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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. For the last week or so, my car would squeal when turning on, and when reversing from parking spot. I'm thinking it's the power steering pump or belt (??) because prior to this, I've had a slow leak for the last several months.

Im going to a mechanic next week. If it is the pump, how much am I looking to pay here? Is there anything else that could be causing the squeal? Thank you. :confused:

2001 XL7 with 167k miles. Hoping to last til 200k miles :) ... without dropping too much money.
 

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Its possible that an old and cracked belt could cause a squeal, or they are over tightened or under tightened in terms of their tension around the pulleys.

The leak could be from a power steering hose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I do hope it is a belt... sounds a lot cheaper.

Also wanted to add that I have been using Lucas Stop Leak PS Fluid for the last 1 1/2 months...which although made the car sound better/didn't have to fill up as quickly... possibly may have caused this? What do you think? ;\

I am going to flush the fluid tomorrow anyway and refill with proper fluid...
 

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Stop leak stuff is just a bandaid to a problem, and I don't see the point of flushing the power steering fluid out and refilling it if there's still a suspected leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The squeal started happening a bit after I started using that fluid... wasn't sure if it caused it. But I'll take your word for it!
 

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Squealing would normally indicate a belt tension issue. Keep in mind it could be either belt (do a search and you'll find it's a common problem.) If they're old belts it might be time to replace them.

PS: Is it possible some power steering fluid has got on the belts?
 

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I do so hate to see a squealing belt described as a belt tension issue - it's more of a belt slip issue and tension of lack thereof is only one of the possible causes.

I've had belts slip because they are worn and because of glazed pulleys and increasing the belt tension will no help in either of those cases, I've had belts squeal because of misalignment and in one case which I will remember for years to come (and this happened two decades ago), the cause of the intermittent belt squeal was the alternator output lead shorting to the block - no blown fuses, no fires - but every time the lead shorted out, the alternator would lock up, and the belt would slip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm mainly afraid that it's going to be a $500+ job :( What are the odds of that? Other than the slow leak & recent squeal, it drives/feels fine...
 

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I do so hate to see a squealing belt described as a belt tension issue - it's more of a belt slip issue and tension of lack thereof is only one of the possible causes.

I've had belts slip because they are worn and because of glazed pulleys and increasing the belt tension will no help in either of those cases, I've had belts squeal because of misalignment and in one case which I will remember for years to come (and this happened two decades ago), the cause of the intermittent belt squeal was the alternator output lead shorting to the block - no blown fuses, no fires - but every time the lead shorted out, the alternator would lock up, and the belt would slip.
So quick to jump in a criticise :rolleyes:, but very slow to post any help. Yes, misdiagnosis is a problem when all you've to go on is a "squealing" noise. The power steering system could require bleeding- especially given the leaking- but one step at a time....

PS: You might have noticed the bit about "time to replace the belts"? ie. they could be old and crusty.....
 

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Sorry Dave - but THAT is a "pet peeve" of mine - having repeatedly tightened & replaced drive belts because of squealing, not related to either belt condition or tension will do that to you - in my case the belt was not slipping it was rubbing on the edge of the pulley due to misalignment.

I did list the other possible causes for belt squeal - worn belts, glazed or misaligned pulleys, and possible overloading - and yes I did note the "old & crusty".
 
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