Taurus 2001,Possible Power Steer Prob.

Start the car when the engine is cold and drive away, there is a squeeling noise.
I checked the power steering fluid and topped it up. Problem continues but
as the engine and fliuds warm up the noise reduces until eventually it almost disappears. Is this a power steering problem? I read somewhere this may indicate the pump is failing. Any ideas? Thanks, Gary
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

More likely it's a bad serpentine belt or belt tensioner. The belt is slipping on one of the pulleys. Do NOT use any form of belt dressing on a serpentine belt. Check it out to see if there are any long cracks or missing chunks, and if it looks glazed.
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says...

Thank you Andrew, I will check the belt and tensioner. I did forget to mention that the noise only occurs when turning the steering wheel. Once back on a straight line there is no noise. Does this help further? Thanks in advance, Gary
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

It COULD be a bad pump putting excess stress on the belt. What happens when you turn the AC on with a cold engine? Does it also squeal then?
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says...

I live in South Texas. You only start the car with the AC on, engine cold or not. So I can only tell you it squeals with the AC on!
Thanks for the response. Gary
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Was the P/S/ fluid low?
The noise could be one of many things. The tensioner could be going bad. The belt may just need replacing. One of the idler pulleys could be going bad.
A P/S pump noise does not typically act in the fashion you describe. What is more likely possible is that when you start the car cold, you drain off some of the battery. Because of this the alternator is required to charge the battery, so it will put a higher load on the belt. If the belt is not tensioned enough because of a week tensioner the belt slips making noise. As the battery charge goes back to normal the alternator does not need to "put out" as much, so the load is less, belt stops slipping.

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