If the pump leaks it's almost always from the shaft seal, then the fluid sprays around onto the bottom of the hood. If you have a reservoir mounted separately, there will be a hose going to the pump, but the fluid in that isn't under pressure so they rarely leak.
Until recently we couldn't even buy parts for rack and pinion assemblies and no one ever bothered to try to fix them. Now you can get rebuilding kits but it still doesn't pay because first you have to figure out where it was leaking, then you have to replace any parts with rust or pits that caused that seal to leak. By the time you're done with three or four hours labor, the special tools and seal protectors needed to reassemble everything, and the parts, you'll have three times in it what a rebuilt unit costs. They're so inexpensive now and they come with a warranty. You also don't know all the tricks GM has come up with to save money. The aftermarket rebuilders take care of all that. That goes back to the late '80s and early 90s when GM had a 100 percent failure of all their rack and pinion assemblies. They leaked internally causing loss of power assist, but not loss of fluid. Their way to solve that was to replace just the spool valve, (something no one in their right mind would or could do because we can't buy that part). It had new teflon sealing rings which did restore the power assist for a little while, but it didn't address the real cause of the problem. Those sealing rings ground grooves in the soft aluminum housing, and that let to the leakage. All GM wanted was for that fix to get the cars out of the 50,000 mile warranty, then it was the owners' responsibility to have the car fixed properly. The aftermarket rebuilders pressed in a stainless steel liner that wouldn't develop those grooves. If GM had cared about their customers they would have performed the same simple modification and put those rack assemblies in the cars to fix them right, but profits are more important than customer loyalty or satisfaction.
That's why you're better off with a rebuilt rack from an auto parts store. If you get one from a GM dealer, you'll pay considerably more and you'll have what you have now. Might as well put in something better at a lower cost and with a longer warranty.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 AT 7:13 AM