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My 2003 A4 quattro 3.0 has a loud "groaning" noise when turning the wheel, most noticable at slow speeds. Power steering fluid was just flushed and filled (it was low, but no leaks were detected), problem went away for 24 hours and now back again. Fluid is at maximum level. Have complained to dealer on several occations about this, they don't seem to have a clue. Any ideas?
 

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My 02 3.0 is doing the same thing now. After having the fluid topped off, it went away until I drove it again the next day. I'm going to have it checked out this week and I'll post the results.
 

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Sorry to take so long updating this, but I think this site was down for a while b/c I couldn't get onto it. Anyway, I took it to the dealer and had them take a look at an array of problems I've been having with my A4 3.0, and they said that (and I don't trust this),

"The power stearing pump is faulty and needs to be replaced. And since it was faulty, some pieces of metal from it have made their way into the rack and pinion, so that needs to be replaced too."

I'm at a jeep dealer for my jeep repairs now, but I will try to scan the estimate when I get home. Total repair for both of those was about $2,500, the power stearing pump being about $900 of that, including labor.

I looked for the part online and found it for about $250 if I wanted to replace it myself, but I honestly don't think that's the problem here since the power stearing IS STILL ACTUALLY WORKING. It's just "whiney."

You can laugh when you see my rap sheet from this estimate and all the little things I wanted done. The total repair estimate for my list of requests was about $5,300, including $100 to replace the passenger side power window BUTTON (the black was flaking off).
 

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I have a 2003 A4 1.8T and I encountered a similar problem just recently. A groaning sound was coming from the front of the car everytime I turned the wheel all, espcially bad when I wasnt traveling fast and the car was cold. I brought it back to the dealership and they checked the fluids and such and said it was fine, but it had a bad steering rack. I would get that checked out, although beware because they took my car for an entire month while they waited for it to come in and then actually fix it and it was $1600. I havent heard the noise since then(knock on wood) but it might be worth checking out if its the same noise I was getting with my car. Good luck
 

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i brought my car to the dealer about 3 times for the groaning noise. They state they called up AUDI and this is normal. How do i convince the dealer to get my steering rack replaced since it worked for you?
 

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Doubt it's a rack

The 3.0L is notorious for faulty power steering pumps. Any Audi dealership should know that. I doubt the rack is faulty as they will cause a jump in the steering wheel while turning when they go bad. If there is a loud whine noise when turning the wheel to the lock when you are stationary then it is most assuradly your power steering pump. No need to replace the rack. If there is a "groaning" noise at slow speeds while turning and you are apllying any amount of brake pressure then the noise is actually coming from your brake caliper seal not releasing as there are updated seals to correct that problem. I would bank on a power steering pump though.
 

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low groaning noise

The 3.0L is notorious for faulty power steering pumps. Any Audi dealership should know that. I doubt the rack is faulty as they will cause a jump in the steering wheel while turning when they go bad. If there is a loud whine noise when turning the wheel to the lock when you are stationary then it is most assuradly your power steering pump. No need to replace the rack. If there is a "groaning" noise at slow speeds while turning and you are apllying any amount of brake pressure then the noise is actually coming from your brake caliper seal not releasing as there are updated seals to correct that problem. I would bank on a power steering pump though.
is there a known issue for power steering pumps for the s4 4.2L ? how much is it to replace the power steering pump? i still have this noise and it seems to be getting worse since i am hearing a lot these days. the noise happens when i start parking at low speed or reducing to low speed and turning. I did hear it a couple times without turning just stoping on a red light going slightly downhill. I notice it never happens when the road is flat. this is embarrasing to drive especially when no one knows what the problem is . Pls help
 

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If anyone is still having this issue, before you go and spend hundreds of dollars at the dealer give this a try. I have not tried this myself yet but I came across this posting at another site.

"These symptoms would be consistent with an air cavitation problem in the power steering system. I suspect if you open the steering fluid reservoir and inspect the fluid after it has been running and making the noise, it will be very aerated. This condition is more prone to occurring when the fluid is cold and thicker.

I suggest you first check the fluid level when cold. It should be between the min and max marks. Then start the vehicle and let it idle, but do NOT turn the wheel. Observe the fluid, it should circulate without any bubbles or noise. If it makes noise shut it off after about 5 seconds. This allows any trapped air to be expelled from the system in the reservoir. Wait about 1 minuet and repeat this procedure until it no longer makes noise and expels bubbles. Allow the vehicle to run until operating temperature is obtained as indicted by your temperature gauge. Now turn the wheel about 1/4 turn to the left and right. If it starts to make the noise again, shut it off and try the previous procedure. Repeat this turning procedure until you can go full lock left to right without any noises. This will confirm that any trapped air has been expelled from the system. While performing these procedures you should leave the filler cap off and adjust the level as necessary. Set the level to the max mark when hot and turned off.

Should the noise return during driving or the next time the vehicle is started cold, either the fluid is dirty/contaminated or there is an air leak (leaking into the system) between the reservoir and pump, or the pump has failed. I suggest you check for a possible air leak and or have the system flushed with the proper fluid, not just drain and fill, but a complete flush, as there is quite a bit of fluid in the steering rack and hoses that must be replaced.

If the condition returns after flushing, the pump has likely failed and would require replacement.
"
 

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My 2003 Audi A4 Cabriolet 3.0 is making the same noise. Is worse in cold weather and at slow speeds or when parked/sitting still. I have noticed that while not moving I can rev to 3000 rpm and turn the wheel fully to either side without any noise at all.

Has anyone else tried this and does anyone know if this helps with the diagnosis of the problem?

Dealership consistently says they can't reproduce the problem or the noise they hear is "normal". I know the car has not always made this groaning noise and that as loud as it is in cold weather, cannot be "normal."
 

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benchcat, I have exactly the same problem, I posted earlier to what I thought was the cause of the problem. I've gone through the process and hasn't fixed it. I've also tried adding the Lucas Steering leak seal, but hasn't helped. In my case as long as I'm above 2000 rpm I do not hear the noise it's only from 1200-1900 rpm. I have not gone to the dealer yet, I amd going to try and see if I can flush the system once more and add more Lucas Oil treatment. If that doesn't work then I am guessing it's going to have to be replacement of the power steering. It's possible that there's a loose fitting at the pump also... If you figure something out, please keep me posted. Thanks
 

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Afzal, I am no mechanic. A tool is an instrument of destruction in my hand so I am hesitant to try anything myself. This problem has been very frustrating to me especially because of the way the dealership views this problem.

If by some chance I do stumble upon an answer I will certainly post it here. If you decide to take yours to the dealership, I would be interested to hear what they tell you and if it would be different than what the dealership in Chattanooga, TN told me. Likewise if you find a solution to the problem I would appreciate you posting it here as well.

One other thing I have noticed with my car (don't know if it is relevant to roaring issue) is that when my tires are pointing straight ahead, my steering wheel seems to be slightly pointed to right.
 

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Benchat, Not sure if you had any luck, but I ended up replacing the steering pump. Here are few tips that you can look to confirm if you need to replace the pump. Check your steering reservior and see if it's foaming up after driving 5 minutes. If so most likely it's the steering pump. Second, you can get a mechanic's stethoscope (looks like this - Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices). Place it on the steering pump and you should hear a smooth sound similar to if you listen to valve cover without the ticking. If you hear harsh noise it means the pump is gone.

Replacing the pump is actually not very difficult as long as you have the right tools, primarily you need a 6mm hex socket, 22mm wrench for the banjo bolt, and special too to remove the serpentine belt. I ended up using a crowfoot (19mm) with a rachet and it did the job. The job will take you approximately 3 hours, you can probably do in less, but I took my time. It was the coldest this morning 31 degrees and I did not hear any noises. I've driving about 700 miles since replacing the pump.

Oh and you can pick up the steering pump from Autozone, will run you little over $180 plus core, and while you're at it you should replace the belt, another $30 and get the fluid from dealer, another $40. But all of that is much cheaper then dealer wanting $1200 to replace the steering pump.

If you don't have the repair manual, send me an PM and I'll email you the instructions.
 

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Afzal

Thanks for your reply. Did replacing the steering pump fix the noise problem?

That is way too ambitious for my meager abilities but I may have my local mechanic do the job for me at substantial savings - that is if it fixed the problem for you.

Thanks
 

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I'm also having the same problem. The steering makes groaning noise at slow speeds and while making turns. This morning when the engine was really cold 40°F was surprisingly smooth and there was no noise. Once the engine warmed up, the groaning noise came back right away.

I checked my Audi dealer.... the tech said he doesn't see anything with naked eye but he feels something wrong with steering. He wanted to do the diagnostics to identify the issue. I declined it ...
 

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Afzal

Thanks for your reply. Did replacing the steering pump fix the noise problem?

That is way too ambitious for my meager abilities but I may have my local mechanic do the job for me at substantial savings - that is if it fixed the problem for you.

Thanks
Yes the noise problem is fixed. If you can't tackle the fix your self, you can definitely save quite bit of money by going to your local mechanic. It's a pretty simple job for them. I wouldn't recommend if there were any specific things that an average mechanic couldn't do.

Goodluck
 
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