Fluid leaking from the accordion boots is proof the rack and pinion assembly is leaking, but I hope they didn't PUNCTURE the boot. All that's needed is to remove the small clamp and pull the boot open with a hooked tool. The leakage is the most common way they fail. If those boots were sealing unusually well that would have been preventing the fluid level from going down. On most cars, the fluid would have been leaking on the ground by now, not getting stored in the boots.
My gutt feeling is you don't need a new pump although GM does have a lot of trouble with them becoming noisy. If it makes a buzzing or humming sound, you can always have it replaced later. If it is worn out enough that it can't produce sufficient pressure, you will find it harder than normal to turn the steering wheel now. The leakage from the rack and pinion won't have much affect on how hard it is to steer.
Monday, March 22nd, 2010 AT 4:33 PM