a couple of years ago, the power steering pump on the freestyle (henceforth known as the stinkenvagon, replacing mike weiss' saturn wagon previously known world-wide as the original stinkenvagon) started whining when the car was really hot.
i didn't think too much of it...most of the ford's i have owned over the years have had cranky power steering pumps. no big deal. last year, it started getting louder and more annoying. i asked the keyser about it, since he is the authority on all things car. he said that there was most likely a filter in the reservoir that was getting clogged and it was an easy fix.
easy fix? cool. so i didn't fix it. this year, it has been announcing itself on every hot day with a groan that would be right at home in the deep sea with whales and giant squid. i decided that i'd better do something while the weather is cool.
i siphoned the reservoir (minimal power steering fluid in my mouth, thanks), disconnected the hoses, and took off the reservoir. the fluid was black and smelled burnt. the filter, which is integrated into the reservoir, was chocked full of gunk. i cleaned it out, reinstalled, refilled, and no noise. after a short drive, the fluid was black-ish again, rather than the clear color it has out of the bottle. so, i siphoned the fluid out again, and poured in more clean stuff. i intend to do this a couple more times over the next few days to get all of the fluid that's circulating in the system to clear out.
ah, the joys of being a hack shade tree mechanic.