Sudden power steering failure while driving

Tiny
KEITH WATERFIELD
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD F-150
  • 4.6L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
Made a right turn onto a freeway on ramp at approximately 15/20 mph. Heard a small pop and power steering failed completely. Made it home and opened the hood fluid reservoir appears full but there is fresh fluid sprayed on the brake master cylinder and booster, fuse box and air intake.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 3:36 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Good evening,

Did you verify the belt is still working?

It could be a hose as well. Did you put some fluid back in to see where the leak is located?

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/power-steering-problems

Roy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:04 PM
Tiny
KEITH WATERFIELD
  • MEMBER
I did not see the belt but the charging system is still working. I did not add any fluid as it shows full to slightly (2mm) above the MAX line on the sight window on the side of the reservoir.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:09 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Get a light and check the belt.

Start it up and have someone turn the wheel back and forth and watch for the leak.

Roy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:13 PM
Tiny
KEITH WATERFIELD
  • MEMBER
Okay, thanks. My Brother inlaw is on his way and knows way more about these things than I do. I am truly unknowledgeable. I can't even find the belt.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:17 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
No worries.

Keep me updated.

Roy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:22 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Just to jump in. I have seen this a few times on these trucks. If you find the serpentine belt broke then the fluid that you found was feedback pressure from the sudden stopping of the pump but the vehicle was in a high pressure situation due to turning and it basically sprays out of the relief hole that should be in the power steering cap on this model. This is how the fluid got all over.

I would be surprised if Roy is not correct that this was a belt but you may not find a leak. However, you do need to lift the front tires on jack stands and make sure the fluid is full after you reinstall the belt and start the engine. Then turn the wheels back and forth and check for leaks. If there are not leaks and the fluid is still full, lower the vehicle and check the normal operation of the power steering.

Then you will need to find why the belt broke so just make sure it is not rubbing on anything and the AC compressor is not seized.

Just thought I would add that. Hopefully it helps. Thanks.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:24 PM
Tiny
KEITH WATERFIELD
  • MEMBER
ASEMASTER6371, I will update once he gets here and has a look.
KASEKENNY1, please excuse my ignorance but are there multiple belts? I was thinking if the serpentine belt broke the alternator would also quit and activate a warning light.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:44 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Let us know.

Roy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
KEITH WATERFIELD
  • MEMBER
Will do. It will likely be a while he's still working but should be here within the hour.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:50 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
No worries, we will be here.

Roy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 4:53 PM
Tiny
KEITH WATERFIELD
  • MEMBER
It was the belt. The reason I didn't see it was because it is gone. Brother in-law said it was not still charging and was surprised that the battery got it home. I was about 25 miles from here. He said pick up a new one tomorrow and we'll put it on tomorrow evening, said it's no big deal. Thank you to both of you. I guess if I'm going to drive a twenty two year old vehicle I should get some education about the workings of it. I could probably had the part already and been back on the road tonight if I were more knowledgeable.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 5:38 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
You are welcome.

We are always glad to help.

Roy
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, March 16th, 2020 AT 5:40 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Sponsored links