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Help!! Forester 2.5 xten power steering driving me insane


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I hope that someone can help me as I'm going insane with my 80k miles 2007 2.5 Forester xten and thinking of leaving the brand..

i bought it 1 year ago. As I commuted via train I hardly drove it during the week, mainly a few miles at weekends and probably clocked up less than 8k miles in the past year. After owning 2 months, the aux belt started screeching on startup and the steering wheel became stiff to turn when this occurred. I Observed the power steering pump stalling when cold, whilst turning the wheel.

I read every blog I could find about this, the majority pointed to the ps pump inlet elbow o-ring. Replaced it probably 10 times! It would be ok for a week or so, then symptoms got worse.

Symptoms were basically on start up, the ps pump stops turning until it was warming up.

During this time, the aux belt screeches its head off. Yes it has been tensioned correctly, before anyone asks.

Replaced the pump with a second hand unit (Subaru wanted £700 and 2-3 months for delivery). Replaced all fluid (Dexron III) and bled system for ages.

All was good for 3-4 months... then the same symptoms returned.

gradually worsened until car became almost undrivable for 15mins after starting it up. If turning a tight corner slowly, the pump sieges and then belt kept screeching, plus the car was extremely difficult to turn.

i replaced all the rubber hoses and the spring clamps from the reservoir, for proper worm drive clamps. All fluid was flushed out for the 2nd time using Dexron III as per the manual. Slight improvement for a couple of days only, then worse than ever.

So I replaced the pump again with another 2nd hand unit. All was fine again for 1-2 months and the issues returned.

Now thought it can only be the rack.

I took the opportunity to upgrade to a 2004 Sti rack and got a local garage to install it.

The steering feel has improved massively once warmed up, but the symptoms persist at start up and worsening with more use.

I am now at a complete loss as to what to do.

Can someone please help or recommend a specialist to resolve this?





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Totally understand, thank you for responding.

I'm hesitant to use Subaru as I feel that the first recommendation will be a new pump or rack..  I think there is very little likelihood that every pump installed has been faulty...

I look forward to the day that I too only have to check the levels 👍

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