2004 Santa Fe power steering pump

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I just spent almost $1,500 and had the timing belt, tensioner, pulley, and two belts replaced on my 2004 Santa Fe 3.5 L V6 at a Hyundai dealership --
plus other service that was done at the same time that was included in the $1,500 (transmission service, cooling system flush, oil change, throttle body cleaning, etc.). I had to go back a few days later due to a noisy rattling sound in the engine compartment, and they said it needs a new power steering pump. They said the cost to install a new pump and pressure hose is about $800 to $900. They said that part of why the cost is so high is the cost of the parts. They also said that when replacing the pump the pressure hose always gets replaced at the same time. The vehicle has 77,000 miles on it and I am the second owner, so it is not covered under any warranty.
Unfortunately, I didn't know beforehand that the whole job, plus the $900 power steering pump and hose was going to end up costing $2,300 to $2,400. If I knew that up front, I would have just traded it in and bought a newer Santa Fe -- maybe a 2009 or 2010 still under warranty. But now I have to decide about getting the power steering pump and hose replaced.
How hard is it to access and replace the power steering pump and hose on this vehicle? Is there some much more reasonably priced way to get this done? -- such as buy the parts and do it myself, or have it done elsewhere not at a dealership?
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1. Before moving straight to replacing the pump, I'm curious to know whether the fluid reservoir was checked for contamination. It's not uncommon for the mechanic to remove the reservoir or separate portions of the pressure line to allow for more room to access the timing belt area. In a few cases, this has resulted in the debris throughout the fluid to drain through the screen and clog enough of it to not allow proper fluid flow. In most cases, this results in a humming or whining noise on cold starts that tends to reduce or go away as the vehicle is driven. Hyundai even has a technical service bulletin (08- ST-001) instructing technicians to inspect the reservoir in the event of whining noise.
2. It is not necessary to replace the pressure line when replacing the pump, but the line fails with a much higher frequency than the pump. There isn't enough labor overlap between these to jobs to justify recommending doing them together if the line is otherwise in good condition.
3. There are cheaper (and remanufactured) pumps available at places other than the dealer. But the pump and line attachments are hard enough to access that you're likely to have great difficulty replacing it yourself.
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hyundaitech wrote:

Thanks.
I'm not sure about the contamination possibility, but there is definitely no whining noise or humming. The noise is a rattling and metal clunking type of sound, and the sound is there all the time -- not just when it is cold -- and it is no different whether I am turning the steering wheel or not. I thought they must have left some kind of metal housing loose or something like that when they put things back together. But they said they are sure it is the power steering pump that is making the noise -- I asked them a couple of times about that. I did just look in the top of the power steering fluid reservoir and I didn't notice anything unusual, but I don't think I would be able to see anything there anyway in terms of contamination etc.
I am glad you pointed out that the pressure hose a pump are mostly two separate repairs with little labor overlap. That makes me a little more uncomfortable with what they were telling me because I specifically asked them if the pressure hose needs to be replaced or if that is just something that is done when the pump is replaced. They said that both are done together when the pump is being replaced. At this point, I have already had enough future prevention type of work done on the vehicle, so if the pressure hose replacement is a future prevention job I don't want to go ahead with that.
Someone suggested that it may be a good idea to have it looked at elsewhere and just say that there is a loud rattling noise without mentioning that it may be the power steering pump. Then see what the new place thinks is causing the noise. I may try that.
I can't quite picture how the power steering pump could be making this type of rattling clunking metal type of noise. But, one thing they said was that in the worst case scenario, the shaft of the pump could come loose and fall out which would cause the power steering to stop working. So I said to them that I guess that means that the shaft itself may be loose and maybe as it turns it is causing the rattling/clunking sound.
I am also going to try calling another dealership and just asking what it would cost to have the power steering pump replaced.
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On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 10:04:10 -0500, JayR wrote:

The car would still be driveable, just very much harder to steer, like we used to have to do in the old days.
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?

Don't count on the drivability. It will be much harder as cars are designed to have power assist these days and without it, steering is far worse than the manual of years gone by. Many would be just plain unsafe for normal use.
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On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 22:16:56 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I can, had to do it once with a 1962 Monterey, the power steering pump failed, could still manage to make it home,BTW I repaired that particular pump, took it apart and just had put in a new 'O' ring, it ran like new again.
Agree driving without the power assist would be harder, but safe enough to get you home.
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?

Go to a big parking lot, put car in neutral, kill the engine. Then get back to us with how far you'd drive it to get home. The '62 Monterey steering design is long gone.
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On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 21:56:49 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The above does not make much sense, what are you trying to say?
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?
wrote

Your experience with a '62 Monterey does not apply to 2000 and newer cars. They are very difficult to steer when the power goes out. Most would be OK to get to the side of the road, but not safe to drive home more than a mile or so, if that.
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On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:09:50 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I would agree with that summation, a lot depends too on the size of the vehicle. This search on Google indicates that Power Steering pump failures are fairly common, some drivers have just ripped the belt off and have driven for months and even years without PS assist.
http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=nw#q=driving+without+power+steering+hard&hl=en&site=webhp&prmd=ivnsfd&psj=1&ei=7pFeTciKEJHmsQO5_8HUCA&start &sa=N&bav=on.1,or.&fp^2b21bd614e0a97
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I agree that it probably would be almost undriveable. But, if it failed while driving, I am guessing that I would be able to it off to the side of the road.
My plan is to figure out exactly what is causing the noise -- most likely the power steering pump -- and then get it fixed. So far, it doesn't look like it is something that I could easily replace on my own.
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Irwell wrote:

It is actually much worse than in the old days. The gearing of a manual steering gearbox was much lower than today's power assisted steering. A power steering car without the assist is probably 3-4X harder to steer than is a car designed with manual steering.
Matt
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This is very true. We had the PS pump fail on our Entourage. It was completely unsafe to drive. I couldn't even turn the wheel enough to get out of the garage safely. It might have been better at a high speed, but still nothing like the old days.
Eric
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JayR wrote:

This is a follow-up question.
I just figured out how to access the shop manuals etc. online through http://hmaservice.com .
When I looked up the power steering oil pump, this is what it says in the troublehshooting section regarding "Noise" (hopefully, I can get the text to format correctly here):
----- Quoted text from manual starts here -----
Noise:
1) Hissing Noise in Steering Gear:
There is some noise with all power steering systems. One of the most common is a hissing sound when the steering wheel is turned and the car is not moving. This noise will be most evident when turning the wheel while the brakes are being applied. There is no relationship between this noise and steering performance. Do not replace the valve unless the "hissing" noise becomes extreme. A replaced valve will also make a slight noise, andis not always a solution for the condition.
2) Rattling or chucking noise in the rack and pinion:
Interference with hoses from vehicle body Loose gear box bracket Loose tie rod end and/or ball joint Worn tie rod and/or ball joint
3) Noise in the oil pump:
Low fluid level -- Replenish Air in the fluid -- Bleed air Loose pump mounting bolts -- Retighten
4) A slight "grinding noise" may be heard immediately after the engine is started in extremely cold weather conditions (below-20C). This is due to power steering fluid characteristics in extreme cold conditionsand is not an indication of a malfunction.
----- Quoted text from manual ends here -----
The noise I have is clearly not 1, 2, or 4 from the list above.
Although # 3 above doesn't say what type of noise, that's the only one left; and, of those, the only one that seems likely or possible is "Loose pump mounting bolts". I assume that they would have seen that and fixed if if that was the problem.
What I don't see anywhere is anything else in the Troubleshooting section for the power steering oil pump that describes the kind of noise I am hearing. It just seems strange that after all of the work I had done, this fairly loud noise suddently develops, and they say it's the power steering pump -- but nothing like that (other than the mounting bolts) is described in the Hyundai troubleshooting section in the shop manual.
Maybe, I'll try getting under the vehicle and looking to see what I can see, or getting someone to put it up on a lift and see if there is any way to really tell what is making the noise and why.
I don't know if I dly
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JayR wrote:

Here's just a little more followup. I looked underneath the vehicle and it is clearly too hard to get to for me to try to replace it on my own. It is also now leaking power steering fluid. I checked at another dealership and their price for replacing just the pump is about $540, which is a lot less than the $800-$900 price I was given for doing the pump and the pressure hose. They said it is about a 3 hour job to replace the pump. So, I'll probably just get it done.
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This power steering pump is actually in close proximity to the unibody frame rail. If the shaft breaks internally, it may slide out and actually bang into the frame rail, causing a noise similar to what you describe. Just a guess, though.
You've also managed to find the least useful section of the repair manual. While better than they were several years ago, the diagnostic information in the manual will often lead you down the wrong path. I cannot tell you how many computers I would have needlessly replaced had I always followed the diagnostic charts. With experience, I found it was much more accurate to develop my own diagnostic procedures based on the operating principles of the device in question.
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hyundaitech wrote:

Thanks again hyundaitech. The information you provide is always excellent.
I called a third Hyundai dealership this morning and they said they have the parts in stock and that they could replace the power steering pump today for $410 (which includes the 6% state sales tax). So I took it there and they did the work. All I said was that it needed a power steering pump, and I explained the background and the noise that it was making etc. About 2 1/2 hours later they said it was done. The noise is completely gone and everything is running fine. Although when I called I asked about a price to replace the pressure hose (which was $330 including the sales tax), I didn't say anything about replacing the hose when I brought it in. I'm sure that if they saw that it needed a pressure hose they would have said something when they were replacing the pump.
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A rebuilt pump would be half that plus labor, a fair price. If it is a new pump, it is a very good price. Glad your problem is solved.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

It was a new pump ($278), plus power steering fluid, but the labor charge was only $100. The more I think about it, I have a hunch they made a mistake and charged less than the normal labor for this job. But the price they gave me on the phone was $410, and that's what they ended up charging me.
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I think they may have undercharged for the pump, too. I don't think I've ever seen a Hyundai power steering pump that inexpensive.
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