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2003 Escape V6 145K

On Monday night I saw it pouring out power steering fluid and replaced the reservoir hose after loosing all fluid in reservoir. Filled with new fluid and during test run the engine sounded quite a bit louder than normal and a low rumbling sound was now present. Went to car wash to clean off excess fluid that had spilled and was very careful to keep water away from other areas of the engine. Power steering is back to normal but when I have it in park, neutral and reverse everything sounds normal but when in drive and at a complete stop a low rumbling sound almost grinding sound is present and sounds like it is coming from underneath the vehicle. The same sound it present when accelerating only as it goes away when coasting. No loss of power and other than he noise, vehicle seems to run fine.

So to recap, vehicle seems to run fine but a low rumbling sound present when in drive at a complete stop and when accelerating. Sound not present when I rev the engine in park, reverse or neutral or when coasting. Sound could be a result of something from excess spilled fluid or from water used to clean excess fluid. Any suggestions?
 

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Possible excess fluid. Could of got down somewhere it shouldn't have when it was leaking. Maybe water too, but you did say you were careful. But obviously the car is back to running normal, so like I said excess fluid. Might want to take a deeper look in your engine and see. Maybe you can hear what part of the engine it is coming from. Hope this helps.
 

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The rumbling most likely originates from the steering rack support bushings.There are two of them and are sold by the dealer.With the kilometers the car has done it is normal for the bushings to need replacement.
Since the steering fluid reservoir went empty, air got into the hydraulics and although you refilled the reservoir the air is still there and the effort of the steering pump to push it away creates rumbling.You have to bleed the air out, or leave it as is and it will bleed itself out after a while.It is recomended to bleed it out yourself so that the pump is not overworked.
 

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Drive the car onto cardboard so that each front wheel is on two pieces.
Start the car, then turn the wheels left & right to check if the noise is present (the cardboard helps the wheels turn easier).
If so, you've probably got air in the power steering system.
Turning the wheels in the above manner might purge the air... It did on my 2002 XLS.
Also, be sure to check the p/s fluid level.

I'm assuming the noise is the tell tale power steering growl.
Older drivers may be more familiar w the sound than newer drivers.
 
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