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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I'm the proud new owner of a used 2007 Odyssey Touring with about 30k miles on the car (thanks in part to the input of forum members). So far I'm liking the car quite a bit (ideal for our family with the recent addition of our second child), but I did discover a potential issue upon returning home with the car.

I was squeezing into a tight parking space that required going back and forth a couple of times and cutting the steering wheel, when I noticed that a fair amount of effort was required to turn the steering wheel when the car wasn't moving. I immediately jumped online and searched this forum and discovered a number of posters complaining about the steering pump and/or reservoir failing. I also read the TSB for the steering hum/whine, but I don't hear anything unusual when turning the wheel--it just requires much more effort to turn the steering wheel when the car isn't moving.

Is this a sign that my power steering pump is about to fail and/or I need to replace the power steering fluid, or is this normal behavior? I should note that if the car is moving at all (like turning at a stop sign) the steering seems fine. It's just when I'm turning the wheel at a dead stop that I experience the "problem."

Unfortunately I'm out of the Honda warranty period, although the Lexus dealer who sold me the car is supposed to provide a 30 day/1,000 mile warranty at 50% of the repair cost.

Any help/thoughts would be much appreciated!
 

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Well for starters, there is a TSB out on the problem, however, I don't know if that route would be worth it since you would have to go through a honda dealer who would charge atleast 50 dollars to "diagnose" the problem. But you could print it out and take it to Lexus and see what they say about. Before going you should get used to "demonstrating" the problem so they can see what you are talking about. When it comes to the sound, I don't think Northern California is cold enough right now. Here in Pennsylvania, I start hearing people complain about it around Thanksgiving because there is a rather small temperature window that causes the whining. I believe its around the 30 degree mark. I'm on the second reservoir and the third pump at 92,000 miles. I however was pulling into a parking space yesterday and thought I felt it coming back. Next time, and I'm sure there will be one, I am not taking it to the dealer.
 

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Lots of threads on this. First, verify that you have the upgraded reservoir...I think it has a white paint dot on the top of it? Can't remember off hand.

Second, flush the PS fluid. Honda specs out a very specific fluid. I get mine at the dealership but you can also find Honda spec fluid at the parts store.

This is stuff you can do yourself (get used to it) and changing the PS fluid on a yearly basis would be a good idea.

Even when operating properly, the steering is going to be heavy in slow speed operation...that's just the way it is.
 

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The hard part about getting a warranty claim on it would be duplicating the problem. At least on ours, it comes and goes. We're on 2nd PS pump and reservoir and the noise is gone but still have steering issues at times. I'll probably try another pump when it starts getting worse but I'm not sure that's a good fix. According to my indi mechanic, there's really nothing in the pump alone that should cause that symptom. He thinks it may be related to the pressure (speed) control or in the rack itself.
 

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I don't think you'll find an ultimate solution to the stiffness you describe. This became apparent to me after purchasing my 2010 Odyssey and having the exact same problem as my previous 2006. Either Honda doesn't care or doesn't have a real solution so they ignore it all together.

My opinion? Get used to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses everyone. I guess I'm a bit confused, as it sounds like perhaps this steering "problem" is normal behavior for the Odyssey, but at the same time there are suggestions to replace the power steering fluid and/or service the pump. I think I'm okay with the steering behavior if it in fact is normal for the Odyssey.

The complaints I've read about the steering issue on this forum seem to involve stiffness in turning the wheel at low speeds. However, I think the steering on my Odyssey works fine when driving at low speeds. The only time the stiffness appears is when I'm turning the steering wheel while at a complete stop (and it is somewhat significant stiffness, almost requiring two hands to turn the wheel). I guess my question is whether anyone with a similar vintage Odyssey can still easy turn the steering wheel when the car is not moving?
 

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My test has always been parallel parking. If you can park it without difficulty, then chances are its not that bad yet. For me, the stresses put on the steering system during your average parking manuever always brought out the worst behavior.
 

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The reservoir issue you read about causes two things to happen...which are related. First, the root of the problem is that the reservoir has a very fine mesh in the bottom of it that acts as a fluid filter for the pump intake. This mesh is known to starve the pump at times, especially in cold weather when the fluid is thick. This starvation can cause difficulty steering. The starvation can also cause cavitation (which causes noise) and also lead to pump damage because the pump is lubricated by the fluid.

If you have a redesigned reservoir and good fluid in there, that's all you can do. Until Honda increases the boost on the pump, this is what it is.
 

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Dusterbuster, I have the exact same problem. Just bought a used '07 Ody TRG with 50k miles on it and have noticed it from time to time when the vehicle is stopped and I have to turn the steering wheel. I can live with it, but am worried about my wife driving everyday and having to deal with it. Still looking for an answer myself, but just wanted to let you know you're not alone.
 

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I just paid out of pocket to get my resevoir replaced on my '06. I didn't find out about the known issue until late in the game. I noticed the whine in cold weather around 20k miles. I have 77k miles now.

In terms of difficulty in parking lot, are you noticing your power not keeping up? Or that the assist is just not enough in general?

Not keeping up, you'll feel the effort significantly change with the speed you turn the wheel. Like you're hitting a wall with your wheel at times.

I don't recall ever feeling the pump not keeping up. Just the whine in cold weather.
 

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Its crazy isn't it? The ps pump is still running but then it feels like you have no ps pump assist whatsoever. And when that occurs, pop your hood and have someone look at your reservoir and you'll realize the pump is not pumping the fluid fast enough as it's supposed to be. When this occurs to me sometimes, I just put it in neutral and rev it up a little to get it out quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
traffic002 said:
I just paid out of pocket to get my resevoir replaced on my '06. I didn't find out about the known issue until late in the game. I noticed the whine in cold weather around 20k miles. I have 77k miles now.

In terms of difficulty in parking lot, are you noticing your power not keeping up? Or that the assist is just not enough in general?

Not keeping up, you'll feel the effort significantly change with the speed you turn the wheel. Like you're hitting a wall with your wheel at times.

I don't recall ever feeling the pump not keeping up. Just the whine in cold weather.
The issue I'm having with the steering is that it feels like I'm losing assist when turning the wheel at a dead stop. Not sure if that is the pump not keeping up, but I have the same issue regardless of how quickly I turn the wheel. Again, it only seems to happen when I'm not moving at all. I have an appointment with the Honda dealer tomorrow to get it checked out, along with a couple of recall items (brakes, transmission software). Do you recall how much you had to pay for the reservoir replacement?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
07OdyTr said:
Dusterbuster, I have the exact same problem. Just bought a used '07 Ody TRG with 50k miles on it and have noticed it from time to time when the vehicle is stopped and I have to turn the steering wheel. I can live with it, but am worried about my wife driving everyday and having to deal with it. Still looking for an answer myself, but just wanted to let you know you're not alone.
Sorry to hear you're having the same issue, but I'll let you know if I find out anything helpful after taking it into the dealer tomorrow. I plan on bringing in a copy of the TSB regarding the reservoir, in case that is the culprit. Not sure what my chances are of getting that covered under some type of goodwill arrangement with Honda, but doesn't hurt to ask.
 

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Sounds normal for all honda cars. My 2002 civic acts the same way even after draining and refilling the PS fluid. It could be that the OEM pulley is not efficient; Or the pulley belt is loose (i.e. losing grip due to grease, worn belt, etc...). All of these are possibilities to the PS issue.
 

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I had my reservoir replaced in February and it was only $70. The part was only $15.

The PS pump is in the several hundred dollar range. The dead steering has persisted AFTER the reservoir change but the whining noise associated with a problematic reservoir stopped. I'm just dealing with it at this point.
 

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Does anyone have the PS cooler and still have the same stiffness problem? I am wonder if that has anything to do with the temperature of the steering fluid
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I brought the Odyssey into the Honda dealer today for the brake recall and transmission software update, and mentioned the issue regarding the steering stiffness when the car is not moving. Fortunately, the dealer went ahead and applied the TSB for the power steering reservoir replacement at no charge. However, the stiffness is still there, so I think I just have to accept this as normal behavior for the Odyssey, as others have indicated. The dealer said I can bring in the car again and go for a test drive with a technician if I still experience the problem, but I don't think I'll bother. It seems this is just the way the power steering in the Odyssey is designed.
 

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dusterbuster said:
I brought the Odyssey into the Honda dealer today for the brake recall and transmission software update, and mentioned the issue regarding the steering stiffness when the car is not moving. Fortunately, the dealer went ahead and applied the TSB for the power steering reservoir replacement at no charge. However, the stiffness is still there, so I think I just have to accept this as normal behavior for the Odyssey, as others have indicated. The dealer said I can bring in the car again and go for a test drive with a technician if I still experience the problem, but I don't think I'll bother. It seems this is just the way the power steering in the Odyssey is designed.
I have '06, changed tank and pump and fluid, and still same thing, and there is a noise, but now I'm wondering if its the alternator. Neighbor has same model year, will check on that. But basically, yea, seems to be the way it is. :mad:
 
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