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Old 01-14-2011, 02:50 AM   #1
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Default Common Power Steering Leaks? Help Me Out

My car has a bad power steering leak. Its leaking all over the alternator and i have already had to replace 2 within the last 2 months because of this leak. I havent really tried looking for the leak yet but i was wondering if anyone knew what the main leaks are. Could it be a hose thats leaking, cracked reservoir or pump is bad? Pretty much what im asking is what is the main cause of a leak from the power steering unit? Last time i pulled the alternator off and swapped it there was alot of fluid everywhere and i was in a hurry to get the car back up and running so i didnt get a chance to check for the leak. Right now i have zero fluid in the reservoir because i dont want this alternator to go out again. Having no power steering sucks and im about to purchase a PS pump here soon so i just want to make sure thats what it is before i buy it.

Where should i look for the leak? The reservoir doesnt look cracked and the leak is pretty bad like i said. Help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:13 AM   #2
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Kinda hard to tell without looking at it or seeing some pics. Mine was leaking from the pressure hose that routes to the left side of the pump if you are looking at it from the front. The hose also has an O-ring that may be weeping as well. Check that out first. There is also an O-ring that sits in the pump housing that the reservoir slides into. That may be another place to look.

If you have already gone through alternators like that, you might be better off just draining the power steering fluid, pulling the pump, and doing a thorough cleaning and inspection. Spending $10 and getting a power steering poump rebuild kit is probably another good idea. Just seals and O-rings. Good luck.

Forgot to mentionto look at the cap first. That may be the culprit.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:48 AM   #3
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This may not be your preferred path, but what I would do, being the car is 10 years old is... Buy one of those aluminum power steering pulleys from Turn One, buy new power steering hoses and either a new power steering pump (possibly Turn One) or a rebuild kit, pull it all off, grab some rags and cleaner, clean the hell out of the area, alternator, etc. Replace or rebuild the pump, reinstall everything and then be happy you won't have any more leaks and won't have to look at the thing for a long long time.

You're likely leaking from a hose though, you can't even see the leak due to the mess of new and old fluid. If you want to do it cheaper, you could bag and seal the alternator and surrounding bits, degrease the PS pump and hoses, then rinse with water, drive for a bit and then check it over to find your leak.

It is entirely possibly that you are spitting fluid out of the cap as well. If that is the ONLY leak, you have 2 good options. Replace the pump with a Turn One pump that won't do that, or... Replace the cap and use a ladies hair scrunchie around the cap to absorb fluid as even a new cap will spit fluid out due to the fluid heating up way too much.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
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Hmm sounds like a good idea, too bad Turn One's website is not working right i cant get pricing. Any idea how much the pumps and pulleys run? I think i might just head that route and replace everything with high performance stuff. Right now im driving around with no fluid and its hard to turn obviously lol. It might not be till i get my income tax refund that i can do all that my job is cutting hours really bad.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:20 PM   #5
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If you're waiting on funds, I would do the cheaper method first. Bag the alternator and degrease the pump. You may only need to replace the hoses for now. If you don't want to deal with codes, wet electrical connections, etc, do NOT hose the area down. Just degrease an Use cups of water or a hose with water coming out slowly. You can even use your thumb to get a bit of pressure, but watch where you spray. Bag things up.

I hosed my engine down and got a few codes and rough running for about 20 minutes. Didn't hurt anything, but its always a good idea to bag electrical parts before you blast things with water.

I wouldn't run without fluid for long, but then again, I don't know how that effects the rack. Find your leak at least so you can figure out a plan of action. I think the turn one pulleys are like 50? 60? something. The pumps are not cheap either.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
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Do you have fluid on the top of your tank? You may be overflowing the tank, which is causing it to go everywhere. Your hoses could be fine! I just did a complete re-buid of my P/S system and found that once I changed out all the P/S fluid, the boil-overs stopped. (I also put a different type of cooler on, but I think the real issue was old/bad fluid.)

BTW - I sent my pump to Turn One and they did a stock rebuild for me and added their pulley to the unit. (I live in a city and didn't want to have the slow speed loss of power that their high performance pump has.) It was more expensive than getting a reman unit from the store, but they did an incredible job and I know I'm not getting someone else's beat up pump.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:03 AM
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