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Suspension & Steering - 2001 - 2010 Discuss OEM & aftermarket suspension, lifts, street suspension, air ride suspension, steering components, etc. First through fourth generation.

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Old 11-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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06 steering gear box

I have an 06 3500 that had the steering gear box replaced about 3 weeks ago at 30,000 miles

The steering works fine until I drive at highway speeds of 65 to 70 for several hours. I just took a long trip and drove at that speed for about 14 hours a day. When I pulled off the highway for the day I get a grinding type noise when turning the steering left or right quickly, as in parking it. I do not get this noise when using the truck on short trips or when turning the steering at slower rates.

At one point I stopped in to see a dealer but I had not been driving as described so no noise. The tech checked the power steering fluid and found white stuff on the under side of the cap, he said it might be that they did not purge all the air out of the system after the new gear box install.

I'm going to take it back to the dealer that did the work but like I said it won't act up until I drive at high speed for a while.

Any ideas as to what can cause this? Could there still be air in the power steering lines? If so can someone describe what it would sound like?


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Old 11-20-2009, 07:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Anyone have any ideas on this?

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Old 11-20-2009, 11:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Put a power steering cooler on it. Search for power steering whine. Lots of us have had this problem after long fwy runs. The fluid is getting to hot. Do what GM should have done and install the factory cooler. Problem solved.

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Old 11-20-2009, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply.

As you suggested I did a search on power steering whine and found it helpful.

I'm not sure if I can call this a whine. One thread spoke about "caveatting" when the fluid got hot. A weak pump may also be the problem.

The noise I hear when tuning sounds more like a grinding noise through the whole steering column. It will happen more when turning the steering fast at low speed as, in parking, then it will turning the steering wheel slow, not always an option.

While I had some issues that led to the replacement of the gear box, steering locked up a couple of times, I didn't have the issues I have now. On the good side the steering doesn't lock up any more.

The truck is still under extended warranty and I have an appointment for Monday to have it checked out.

Thanks again for the point in the right direction.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I didn't get to the dealer until today, life got in the way.

Turns out that there was air in the power steering system that expanded when the temperature elevated at highway speeds. This seems to have caused a vibration in the steering system.

Seems Mr. Goodwrench failed to properly bleed the system after the steering gear box replacement.

Another thing I discovered is that this same dealer did not lube the front end during the last two oil/lube cycles. I discovered this by visiting a dealer on my road trip. The tech asked me when the last time I had the front end lubed when I responded a week ago he informed me that they were pretty close to dry and that it was hard to tell when the last time they were greased. I brought this to the service managers attention today. His response was pretty much "Oh Well". That really ticked me off.

I envy you guys that know the ins and outs of these vehicles and can do your own work.
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