I've noticed the last couple of days the power steering makes a whining noise when i turn the wheel ('98 Fiesta) - I only seem to notice it at low revs or when idling (seems to be louder the lower the revs). I always noticed some noise from it when idle but it apparently got worse yesterday.
Could it be anything to do with the cold weather? I tried to check the fluid levels - there seems to be something in there, however there's min/max markings on what's apparently not transparent plastic so I don't know if it's too low or what. Haven't noticed any leaks. The auxiliary belt looks kinda cracked and brittle - could it be that?
9 times out of 10 a whining in the PAS is due to low fluid levels. If the belt was at fault it would screech when you turn the wheel.
Usually the power steering fluid filler cap has a dipstick attached to the underside which is lot handier than max/min marks on the outside of a container.
Is there a chance there could be a leak? I'll try topping it up anyway. There's no dipstick on it though
Check underneath for a leak - fluid residue should be obvious enough.
Turns out I was blind and it was leaking behind the left wheel. From what I've been told, the hole rack needs to be replaced and it'll cost about €400 for a new one + labour, though I could get a second-hand one cheaper. Waaaah
How could this have happened? I didn't notice anything for the 2 months before my OP up there, so could I have caused damage from my crappy driving? I did whack the left wheel off the kerb pretty hard the first time I parked it, and may have done similar on other occasions - could this have done it?
I've only started to really notice the leaking recently with all the rain making it spread all over the place. However I've noticed many similar-looking spills in other spaces in car parks - I guess it's a common enough problem? I know a friend who had the same problem with his Carina E and also had to get the whole rack replaced, and he didn't like the 2nd-hand replacement.
Agreed. I've had to top up the reservoir with about 100cc of ATF twice in my current car in the last 3 years - symptoms gone so problem solved in my book. I don't really care and I don't really need to know what caused it
Well I've gone through a litre bottle in 3 months!