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Leaking Power Steering Fluid


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Was changing out my alternator and I think i screwed something up on my PS line. The line running next to the alternator got shifted pretty good, now I think its leaking where it meets the PS pump. What can I do to stop the leak? It's also leaking onto my exhaust manifold, is it a huge fire hazard?

 

2013-11-26001559_zps305e5cc0.jpg

 

Where that bolt is, I think its leaking.

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Did you try to tighten it down? Maybe it's just loose.

 

I had a power steering leak on my '93 for the entire four years I had it, it leaked right on to the exhaust and never caught fire. It just made A LOT of smoke when I made left turns at a high rate of speed.  

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There seems to be a lot of give where the goldish part the line meets the bolt. You think tightening that up would work?

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Well, now what you've moved it, the internal o-ring on the power steering line is going to weep fluid (there's an o-ring inside that nut that goes between the pressure line and the body of the nut).  It is not serviceable - so you get to buy a new line now.  Get an advance auto coupon code from retail me not, order it online and it'll install.

 

And to both you and John - ATF/PS fluid is highly flamable and it is dangerous to drive around with it hitting the exhaust/cats.  Why do you think car companies issue recalls when PS fluid and trans fluid leaks happen?  So replacing it soon would be a wise idea.

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Good call on the nut to the PS Pump. That is a real hard to manage thing. Rather tight in the pump, sealed with a square teflon O-ring or on some rubber round O-ring. The nut to the tube is permanent and must be replaced as a unit, the nut and pipe. Would hope a new line/nut comes with the O-ring installed on the nut. No chance the nut is loose in the pump.

 

Not a nice job to do.

 

-chart-

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And to both you and John - ATF/PS fluid is highly flamable and it is dangerous to drive around with it hitting the exhaust/cats. Why do you think car companies issue recalls when PS fluid and trans fluid leaks happen? So replacing it soon would be a wise idea.

^this, I wasn't posting on TSOC at the time but the very day I bought my SHO the Trans pan gasket started leaking while I was on the highway and the air moving under the car would whip it into the cats and onto the exhaust, it was only like that for a day or two but the burning ATF was hot enough to pretty severely melt one of the rubber exhaust hangers by the third cat. Fix it ASAP. Also burning ATF is none to good for your lungs and it will give you a monster head ache if you are around it too much.

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Edited by 97SHO476
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How hard is it to replace the line? And whats the line even called?

Power Steering Pressure line.

 

It's not an easy job.  18mm shorty wrench needed.  IIRC 15mm wrench needed for power steering pressure line.

 

11 or 13mm to remote the nut on the altnerator bolts pressing the silencer against the stalk.

 

Couple of 8mm bolts acting as isolators holding line in place.

 

Best to remove wipers, upper cowling, wiper motor and lower cowling.  gives more swing room.  New line comes with o-rings already installed.  I usually take the isolators from the OEM setup and use them on the aftermarket line.  Aftermarket line is crummy with clamps that will rub through the line.  And remember, DON'T CROSSTHREAD stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's probably a fair price for the parts and labor. Pump will probably be a reman'd unit. I would want at least a year warranty. No 90 day crap.

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That's price sounds about right.  My mom's escape had a new PS pump installed this summer in the high $300 range.  Shop that we go to has a 2 year warranty on any work they do.

 

Power steering pump failing on a duratec is very common.

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That's price sounds about right.  My mom's escape had a new PS pump installed this summer in the high $300 range.  Shop that we go to has a 2 year warranty on any work they do.

 

Power steering pump failing on a duratec is very common.

Says who? I certainly don't see a rash of them on TCCA, and since we're the forward facing website, we have a good idea of common failures...

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PS pump, likely seal failure. Change the fluid from time to time and the pump lasts the life of the car. My '01 had a seal leak at about 110K or so. I got a seal for ~$2 and replaced it. No issues. Did not want to risk the chance of a noisy pump, as in rebuild.

 

-chart-

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I have spoken to several shop managers who do that repair very often.  I don't care what a bunch of guys on a fourm do or don't say when I have professional mechanics tell me they do power steering pumps very often on Duratecs.  Our Escape blew the hose that goes to the bottom of the PS reservoir at about 60,000 miles, kinda early for a hose to fail but that was obviously just one of those silly things to go bad.

 

All of Fords power steering systems kinda suck anyway, weak and noisy. Not as bad as older GM cars though. 

 

The power steering on my car is noisy too, the fluid has been changed twice since I bought the car with no help.

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My '97 Taurus had terribly noisy power steering (I think that's what was making the noise, one mechanic suggested it could be the transmission, but I doubt it). They just get louder and more whiny with age it seems, especially on the Taurus/Sable. 

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I have had/have 7 Taurus Sables and 5 Lin Cont. 3Vulcan, 2 Essex, 2DOHC, and in Lin 2 Essex and 3 Intech.

Never replaced a PS pump but one Lin did leak at the seal and was replaced under warrenty. Never had a noisy.

Only one new car in the bunch, others used and all driven to high miles.

 

I am quite accustomed to the noise though. Across the street, dead end, there is a pre-school. Lots of cars and vans pass each morning and again around noon. I hear that sound often and the brand is not the issue. The sound is air in the fluid. I have worked in industry in maint and construction. Industrial pumps get air in the fluid and it is a pain. It will ruin a pump. Only successful way is to suck out the fluid and replace, run a short time, remove the fluid and repeat until all the air trapped is removed. Once out and the level is maintained, the air will not get back in the fluid. Once a bit too low and the bad thing is done and must be de-aired for quite operation.

 

When I did the seal on my '01, I had to do the remove and replace fluid maybe 5 times for quiet.

 

There are vacuum systems but I am not a fan of pulling a vacuum on any hydraulic system. Many seals are one way seal. They are intended for pressure or at least just atmosphere. The remove and refill is not at all difficult.

 

Just my take.

 

-chart-

 

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Since my car run for 8 years  w/no fluid changes (the 00), I sucked fluid out yearly and refilled, and the thing started to seize at 180 somethingK if memory serves correct.  The reman from O'Reillys is noisier than the factory one.  The internal o-ring on the pressure line was leaking fluid after replacement.

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Now, if you want a noisy Ford pump, look at the pumps in the '92-'96 F-Series and Bronco. Those are noisy pumps.

or a reman pump for a GM Full-size van. My father's 3500 express needed a new pump, that thing whines worse than a 4 - year old.

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