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Help with this devilish whine noise.

3319 Views 23 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  06TypS
So i've owned this 06 base rsx for about 5 months or so now And this whine is getting worse and worse. To give some insight from research Ive done I know it can be anywhere from the Ps pump, the pump o ring, air in the system, not using oem fluid, to low of level, the serpentine belt, the belt tensioner, or a bearing on one of the accessories pumps(A/c, alternator).

What I have done so far:
New tensioner(Reason for this is it was doing the very common ticking from a stretched belt and replacing this fixed that noise but did nothing to the belt, the tensioner indicator arrow was outside of the little box but doing the belt fixed the issue and was no inside the brackets). NOW the arrow is all the right to the right of that box just not right in the middle leading me to believe that this is a tensioner problem and maybe the bearing is making the noise

I did the "Safe" bleeding of the power steering, i used a turkey baster to suck up as much fluid as I can(ENGINE OFF), and added new OEM ACURA fluid not off brand stuff, turned the engine on and cycled the steering wheel from left to right 5-6 times than with wheels straight turned engine off and did the same thing over and over until no bubbles are visible and the fluid was as clean as possible(I remember reading something a month ago about these reservoirs getting clogged? and that they got recalled and Acura/Honda makes a newer version that fixes this whine?? is this true?)

the problem- The noise occurs during idle/reving, and gets louder as I go through the gears, It sounds almost exactly like a bad ps pump/tranny whining but its 100% not a transmisson issue the noise is very distinct to the left of the engine(Ps pump side) and by ear is sounds like either ps pump or tensioner. I took a video but the noise is no where near as bad at idle as it is while driving just dont wanna spend alot of money just replacing stuff until the issue is fixed much rather pin point the issue first.

Please is someone can help me with this it would be much appreciated.


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That first youtube link doesn't work, the second one did.
My best bet would be the power steering pump. Mine started making a similar noise now that the winter months hit. All I did was change out the O-rings for the power steering pump. I bought the set of o-rings, a new PS reservoir cap, and 2 bottles of PS fluid for 20 bucks. Over time the o-rings wear out and don't seal as well as they used to.
The sound would increase with higher RPMs and would still be present at idle. For me it was only the o-rings that needed replacement, it might be the same for you. It's a good place to start, and relatively inexpensive. I think the 2 o-rings alone run like 10 bucks if anything.
I would say it could also be the alternator whining, but we would need more information for that. Are you having any other issues? Any lights dimming or things of that nature?
AHH! there is two o-rings! i thought so. So i changed out the one thats right in the middle/bottom of the pump, the one you can see in the video clearly. I didn't touch,change the one thats on the very top top(The line runs across the entire engine that line), i had no idea that top one had an O-ring. The only one anyone mentions is the on thats on the middlish/bottom that has a hose connecting to the reservoir. Ill try and find that P/N for the top O-ring tonight and order it since they are always cheap.

but I DID do the middlish/bottom one.
Take a screw driver or something wooden and hold it to your ear and against the pump body. Then rest it on something else like the alternator body and even the tensioner body. You will hear which is making the noise. I have a mechanics stethoscope to do this, but most anything will do. It really makes bearing or pump noise stand out.

Don't sticky your ear on the pump as your face will be ripped apart by the pulley and belt.
Safety last
Okay lets say I go grab a long flathead and still it against the tensioner or pump ect what is the noise I would be hearing if you couldnt describe it?(For example injectors make a kind of clicking noise lol) what would be the noise of the problem if one does exist?
91370-SV4-000 Larger black one
91345-RDA-A01 Smaller red one

You can find it on for ebay cheap. Unless you're lucky and have an Acura dealer nearby (I don't). But yeah, there's two o-rings that have to be replaced. The whine might be from the system catching a little air.
As you said that I found it on ebay for 7$ flat lol

So this is my next plan, BOTH O-rings, Ima going to also replace the reservoir with a fresh new one, but 4 more bottles of PS FLUID and flush the entire system AGAIN and bleed it. If this does not fix the problem I will buy a new tensioner lol
Sounds like a plan. Keep us updated.
wait we never clarified if it was okay that the arrow was all the way to the right of that tension bracket? I would assume that means my tensioner is bad? Since I already did the belt(Yes oem acura rsx base model belt)
It sounds scratchy and rough, a more subtle version of what you hear. one would be steady, the bad will be obvious.
So I finally had some time to try the screwdriver test. The tension DEFINITELY had a different noise from the ps pump. It wasnt crazy drastic and I only tested idle not reving or anything. The ps pump did sound "Whiney" but it was constant not change in sound at all. The tensionor had a slight "Scratchy" noise to it. I used a long phillips screwdriver(about 12 inches or so) and held the rubber side to my ear to listen(I cant believe this actually works lol Whoever figured that out is awesome).

Now this is where I am stuck, I wanna do the tensioner REGARDLESS, Now the oem one is way out of budget and crazy expensive. What is more reccomended out of these 3

-Oem tensioner on my car and only do the bearing? if so, orilies bearing? can you buy JUST an oem bearing?

- Gates entire tensioner from orilies?

- K tuned auto tensioner - 100$ on k series most expensive out of the 3.

Now if the OEM tensioner is absolutely undisputed the only way to go I will save for it but it will be a while since money is a little tight at the moment(Usually this isnt an issue lol) but I do drive this car daily and dont want this whine noise to end up being more costly than it should. Just dont wanna spend hundreds on a new tensioner just to find out I only needed a 40$ bearing instead.
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The tensioner runs from 50-80 bucks on Rock Auto. Maybe someone else can chime in, but I'd replace the whole thing.
ahh, i didn't know the oem tensioner is only roughly around 150$ 31170-PND-013 I mean It's still more than I can spend at this exact moment but its not that far out of price range at all. I guess that knocks Ktuned off my list forsure considering its only 50$ less give or take. So its between OEM, autozone and just the bearing.
So heres an update, i Know its been 2-3 months but time has been an issue, anyways the pump continued to make this whine(It literally is pitchy and whiny like a SC), so I went out and got a used power steering pump(LKQ in california, came off a care THAT DID NOT HAVE THIS WHINE NOISE), car had very low miles so pump is very believed to be perfectly fine, I did another PS flush(3 more bottles), until i to my knowledge the fluid was clean and than began to bleed the system until I did not notice anymore bubbles.

the noise still continues to happen, to best describe it, its almost non-existence when the car first starts up, and the more warm the car gets the louder it gets, it gets louder with the RPM's and if i turn the wheel while rev'ing the noise also gets louder.

I'm finding it very hard to believe that both pumps are bad and now thinking this is something else that relates to the PS pump, I have read a few places on forums that our reservoirs have a screen at the bottom of them that get clogged around my milage and it causes the fluid to not be able to circulate properly making the pump "Starve" for fluid. Can anyone confirm this? I really don't want to remove and replace mine and make an absolute mess if this is incorrect info. any incite at all would be awesome! thanks,
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SO thought I would update this post as there is absolutely zero help on the internet with this issue. So After a year+ of this whine and it STILL not being away I thought I would update everything I have done with STILL no resolution. As of right now I have done BOTH O rings(The upper and lower that always go bad), I have tried the the OEM one and the newer one people recommend no help at ll. I sucked it up and Ordered a new reservoir(A1 Cardone) and PS pump(Ac-delco since all reviews were so popular and oem is absolute rape of a price.), I have flushed the absolute shit of the system with OEM Acura fluid. I have used a total of around 15 bottles So its safe to say the fluid is clean. I have put the car on jack stands and cycled the wheels left to right and right to left not even kidding 500+ times(even have this on video with my camera into the reservoir so I can see the bubbles still coming up). I have done this process with the car completely off and the car running both 250+ full cycles. The car still whines so loud and I can't get it away and makes the car so fucking miserable to drive. I have tried EVERYTHING, if anyone can give some insight on this it would be really great.

Only thing I can possibly think of is there is a leak somewhere in the system but its so small I cant find it anywhere and everywhere I call shops and all tell me they don't have a system to find a leak on a PS system
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At what point might you think it's not the P/S. Would you think the noise would follow a new pump? Your leak detection would be needing to fill, or drips from the bottom.
I wish I could show you in person but its very very obvious its the pump. This is what is weird, I have ONLY used oem fluid and nothing else and havent introduced anything else. I just did another lock to lock cycle and checked the fluid after and it looks terrible. Like contaminated, almost like chocolate milk with dust/dirt specs in it if that makes any sense(If you have Instagram and don't mind adding mine is Ej1Maurice I can send pictures much easier on there). Now I don't know how true this is, but I was told introducing air into the system can "Contaminate" the fluid and give it this milky dirty look(There is no damn way there is dirt or old fluid in there when I say I flushed this I mean I flushed it so damn much I've wasted 100$+ of fluid by far). Now if this is true I have no problem doing one last flush to rude that option away but I have a feeling there is just something else wrong or I missed/did a step wrong some how.
I have no instagram, so I believe your words. Don't worry about the fluid for now, First go left right left about 40 times. Or first look at every bit of hose and rack for a leak. Even out by the tires see if the arms are coated in oil, and look for dripping. A leak will leak. If it's not leaking, stop entering new fluid, contamination is the least problem--I've never changed fluid on any of my cars ever. Not great advice, but outside that van, I've never really had ps problems. Look for leak, crank the wheel more and report back
With the car on or off? Obvious car on jack stands and power steering cap off but with the car running or the car with the engine off?
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