Loud screechy sound when turning steering wheel (after overnight)

Technical Discussions - Got a mechanical problem?

Moderator: bajabob

Post Reply
Rok71
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:47 pm

Loud screechy sound when turning steering wheel (after overnight)

Post by Rok71 »

It gives me a fairly loud screechy sound every time I attempt to turn the steering wheel and start driving in the morning and pulling it out of the driveway.

The sound is when I true the steering wheel. Either left or right -- does not make a differences. Te sound is there even when I am not actually driving. If I sit in the driveway, car not moving, brakes not engaged, and turn the steering wheel -- it will give me the screechy sound. Kind of high pitched.

Once I drive it for a while (few min), the sound disappears.

I checked power steering fluid -- it is full.

What else could this be?
2006 Baja Sport, 73K
ZUBAJA
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Loud screechy sound when turning steering wheel (after overnight)

Post by ZUBAJA »

Very possible it could be your power steering belt. There is a specification of how far you should be able to push the belt between pulleys to check tension. Look up Subaru power steering belt tension. Warning: if you decide to tighten the belts (again, look up how) be careful to not overtighten them. Getting them too tight can ruin your harmonic balancer (crankshaft pulley).
These cars (Baja and Outback) are also prone to some cold start power steering issues because of the design of the power steering system. Some vehicles exhibit "no power steering assist" when cold. Another symptom can be air getting into the power steering system overnight because of a leaky O-ring on top of the power steering pump (I just fixed this on mine a few weeks ago and then replaced my steering rack this weekend bacause it started leaking. Dennis
Rok71
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:47 pm

Re: Loud screechy sound when turning steering wheel (after overnight)

Post by Rok71 »

Thanks for the tips, Dennis!

Did you fix leaky o-ring because of the sound? Or just because it was leaky? Did your power steering make any screeching noise before it was fixed?
2006 Baja Sport, 73K
ZUBAJA
Scoobytruck Master
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Loud screechy sound when turning steering wheel (after overnight)

Post by ZUBAJA »

Low fluid or air in the system usually causes a whirring sound. I also had no power assist when it was cold. Subaru sells the O-rings, but I kind of feel that all yours needs is a belt adjustment. Dennis
Rok71
Scoobytruck Lurker
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:47 pm

Re: Loud screechy sound when turning steering wheel (after overnight)

Post by Rok71 »

I think you were right. I checked belt tension (the one that runs alternator and power steering pump) by pressing on it. It gave more than I thought it should.

So, I adjusted it by tightening a little bit. This morning, there was no screechy sound. Hope this is it.

But I will keep my eye (my ear, actually) on it for the next few morning...

Thanks or the tips!
2006 Baja Sport, 73K
Post Reply