I'm not a mechanic but I did encounter the question you are asking an another website while looking up a separate but similar problem. I think your issue (power steering not working after a different repair) is the same as the one answered there.

Here's the link:
Why Is The Power Steering Making Noise on My Subaru Outback? - Seattle Subaru Repair

hope this helps!
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-04-2011, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the link

Thanks for the link to the Outback repair page. I think that helped me with my WRX power steering. I loosened the shroud and put 6 hose clamps on the power steering lines/hoses and my power steering pump is quiet now and performs way better. No more bubbling in the fluid reservoir. The pump was noisy and unreliable before. I should have checked the clamps a long time ago. The pinch-clamps Subaru uses are not very good after the car is aged a bit. I could twist the hoses at 3 or 4 of the pinch-clamps. Weak!
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