Did I ruin my PS pump?

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Jan 27, 2004
Richmond, VA
I decided to change the spark plugs in the wifes Town & Country this morning. After getting into it, I thought I was going to have to remove the hose at the base of the PS fluid resivor. So I ran to the store got a turkey baster got all the fluid out then realized I didn't need to remove that bottom hose. I finished up changing the plugs and fired her up to admire my fine work. Only problem was that there was a weird noise, I thought it was something rubbing so I thought maybe a trip down the driveway would tell me more. Halfway down I realized the PS wasn't working. Oh yeah forgot to refill it! I turned it off and cursed for a few minutes (that was about 5 minutes ago) I then thought I gotta get on BITOG to find out if I am gonna have to learn how to install a new PS pump next weekend or what. I looked inside the resivor and there were a ton of little foamy bubbles. I then refilled it with PS fluid (the recommended variety of course).

So - did I fry my wifes PS? Or will it all be ok? Is there any little stuff I can do to help?
I would say that you'll be fine. The service on most cars tells you to disconnect the return line to the PS and turn the wheel from lock to lock until all the PSF comes out. So they are really telling you to run it dry when you change it anyway.
Probably not.
Does it make the noise now that you have put fluid back in?
Does it turn freely now from end point to end point?
If it does then I would say your ok.
Just watch it for awhile.
I've seen that before....makes me feel a little better. Anyone else? Will all the air in the system bubble up to the resivor?
You are fine... If you had continued driving for a long distance you would have damaged the pump.

When I drained and refilled my PS system from the Rack and refilled I had the noise for almost 10 minutes with all kinds of bubbles. Then I let it sit and ran it again and topped off.

That was 50K Miles ago and it's quiet and running fine!
Refill the resorvoir, and then start the car and turn the wheel from lock to lock( while driving slowly forward ) several times to purge the air from the system, then top it off. Be sure to check the level a few times over the next few days, top off as needed.
Probably fine. I would get the bubbles out of course but as a precaution, I would check the PSF level everyday for two weeks to make sure that the fluid is full.
Running the pump dry had to cause accelerated wear.
How much? I dunno... it wasn't completely dry .
Anyway, fill it and keep an eye/ear on it.
I would not change it unless there was a known problem.
Thanks for the suggestions, I just got back from driving around the block a few times and it makes a very small growl but nothing bad at all. I'm going to definetly check the level every night.

I used NGK platinum plugs and they made her run a little smoother. I haven't seen any with an electrode as slim as these, I took out the factory installed Champions and they looked pretty good but with 80K on them I figured it was time. The gap was way off on them recommended is .05 or is it .005? anyways they were at least .07
"very small growl".....you will have that until all the air is purged out.
Air in the system can make a LOT of noise.
As mentioned already....keep an eye on the fluid level (but don't overfill) and see if the noise calms down over the next few days.
Most likely you are just fine.....because you did not drive far....and you mention the many bubbles......which leads me to believe that, even though you ran it out of fluid.....it most likely never got completly dry......still had a film of the fluid present.....to keep things lubricated for the short time period that it was running.
A loose hose fitting on my 1988 M6 dumped out all the P/S fluid a bit over one mile from home. I drove it into the garage, tightened the fitting, and refilled the system. The car is on its fourth owner and the P/S pump and steering box are still good.
Don't sweat it.
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