Why Do I Get A Noisy Power Steering Pump When Cold?

I get a noisy power steering pump when cold outside, what can I do about it? If you are looking to get the answer to this question, the article below is the place where you need to be

If you are experiencing a loud squealing or noise when you turn the steering, this noise may be coming from the steering pump. The primary reason for this noise is air getting into the steering pump system. This happens more when the weather is cold outside. 

When you turn the power steering on your car and the engine is still cold, you’ll hear a distinct noise coming from the steering pump. Air standing in the steering pump creates bubbles. 

These bubbles in the lines and systems will hinder the ability of the steering pump to create hydraulic suspension. We will further discuss a noisy power steering pump in this article. 

Noisy Power Steering Pump When Cold

How To Solve A Noisy Power Steering Pump When Cold?

If the noise from your steering pump goes down after the engine warms up, then the problem in the pump is related to a faulty O-ring. This defective O-ring is present on the inlet of the hose joint. 

The purpose of the O-ring is to allow air into the system. You can get rid of this noise that your power steering pump is generating by replacing the O-ring. Some simple steps to replace the O-ring in your vehicle are:

  • The first task is to place a bucket under the power steering pump. You can put any necessary screws or bolts in the bucket, and it will also catch any fluids spilling from your car. 
  • You need to loosen the inlet hose joint by removing the bolts attached. This inlet hose joint should connect to the power steering pump. 
  • Then you need to remove the hose fitting from the power steering pump and empty or drain the fluid in the bucket you had kept before. 
  • Now you are ready to remove the O-ring from your vehicle. Before putting on the new O-ring, you need to gently lubricate it. The best thing to lubricate the O-ring is the power steering pump fluid. After that, carefully connect the O-ring to the fitting slot. 
  • Your next task is to fit the O-ring into the steering pump. After that, tighten the fitting with the wrench so that the steering pump is operational again. 
  • Now you are good to start the engine. Also, remember to fill the steering pump tank with power steering fluid. A cleaner fluid and a new fitting will enhance the performance of your car. You can also bleed the system to remove any trapped air inside the vehicle. 


You might like to read: What Happens When Power Steering Pump Goes Out?


Honda Accord Power Steering Noise When Cold

If you own a Honda Accord, you are most likely familiar with a loud whine coming from the power steering wheel pump on a cold day

You’ll hear the noise from the steering pump whenever the car is cold and you are turning the power steering wheel from left to right and from right to left. The root cause for this noisy steering pump problem is a defective O-ring. 

The sound coming from the steering pump is easy to detect as it is pretty distinct. According to Honda, this sound problem occurs because air gets inside the steering system through the steering pump inlet. This air leads to the formation of air bubbles in the steering pump fluid, due to which the pump’s performance reduces. 

Noisy Power Steering Pump When Cold

Honda Odyssey Power Steering Noise When Cold

The Honda Odyssey’s power steering might be making a distinct noise when the vehicle is colder. It is very likely to be the fault of the reservoir and the pump inlet o-ring. The best solution to remove this noise from the steering wheel is to replace the pump. 

Remember that you will also have to flush the fluid from the pump and change the pump fluid remaining in the tank should also be changed. 

Power Steering Pump Whines When Cold

The noise coming from your power steering wheel pump is very easily detectable as the pump is very likely to be broken. Other causes can result in the power steering pump not having enough steering pump fluid stock. 

There are a few signs that you can notice to make sure it is your power steering pump that is causing you problems. The funny noise can either be coming from the serpentine belt slipping away from the power steering pulley, or it could be coming from the power steering pump itself. 

Squealing Sound: Serpentine Belt

If the frequency of the noise from the power steering is increasing, and the sound level is growing, the serpentine belt can be one of the causes behind it. The sounds are more like a squeal than a whine. 

If you hear a squealing sound while you start your car from cold, then the issue in your vehicle is with the belt; otherwise, there may be another issue. 

Noisy Power Steering Pump When Cold

Whining sound: Power steering fluid

Suppose the sound from your car is more like a whine than a squeal, then it has a problem with the power steering pump fluid. As you turn your car left and right, this noise will rise in volume. 

This sound can be because the cold weather outside affects the steering fluid. The steering fluid starts to harden since this fluid is a dense material. It will get colder in the winter weather. 

The steering wheel pump might not be getting a free flow of the steering wheel fluid. Due to this uneven supply, the steering starts getting dry and stuck when making sharp turns on it. 

The power steering wheel fluid tends to get thicker as it gets older. New and fresh steering fluid is more resistant to the cold, but the steering wheel pump fluid loses its resistance with time due to wear and tear. 

The ideal solution for this problem is to change the steering wheel pump fluid when you get your car serviced. The better the quality of steering wheel fluid you use will result in better handling and conditioning of the pump. 


You might like to read: What Happens When Power Steering Pump Goes Out?


Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Does cold weather affect your power steering?

Yes, cold weather will affect your power steering. When the temperature outside your car drops below minus 30 degrees celsius, regular power steering fluid becomes useless. Even if you can use this power steering fluid, it will not be as effective as you think it might be. 


The power steering fluid will not flow properly in the winter. Due to this, the power steering will not receive ample power. It is most likely that the growling noise that you hear after you start your car in the cold is the power steering running on less power steering fluid. 

#2. How do I stop my power steering pump from making noise?

You can stop your power steering from making noise if you don’t turn the steering wheel till it stops. You should refrain from turning the wheel in both ways, left and right. You need to be cautious while making low-speed turns and keeping your vehicle’s engine idle. 

When you force the steering wheel to its maximum limit, this steering wheel pump releases the pressure resulting in automatic pressure relief on the power steering pump. You are cutting off the supply of the pump. 

#3. Why does my car make a weird noise when it’s cold?

Your car can be making some weird noises in the cold for various reasons. Generally, the cold weather can increase the underlying problems of your vehicle. You may suddenly start hearing some squeaky, squealing, or other funny noises while driving your car in the cold weather. 

The primary reason for this could also be that the engine in your car is not warm enough at the moment. The funny noise can come from the engine belt, serpentine belt, air conditioning in the car, or even the power steering pump. 

Noisy Power Steering Pump When Cold

#4. Can you drive with a noisy power steering pump?

Hearing noises while you turn a steering wheel shows that your power steering wheel pump is not working effectively. In an emergency, you can drive your car without power steering. 

Driving the car without power steering will be pretty tricky. It is known that you should not drive a bigger car without power steering. 

#5. How long does it take to get the air out of power steering?

It may take you some time to remove the air out of your power steering if you remove or replace the power steering pump. There are about 50 complete lock to lock cycles that you need to get the air out of your new gear. 

You need to complete these 50 cycles gradually. You should also check the power steering wheel pump fluid every 20 processes. 


You might like to read: Why Does Honda Accord Power Steering Pump Make Noise When Cold


A Few Final Words

There is a possibility that your new vehicle started making some weird or loud noises while the power steering pump was colder. During the cold, the engine in the vehicle is not warm enough. Since the engine is not warm enough, the power steering pump fluid is not freely flowing through the entire system. 

Thank you for reading the article, we hope we were able to guide you to the right cause behind your noisy steering wheel pump. If you still have doubts, please drop us a word in the comments and we will get back to you.

Photo of author

Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

Leave a Comment