If your Honda Accord has a loud steering sound when cold, you may be in luck. We researched the problem in our own 2006 EX-L V6 Accord and discovered that the problem is air entering the system via a defective o-ring. Honda has a TSB on the subject.
The problem is manifested as a sound when the car is cold and you turn the steering wheel from left to right and back again. It sort of groans or moans. It is an easy sound to detect. Honda says of the sounds, "A moan or whine is heard when turning the steering wheel when the engine is cold. There may be air bubbles or foam in the power steering reservoir. The noise usually goes away when the engine warms up."
Honda says the probable cause is "Air is entering the power steering pump through the inlet joint O-ring. This causes bubbles to form in the power steering fluid, leading to reduced pump performance."
We posted our problem in the CarTalk Community and one of the members there quickly shot back a TSB that was exactly right for us. Thanks, member Nevada_545!
We took our car to a local trusted mechanic, Mark McMullen at G&M Services in Millis Mass. Mark obtained the parts needed for the repair on Amazon. He followed along with the instructions and the outcome was great. Zero noise. Even better, the cost to perform the repair was very modest. Just $100. Compare that to multiple hundreds for a new power steering pump and you will see that this is a happy outcome.
If your Accord is having a similar problem we suggest showing your mechanic the TSB linked above.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and connect with him at Linkedin.