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My Monterey

Power Steering with twin engines

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Hello all,

I have a 2006 322 Cruiser with twin 5.7's. My question is in regard to the power steering setup. Both motors have a power steering pump with a belt on the pulley. I understand that the power steering pump on the starboard engine provides the power steering for both stern drives. That is, if you only run your port motor (in the event of a starboard motor failure) you will not have power steering. The starboard PS pump maintains a good fluid level. The port motor consistently has low Power steering fluid, I usually have to top it off every month or so.

Finally, on to my questions:

1. Why would the fluid level in the port PS pump be consistently low. I do not see PS fluid in the bildge.

2. Is it necessary to top off the PS fluid in the port pump, if it is not providing the power steering for the stern drives?

3. Would I hear whining from the Port PS pump if the fluid was low and causing problems with the pump?


Anyother insight would be helpful. Thanks for your consideration.

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Hello bunndc,


If you are not seeing anything in the bilge it is possible that the port power steering pump cooler has developed a small leak. The cooler is a sealed tube within a tube that allows sea water (or raw water) to travel over it to cool the fluid. Over time, corrosion can cause a tiny hole (or holes) to develop in the innner tube that holds the fluid. That leaking fluid mixes with the sea water and continues through the exhaust system and out of the boat. It might be best to seek the advice of a certified Merc or Volvo technician to fully diagnose.


To answer your other questions:


Keep the port pump in good working order- it can serve as a spare if you experience a starboard pump failure.

You may or may not hear whining in the pump until the fluid becomes critically low and cause damage to the pump.


Another one of those "Preventative Maintenance" items!

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