280813Greg Haines

Hi Allan, the power steering pump in my Prado is howling whenever I make a turn. I checked the fluid, which was fine, and changed it out anyway with no improvement. A mechanic mate told me that it was probably the pulley bearing, so I spent a weekend (and $60 on a new puller) plucking the pulley off only to find out it didn’t even have a bearing!

It appears to be a central shaft running through the main body of the pump that the pulley attaches to via a simple bolt. Another mechanically knowledgeable mate has now told me that it’s probably the bearing on this mainshaft, and that I’ll need to pull the pump apart to get to it. Is this a difficult job requiring specialist tools or will I be able to handle it relatively easy?


Greg, without the specific mode or mileage it’s hard to be specific, but overhauling a power steering pump is not difficult and only requires a minimum of workshop equipment. On full lock it’s not unusual for the pump to make a bit of noise as it’s working hard to do what you’re asking. If however it’s noisy before you reach full lock, then you need to start looking at other things.

Maybe the steering linkage could be very tight causing the relief valve to be triggered, the fluid could be low (you mentioned you checked it but I’d check it again to be sure), the fluid could be contaminated, or if it gets air in it then they really make a loud noise. Before you start pulling things apart, I’d check the price of a new replacement pump, you might be surprised.

Let us know how you go.