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Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: GM
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Experience:  ASE Master Tech.20+ years exp. 9 years self employed. Participant on AutoLab Radio broadcast
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GM Chev Malibu: Hi 2010 Chev Malibu - when its cold out

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2010 Chev Malibu - when its cold out 10F lets say. Power steering pump sounds like its cavitating - making Hydraulic cavitation noise.
Hello and good evening, does the noise diminish as the engine warms up?

Your JA Expert,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes - it first very loud - high pitch - increases as wheel is turned. As oil warms it goes away - my briefly reappear while driving - steering feel is normal

Good news! There is a technical service bulletin for something that fits this like a glove. When the temperature gets below 22 degrees, the fluid thickens up which in turn causes the noise you are hearing. The fix is flushing the system and refilling with GM cold climate power steering fluid. It also says that this should be done to avoid any damage to the power steering components.


Bulletin No.: 12-02-32-002

Date: February 21, 2012

Subject: Power Steering Fluid Leak from Power Steering Pump, Gear or High Pressure Hose During Extreme Low Temperature Operation (Replace Power Steering Fluid)
2012 and Prior GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks


Some customers may comment that their vehicle is experiencing a power steering fluid leak from the power steering pump, gear or high pressure side power steering hose during extreme low outdoor temperature operation.


During extremely low temperatures, -30°C (-22°F) or lower, the power steering fluid may thicken and the power steering system pressures may rise, causing damage to various components.


To resolve this condition, replace any damaged power steering system components, flush the power steering system and refill with Cold Climate power steering fluid. Refer to Power Steering in SI.

The part number for this fluid is 12345866 for a 16 oz bottle and part number 12345867 for a 32 oz bottle.

That should fix your problem.

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