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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My patriot started making a loud whining noise when accelerating during left turns. The harder/faster the turn the louder and more obvious the noise was.

After a couple weeks it started making this noise during right turns as well, and yesterday the noise was there at idle when I started the engine without even touching the steering wheel.

Today I checked the power steering fluid inside the reservoir and it looked dark, so I used a Windex bottle and $6 worth of aquarium tubing to pump out the old fluid.

After the reservoir was empty I started the engine for a few seconds and let it refill the reservoir, then pumped it out again. I repeated this step a couple more times until no fluid showed up in the reservoir.

Then I started the engine and reversed while turning the steering wheel until it hit left lock, stopped, and pumped out the reservoir. Then reversed again, turning the wheel until right lock, and pumped out the reservoir again.

At this point I had removed about 12.5 oz (372 ml) of fluid, it was considerably dark and almost black.

The filter inside the reservoir was dirty, but didn’t seem unreasonable considering it hadn’t been changed in almost 11 years or 87,000 miles (140,000 km).

I filled the reservoir to the full line with Mopar Power Steering Fluid +4, started it up (noise was considerable) for a few seconds, then shut it down and refilled the reservoir again. Repeated this a couple more times, then reversed down the driveway turning lock to lock, and drove back up the driveway turning lock to lock, refilling the reservoir each time.

Once the fluid level stabilized (it took almost a full quart in total) I went for a quick drive, the noise was almost gone, but still there if I accelerated too quickly into a left turn. Overall, it’s better, but there is still a power steering issue that needs to be addressed.

I’m sure starting the engine with little or no power steering fluid in the pump is not ideal, but I did not have a floor jack to lift up the front wheels and turn them manually without the engine running.

It’s back on the road now, so I can get it into my mechanic to take a look.

Any guesses what could be at fault here?

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· Registered
267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So not even two months and 1700km later (1100 miles) my power steering pump started making noise again.

Checked the fluid reservoir, it was low, so I topped it back up and the noise is gone again.

I haven’t noticed any obvious leaks on the ground when the car is parked but I’ll pay closer attention.

If it’s not a leak, could anything else cause the fluid level to drop so quickly?

Also wondering if I could be doing more damage to other power steering components by simply adding fluid as a temporary fix?
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