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w220 Power Steering Pump on its way out - Can I drive until fix?

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by Irresistance, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Irresistance

    Irresistance Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gdansk, Poland
    Your Mercedes:
    1988 W126 420SE, 2006 W209 200K & 1999 S210 320CDI
    Hello,

    Simple problem. The power steering pump makes a noise when the engine is on. Started yesterday. Noise clearly comes from the front near the belt - at first (Based on my description over the phone) my mechanic thought it could be the pulley on the alternator (which also needs replacement - but does not make noise yet) but upon closer inspection and a stethoscpoe analysis, the pump appears to be the culprit.

    It makes the kind of sound like some screw would be loose... clunk-ish, bit hard to describe. A bit as if the belt would be loose, but of course it is not (brand new, with new tensioner) It is not a whine... and flud level is OK. When steering, more noise occurs.

    Now - I have bought a brand new pump (LUK) for a really good price (about 160, seller has stopped dealing MB parts, does VW stuff, getting rid of stock - lucky me!) but I have a couple of questions:

    1) Can I continue to drive for the next couple of days - just need to do some minor errands like pick the kid from school etc...

    2) Is there a chance the rack is damaged as well, and if so, would driving around increase said damage?

    I tried to get an idea of the fluid quality - its brown (not black/spent) and I attempted to suck some out using a straw to see if any metal particulates are in it (none found), but obviously metal sinks so I did not really expect this to make much sense. Aside of the sound, all seems well although I just got the car and I am not entirely sure how powerful the assist on the steering should be if all is well.

    Car has spent the last couple of years not doing much - low mileage but I am starting to think this low mileage will come at a bit of a price with stuff failing now that it is going to be used more extensively.

    Thanks for any tips :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Your Mercedes:
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    In these matters I always slip the serpentine belt off and try everything that turns by had to see if anything can be felt.

    Yes the one way clutch on the alternator can make a noise and make the belt wobble, how long a steering pump might last is too hard for me to say
     
  3. OP
    Irresistance

    Irresistance Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    1988 W126 420SE, 2006 W209 200K & 1999 S210 320CDI
    The new pump still needs to be fitted - this is with the original (2004) in place.

    It's just that I dont want to end up replacing it only to have metal particles wreck the new one in no time.
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Only by turning it by hand will you ever know, I understand your worry but no other way
     
  5. OP
    Irresistance

    Irresistance Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    1988 W126 420SE, 2006 W209 200K & 1999 S210 320CDI
    Hello :) I understand your suggestion, but we (me and my skilled mechanic) are pretty sure the steering pump is indeed dying. I realize I could get more detail from loosening the belt and turning it, but at present I do not have this possibility (got a toolbox but I dont want to McGuyver on something as precise and complicated as this engine)

    The only thing I am curious about is whether it is likely that driving the car with the pump in this state is a bad idea and/or likely to make matters worse. The mechanic thinks so, and I have learned to follow his advise, but I wonder if a mere 100KM or so before it's fixed can really create massive problems :)
     
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    No one can answer that, nothing else one could say
     
  7. drmw

    drmw Moderator

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    Your Mercedes:
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    I think you've answered your own question there - it's a gamble
     

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