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AZTechBrian, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 708
Experience:  Owner
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I have a 97 Thunderbird. At low speeds or at idle, there is

Customer Question

I have a 97 Thunderbird. At low speeds or at idle, there is a growl when turning left and right. At idle, car loses power when turning on air conditioner or apply brakes. Power steering pump was replaced. Didn't help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 2 years ago.

Hello. Its not uncommon at all for the pump in those older fords to make noise. Even after replacing them. The re manufactured pumps are usually just as noisy as the pump they replaced. As long as your mechanic has properly bled the power steering system, There are a number of products that are useful for quieting the noise down. Lucas brand is what we always use for that particular pump. It works great. There are quite a few though that probably work very well.

If your car runs poorly when you turn on your AC, Try cleaning your IAC, idle air control. If cleaning it doesn't fix it then it may need to be replaced. When you turn on your AC, it puts additional load on your engine. The IAC helps compensate for this additional load by letting air bypass the throttle plate. If it's dirty or malfunctioning your car will run rough when you put additional load on the engine at idle.

If my answer has helped you please remember to accept and rate. If you need additional assistance, please feel free to ask. Thanks!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Brian, my mechanic has tried two different after market pumps and the problem continued. I had asked them to order a Ford pump but they wanted to do some more troubleshooting before doing that. When they saw how the idling dragged when turning the steering wheel, they want to check the idling problem. I don't accept that a new pump might continue this growling issue. Doesn't make sense to me.
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 2 years ago.

I have installed many of that particular pump and have seen it moan just as loud as the old one. Even after properly bleeding it. It's a known issue. I will let someone else have a shot at it in case im missing something.

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 2 years ago.

The engine has a hard time when they turn as well as when turning on the AC? Have they looked into the IAC?. A malfunctioning idle air control is the likely culprit. The aftermarket pumps they installed are most likely rebuilt and just as old as the car itself.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You say "that particular pump". What does that mean? I don't know what brand is currently installed. Should I contact the mechanic to see what brand it is?
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 2 years ago.

It is an OE pump that has just been remanufactured. It is an original ford pump. For some reason that style pump often times tends to be noisy even after they rebuild it. I don't know exactly why but have seen it many times