Power Steering Pump question

I have a 97 Outback that the local garage told me will likely need a new power steering pump in the next 5 months or so. He said it is
whining now, and will fail. He wants $575 to replace it.
Can anyone out there tell me: 1. Where is the pump? I thought it would be attached to the power steering reservoir, but it looks like I'm mistaken 2. Is changing the pump something I can do myself? I am reasonably competent with car repairs, but never took on something like this before. How long will it take?
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Bilbo wrote:

Don't know about Subaru's, but back when I had a pair of Ford Tauruses, the PS pumps whined for years without failing...
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what's exactly the problem with the power steering pump....? These pumps mostly survive a (Subaru) car-lifetime. Did you check the oil-level?

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The oil level is fine. Power steering fluid was a little low, but not much. I initially brought the car in because of some rattling in the front end (turned out to be the heat shield falling apart). But at the same time, the mechanic said he also heard the power steering pump "humming" and that it will need to be replaced in 5-6 months.
Wvd wrote:

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A second opinion - or just waiting - is in order. Whining is typically caused by cavitation in the fluid and may indicate wear of the pump surfaces (or even just air entrained in the fluid) but is rarely a harbinger of failure.

If you need a new pump... Haven't done Subies, but it is a moderate DIY job in most cars. The fittings require good wrenches because they are usually ungodly tight. The only thing to watch out for is that for some vehicles there is a very particular bleeding process. Not hard, but you need to know what to do. You ought to find a much more affordable pump with a 30 day warranty (more than enough to be sure you have a good one) at wrecking yards. At ten model years old the supply is beginning to peak.
Mike
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Bilbo wrote:

Make sure it isn't the aircon idler pulley screaming. I've had to remove, clean and regrease that pulley on 2 Subarus and one Datson.
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