Acura built the MDX on a car-like base to give it a smoother ride and better handling than truck-based SUVs. The 2001 MDX came fitted with an ample power plant, a 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, and included standard power steering, as all Acura buyers would expect. When the power steering pump fails on your Acura MDX, you could attempt to repair it by disassembling it and rebuilding it, but that can turn into a costly and difficult experiment that ends in the failed pump becoming little more than a paperweight. Replacing the pump with a new or rebuilt unit is the way to go, just make sure you bleed the system after installing the new pump.
Things You'll Need
- Drain pan
- Thick, clean shop cloths
- Slip-joint pliers
- Rubber plugs (optional)
- Socket set
- Soft-jawed bench vise
- Universal pulley holder (Honda tool No. 07725-0030000)
- Torque wrench
- O-ring pick or similar hooked tool
- Up to 2 quarts new Honda power steering fluid
Position a drain pan under the vehicle, so it is directly under the power steering pump. Set three or four thick shop cloths over the crankshaft pulley to prevent it from getting oil-soaked.
Slide the hose clamp on the power steering fluid feed hose – the rubber hose – about three inches up the hose, using slip-joint pliers. Pull the hose from the power steering pump with a slight twisting motion. Allow all of the fluid to drain from the hose and the pump before proceeding. Press a rubber plug into the end of the hose or wrap it in a clean shop cloth to prevent contamination.
Remove the two bolts securing the power steering pressure hose to the top of the pump, using a ratchet and socket. Pull the pressure hose from the pump and allow all of the fluid to drain from it into the drain pan. Press a rubber plug into the end of the hose or wrap it with a clean shop cloth to prevent contamination.
Loosen the power steering pump mounting nut and bolt, which are on the bottom of the pump, using a ratchet and socket. Loosen the power steering pump belt adjuster nut, the nut to the side of the power steering pump, with a ratchet and socket to loosen the power steering belt. Pull the power steering pump belt from the pump’s pulley. You cannot remove the belt, as it is behind the alternator belt, so just allow it to hang on the crankshaft pulley.
Remove the power steering pump mounting nut and bolt. Lift the pump from its bracket and the engine compartment.
Clamp the power steering pump in a soft-jawed bench vise with the pulley facing upward. Hold the pulley still with a universal pulley holder – Honda tool No. 07725-0030000 – as you loosen the nut securing the pulley to the pump’s shaft, using a ratchet and socket.
Pull the pulley off the power steering pump’s drive shaft. Remove the pump from the bench vise and carefully clamp the new pump into the bench vise.
Guide the pulley onto the new pump and hand-thread the retaining nut. Hold the pulley still with the universal pulley holder and tighten the nut to 47 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and socket. Remove the new pump from the vice.
Pull the old O-ring from the end of the power steering pressure hose, using an O-ring pick or similar hooked tool. Coat the new O-ring, which comes with the replacement pump, with new Honda power steering fluid and roll it onto the end of the pressure hose until it seats into its groove.
Remove the plastic plugs from all of the new pump’s orifices. Position the pump in the engine compartment and guide it into its bracket. Hand-tighten the pump’s mounting nut and bolt.
Connect the pressure hose to its receptacle on top of the pump and hand-tighten its retaining bolts. Press the fluid feed hose onto its inlet on the pump and slide its hose clamp to within 1/2 inch of the end of the hose, using slip-joint pliers.
Tighten the pressure hose’s mounting bolts to 8 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and socket.
Remove the shop cloths from the crankshaft pulley. Route the power steering pump hose around the crankshaft pulley and power steering pump pulley. Make certain the belt seats fully in the grooves of both pulleys. Tighten the power steering belt adjuster nut until there is enough tension to hold the belt in place.
Hold a ruler next to the power steering belt at the midway point between the crankshaft pulley and pump pulley. Push and pull the belt and measure the total amount of movement the belt has. A correctly tightened belt has between 0.51 and 0.65 inches of movement. Tighten or loosen the adjuster nut until you obtain the correct amount of movement.
Tighten the power steering mounting nut and bolt to 17 foot-pounds.
Filling and Bleeding the System
Pull the cap from the power steering fluid reservoir and add Honda power steering fluid until it reaches the upper fill line on the reservoir.
Start the engine and hold the engine speed at about 1,000 rpm. Turn the steering wheel as far as you can to the left, then to the right. Repeat the turning of the wheel three or four times to bleed the system. Shut the engine off and check the fluid for bubbles. If bubbles are present, repeat this step.
Check the power steering fluid level and add more Honda power steering fluid until the level reaches the upper line on the reservoir. Press the cap back onto the power steering reservoir. In total, the MDX’s power steering system holds 1.29 to 1.33 quarts of fluid, depending if it has a power steering cooler or not, but the exact amount needed to fill the system may vary.
Take any old power steering fluid to a local automotive fluid recycler for disposal. Some auto parts stores take old fluids for free.
- Alldata: 2001 Acura Truck MDX V6-3471cc 3.5L, Power Steering Pump, Service and Repair, Procedures: Removal and Installation
- Alldata: 2001 Acura Truck MDX V6-3471cc 3.5L, Power Steering Pump, Service and Repair, Procedures: Overhaul
- Alldata: 2001 Acura Truck MDX V6-3471cc 3.5L, Drive Belt, Adjustments: Power Steering Belt
- Alldata: 2001 Acura Truck MDX V6-3471cc 3.5L, Power Steering Fluid, Service and Repair, Procedures
- CarSeek: Acura MDX
- Cars.com: 2001 Acura MDX Standard Features and Options