Power steering leak

  • 6 POSTS
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 165,123 MILES

Hi, I need help. My car has a slight whining noise when I turn, and I also have leaked fluid on my driveway. It is dark but not black, in fact I put cardboard over the driveway where I park to catch some samples, and it is a more light colored fluid, not transmission fluid. Also, if I buy a power steering hose what are some ways that I can go about putting it on myself? Thank you!

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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 1:58 PM

1 Reply

  • 29,775 POSTS

Every car is different, and I do not have your model memorized. I do know this job is quite miserable on some GM cars, like the older Grand Am, but some are not real bad. My first recommendation is to get a copy of the manufacturer's service manual and read through the pages of instructions to see if you want to tackle this. That will include line drawings, torque specs, and special tools, if they are needed.

The next thing to consider is visiting a pick-your-own-parts salvage yard and use one of their cars to experiment on. Do a search for "Pull-A-Part" and see if they have a yard near you. I have been to sixteen of their yards so far. All are very clean and well-organized.

I do not have anything against using a used hose, as long as you understand you will have to do the job over if it leaks, but a new hose will always come with new o-rings. Those should be replaced any time the hose is disconnected. Use a flare-nut wrench, (aka line wrench). The nuts are soft metal and will round off easily. Flare-nut wrenches grab on more points on the nut.

When you start running the nut into the steering gear or pump, run it in a good two to three turns by hand before you use any wrench on it. The steering gear housing, in particular, is made of aluminum and the threads will be damaged very easily if you cross-thread the nut and tighten it with a wrench. Then you will be replacing the rack and pinion assembly too, and there will not be any core credit if the threads are damaged.

On a few car models, the hose will swivel in the steering gear even when the nut is fully tightened. That is more of a Ford thing. When you run into that, do not get carried away trying to tighten the nut more and more.

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Monday, December 26th, 2016 AT 3:18 PM

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