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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
For more than a year, I've had a moaning/groaning sound coming from the steering column. At first, it was only present when it was cool/cold out. Now, it's present when it's also warm out. After consulting the forum, I had the dealer replace both the directional as well as headlight steering column mounted hardware. That wasn't it. The problem continues. Would prefer to be proactive versus reactive. So, any suggestions/ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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5,915 Posts
Are you absolutely certain it’s coming from the steering column itself? Moaning sounds happening as you turn the steering wheel are most often the pump. Have you noticed any difficulty with turning? I replaced my steering fluid pump a couple years ago and no more groaning. The sound seemed to come from the general front area and I can see how that could be interpreted as the steering column....sounds travel. How many miles on your FJ? Pumps have a lifespan.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #3
Are you absolutely certain it’s coming from the steering column itself? Moaning sounds happening as you turn the steering wheel are most often the pump. Have you noticed any difficulty with turning? I replaced my steering fluid pump a couple years ago and no more groaning. The sound seemed to come from the general front area and I can see how that could be interpreted as the steering column....sounds travel. How many miles on your FJ? Pumps have a lifespan.
90,000 miles on my 2013 FJ TT. Haven't noticed any difficulty steering. Agreed sound travels. What other symptoms would a bad or going bad pump have?

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"What other symptoms would a bad or going bad pump have?"

open the hood, engine on, and have someone operate the steering while you monitor for any change in noise from the engine area

If you can hear a noise change, narrow it down. You can use a long screwdriver, held against a pump, and touch the other end to your skull, just below your ear (or put the handle end right in your ear), and you can hear like a stethoscope. This is also handy for pinpointing a failing, noisy bearing too. Pay attention to where you put it so you don't get it caught in the spinning belt or fan, or short any wiring of course.

If everything spinning on the front of the engine gets ruled out you might also try the stethoscope trick on the steering column shaft itself, as perhaps a failing u-joint in it could make a noise.



Norm
 

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Premium Member
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
"What other symptoms would a bad or going bad pump have?"

open the hood, engine on, and have someone operate the steering while you monitor for any change in noise from the engine area

If you can hear a noise change, narrow it down. You can use a long screwdriver, held against a pump, and touch the other end to your skull, just below your ear (or put the handle end right in your ear), and you can hear like a stethoscope. This is also handy for pinpointing a failing, noisy bearing too. Pay attention to where you put it so you don't get it caught in the spinning belt or fan, or short any wiring of course.

If everything spinning on the front of the engine gets ruled out you might also try the stethoscope trick on the steering column shaft itself, as perhaps a failing u-joint in it could make a noise.



Norm
Will do. Thanks!
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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5,915 Posts
Good advice on locating the sound. If the pump is failing it will gradually become more difficult to turn the wheel and eventually will be impossible. If you don’t feel any extra resistance, particularly at the extremes yet hear increased groaning at full lock, your pump my still have some time left. Mine transitioned from that state to being VERY hard to turn when aired down/crawling through boulder fields. If you’re not offroad, it may only show mild symptoms and go on for a long time. Also the steering U joint is very easy to locate and lubricate. I’d really be surprised if that was failing at only 90k mi, or capable of making so much noise. To lube, on drivers side look in the opening just above the area of your CV axle and you’ll see a small U joint attached to a horizontal cable - hit it with plenty of WD40. It’s a maintence item well worth adding to the list.
 
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