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Old 08-22-2012, 12:01 AM
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Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

Hi all,

We are replacing a 2001 WJ V6 2WD Laredo which was totaled recently in an accident. We just test drove a private sale 2001 WJ V8 2WD Laredo (same color!) It runs pretty well, but when you turn the steering wheel all the way to the left or right there is a grinding noise coming from the engine compartment. It is not the low groaning noise which I know is normal, this is louder, sharper, and doesn't sound right at all. It only happens when the wheel is turned to the absolute limit, otherwise the steering was fine. The steering wheel MIGHT have been ever so slightly harder to turn than our old WJ, although for the most part it felt fine.

I popped the hood, I am not familiar with where the steering pump is but the sound was coming right from the middle of the engine compartment.

Has anyone ever run into this? Could it simply be low steering fluid? I hope so, as this WJ looks great. I was leery of a V8 until I found out the mileage was almost the same anyway!

I am going to have a mechanic check it out tomorrow, and will have the power steering fluid checked.

Thanks all!
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:45 AM
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Re: Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

Welcome to the garage.
When the steering wheel is at its end of its travel, its normal that the power steering pump starts making some extra noise, eventhough i would not call it a grinding noise. At max travel, the steering pump will produce its maximum pressure and will have to work the hardest. When the fluid level is low, you normally will hear the pump moaning the whole travel range. You could easily check the fluid level yourself, there is a small dipstick fixed at the fluid fill cap. (the cap itself has a yellow decal with a steering wheel on it)
The pump itself is just at the right side of the alternator when standing in front of the engine. It can be that the power steering pump is at the end of its usefull live.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:05 AM
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Re: Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

Thanks for the welcome and the info! I will check the fluid first, just to see. But it does sound like the pump is going to go at some point soon.

From reading around, this is about a $150 part? I've done minor work but not much, so probably would be taking this to a shop if I bought it. I am guessing around $300?

Cheers
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:57 AM
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Re: Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

Rockauto.com has remanufactured pumps from $50 to $85 after core return. Donīt know about what a shop would ask for the install, but i think its around a 2 hr job with filling and bleeding the system.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:42 AM
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Re: Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

Wow, that's pretty cheap! Thanks again for the info. This is my 3rd Jeep (first was an original Jeep Cherokee a few years back.) They have been pretty good for the most part, the good thing is that repair costs have always been pretty reasonable. I did replace the radiator myself with my neighbor's help on our old WJ, which made that a pretty inexpensive repair for a major component.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:13 PM
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Re: Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

I got the part from Advance for about $65 I think, plus a quart of fluid. Took me about 2 to 2.5 hours with some trouble pressing the new pulley on the pump. An experienced mechanic should be able to do it much quicker.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:39 PM
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Re: Sharp grinding noise when steering wheel turned all the way

Thanks for the info guys. We ended up buying the Jeep, besides that steering pump issue it is in BEAUTIFUL shape for a 2001.

I will look for the pump and then decide what to do. For now the steering works absolutely fine, but will try to take of this soon. The power steering fluid seemed a bit low so I topped it off with the O'Reilly fluid which is listed as meeting the Chrysler 5931.
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