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goodwrench9124, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3432
Experience:  Ase Master Certified, GM Master Certified Tech. Awarded GM Top performer, Hybrid certified
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2001 Impala: power steering pump..rpms..OEM..fluid due to a hose leak

Customer Question

Problem: 2001 Impala power steering pump makes a groaning noise, when wheel is turned at low engine rpms. Sometimes steering effort is measurably increased. OEM pump ran low on fluid due to a hose leak, and developed same problem. Fixing hose and refilling did not fix noise. New OEM supplier re-man pump has the same problem. Shop said they even pulled vacuum on fluid reservoir to extract bubbles that could cause cavitation. Suction hose leak?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  goodwrench9124 replied 9 years ago.

Hello, bleeding air from the power steering pump can be very difficult. look at the power steering fluid in the pump, if it has a foam like appearance, or small bubbles. it still has air in the system. make take several attempts to get air from system. if after several attempts, you cant get the air out. you may have to remove the pump and inspect the o-ring between the pump and the resivor tank. i have seen alot of these o-rings get cut during pump replacements.


Object Number: 482358  Size: SH

Power Steering System Bleeding


    Use clean, new power steering fluid type only. See the Maintenance and Lubrication subsection for fluid specifications. Refer to Fluid and Lubricant Recommendations
    Hoses touching the frame, body or engine may cause system noise. Verify that the hoses do not touch any other part of the vehicle.
    Loose connections may not leak, but could allow air into the steering system. Verify that all hose connections are tight.


    Important: Power steering fluid level must be maintained throughout bleed procedure.

  1. Fill pump reservoir with fluid to minimum system level, FULL COLD level, or middle of hash mark on cap stick fluid level indicator.

    Important: With hydro-boost only, the oil level will appear falsely high if the hydro-boost accumulator is not fully charged. Do not apply the brake pedal with the engine OFF. This will discharge the hydro-boost accumulator.

  2. If equipped with hydro-boost, fully charge the hydro-boost accumulator using the following procedure:
    2.1. Start the engine.
    2.2. Firmly apply the brake pedal 10-15 times.
    2.3. Turn the engine OFF.
  3. Raise the vehicle until the front wheels are off the ground.
  4. Key on engine OFF, turn the steering wheel from stop to stop 12 times.

    Vehicles equipped with hydro-boost systems or longer length power steering hoses may require turns up to 15 to 20 stop to stops.

  5. Verify power steering fluid level per operating specification. Refer to Checking and Adding Power Steering Fluid
  6. Start the engine. Rotate steering wheel from left to right. Check for sign of cavitation or fluid aeration (pump noise/whining).
  7. Verify the fluid level. Repeat the bleed procedure if necessary.
goodwrench9124 and 4 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
This Impala still has a vacuum assist canister on the master cylinder, so I doubt it has hydro boost. I thought power steering systems would self bleed with time. Why does this one need s special evacuation procedure? Thanks for the help - i'll pass it on to my mechanic. This is a job for a lift. Damn GM for putting the pump and reservoir down where you can't see it!
Expert:  goodwrench9124 replied 9 years ago.
I agree, for whatever the reason, this vehicle is very hard to bleed all the air out in a timely fashion. even with the use of a vac pump makes it tough.