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Identifying and Fixing A Power Steering Fluid Leak

Updated on March 9, 2011

If you have experienced problems with your power steering and you think you have a leak you should follow the steps in this hub in order to determine if you have a leak and where it is. If you have added power steering fluid to your vehicle and you are noticing that the level keeps dropping you almost certainly have a leak somewhere within the power steering system. It may be a leak in a hose, metal line, cap, or connection. The information in this hub will help you determine which.

The first step in determining a leak point in your power steering is to clean and dry the entire assembly, use shop towels for the best results. Make sure that you clean and dry all of the hoses, lines, etc. Do this while the engine is off and cool for safety.

Next, start your engine and turn the steering wheel all the way left and then all the way right several times. Shut off the engine. Now inspect the entire power steering assembly for a fluid. Follow all lines from end to end. Check the power steering pump. Look at the fill point. If you have another person to help you you can have them watch for a leak while the engine is running and you are turning the steering wheel. Turning the steering wheel causes pressure to build inside the power steering assembly and should reveal a leak.

Visually inspect all of the hoses and connections on the power steering assembly. You can gently move and bend the hoses to look for cracks.

If you find a leak near a connection, check to make sure you have a tight and secure fit. If the leak is on a hose or line you should replace it. If you find fluid on the pump you may need to replace or rebuild the pump. Tighten all connections, but do not over-tighten.

After the first test if you have not discovered the leak you may need to drive the vehicle for a day or several days. Inspect and clean the system on a daily basis until you find fluid. Check and clean your driveway daily as well for new drops of fluid and try to pinpoint the location that the drops come from.


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    • hardlymoving profile image

      hardlymoving 6 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Good article. I've found that on the older, high mileage cars the seals have a tendency to shrink. Before performing any expensive replacement, I flush the old PS fluid out and replace it with new fluid with a Stop Leak additive and let the customer drive the vehicle for a week or so. The additive may make the seal(s) swell thereby eliminating the leak. Sometimes it works.

    • Ding.A.Ling123 profile image

      Ding.A.Ling123 5 years ago

      Hardlymoving- That may work but still just a temporary fix. Eventually you will have to replace any worn seals. But you can definitely try that for a temp. fix.

    • hardlymoving profile image

      hardlymoving 5 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Is over a year temporary?

    • profile image

      ted 4 years ago

      Im trying the stop leak thing at the moment Id be happy with a year or even 6 months I could drop dead in 6 to 12 months for all I no is everything in life not temporary to some point ant wasting money if i can help it fixing the car up for the next owner if i was to kick the bucket

    • Ding.A.Ling123 profile image

      Ding.A.Ling123 3 years ago

      I would say that's probably just lucky. Obviously without replacing with new parts you don't know when it will go out again.

    • Ding.A.Ling123 profile image

      Ding.A.Ling123 3 years ago

      Thanks for the comment... if you're still alive. lol

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