Air in the power steering system is generated a number of different ways but the most common is when a power steering component gets replaced and the system is not bled properly. Most OEM manufacturers have designated power steering purging procedures. The purge process can take time and require special tools. If not performed properly, the power steering system may develop air pockets that will cause the system to stop making noise temporarily. If the air pockets are not completely removed, the system will start to make noise again once the air pockets get pushed through the system by the power steering pump.
If you have not replaced a power steering component lately, and your vehicle still develops air in the system, this is usually a sign of a small leak. Small power steering leaks specifically on the pressure side of the system can cause a vacuum that will suck air in when the pump is running, and have a fluid leak when the vehicle is shut off. These are some of the symptoms of air in your power steering system.
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Air in Power Steering Symptoms
Trapped air in a power steering system is a very common issue. The symptoms are normally very obvious, and most people who have a driven a vehicle with a traditional hydraulic power steering system have experienced the moan or whine that indicates the air being pushed through the system by the power steering pump. This noise will often be overlooked initially because it will not contain any other issues other than just a noise coming from the engine compartment. But left alone and not repaired, eventually this air will cause further damage to the power steering system.