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My 2007 Santa Fe makes an odd sound when I move the steering wheel. I first noticed the sound the same day that I finally added 134a to make the AC work (It is a used car gotten over Winter and I had never used the AC before, but when I did, it did not work until I added refrigerant).

The sound would start as soon as I started the AC and would stay even after shutting off the AC. After switching off the car for a while, the sound would go away. Now the whining sound seems to come regardless of whether the AC is used or not. The sound sometimes goes away, sometimes it is there. I also get the impression that the car has become slightly harder to steer.

What could the issue be? To me the sound sounds similar to how it sounds when you slide a thick steel cable against another hard surface.
 

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First thing that comes to mind is the power steering. Have you checked the fluid? Or is the electric? Sorry not familiar with the year/model.
 

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open the hood to see if the AC compressor clutch is sticky when AC is on/off. Or maybe bad compressor bearings. Once it can still work, don't worry about it
 

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Check serpentine belt, tensioner and the main pulley on the end of the crankshaft. That pulley has been known to separate at the rubber joint.
 

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Low power steering fluid level can cause a whine. The fact you mentioned slightly harder steering also points in that direction. If the fluid level isn't down, you may need to flush and refill the power steering system with new fluid. Use OEM fluid if possible; otherwise, make sure any aftermarket fluid conforms to the Hyundai spec (check the ownre's manual).

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