I have a 2006 ML500. A few months ago, after noticing a severe fluid spill, we had to have to power steering pump and hoses replaced. I drive the car only occasionally around town, and it was back to normal after having this work done, for 2 months. This past week, I was driving around town when the power steering locked up and I had extreme difficulty getting the wheel to turn. Also, I heard that distinctive whining noise. However, when I checked the fluid level, it looked normal. What could be causing the problem with steering if there is a new pump and plenty of fluid?

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Profile picture for user CaseyKC

Just a guess, but I would recommend getting your steering rack checked. It MAY be something wrong with the rotary valve or pressure hose / the steel pipe leading to the steering rack chamber. Because if the hydraulic fluid level is not directed to the correct side of the chamber, you'll have to fight against the power assist to turn the steering wheel.

If you're not very familiar with steering racks, you can check out the top 3 steering rack problems and how hydraulic power steering works. Pay more attention to the rotary valve section.

Also, whining noise is typically related to steering pump. Does it get louder when you step on the gas pedal?

 

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