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Power Steering Fluid Leak

 
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Old 12 Dec 2013, 08:16 pm
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Default Power Steering Fluid Leak

I've been having some odd sounds coming from the front passenger side of the car near the wheel. It sounds like something hitting together.... sounds like I'm hitting potholes even on very small bumps. The mechanic looked at it and said I need new control arms and struts (but it's probably the worn out bushing causing the sound). After that sound had started... maybe a couple of weeks... the car started whining at me, especially when turning. Checking the power steering fluid showed it was very low. I refilled it and the whining nearly ceased. Since then it needs to be refilled about every 2 days. When the wheel is turned (it seems worse turning left) the fluid drains quickly. I can see two lines draining from the passenger side of the car. If I back up in my driveway turning the wheel, the leak is huge. Just sitting, the car doesn't seem to leak much if any power steering fluid.

Two questions...
Are the sound and fluid leak related in any way?
What would cause the leak to be heavier when turning the wheel?

2001 Cruiser
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Old 12 Dec 2013, 09:16 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Power Steering Fluid Leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAstronomer View Post
Checking the power steering fluid showed it was very low. I refilled it and the whining nearly ceased. Since then it needs to be refilled about every 2 days. When the wheel is turned (it seems worse turning left) the fluid drains quickly.
I can see two lines draining from the passenger side of the car. If I back up in my driveway turning the wheel, the leak is huge. Just sitting, the car doesn't seem to leak much if any power steering fluid..
Yeah....You definately have a leak!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAstronomer View Post
Two questions...
Are the sound and fluid leak related in any way?
What would cause the leak to be heavier when turning the wheel?
Yes,the 'whinning' sound is directly related to the P/S fluid leak;When there is a leak,the system can't develop proper pressure,and if it is low on fluid,it's not getting proper lubrication either......Depeding on how low (or how long) the system is run without the proper level,it can also cause wear on the P/S pump,causing it to need replacing.

The reason the leak gets 'heavier' when turning the wheel,versus sitting still,is because when turning the wheel,that is when the pump is under higher pressure,to make turning the wheel easier.

You need to take a look,in & under the car,paying special attention to try to locate the source of the leak......Be sure to look at the hoses first,looking especially at the connections(hopefully just loose connection,but could be a blown hose),then check around the P/S pump itself for leaks(could be a seal),then look around the gear box area for a leak(also possible seals),and last but not least,you could have a leak at/or around the P/S pressure sensor.

Has your 'check engine light' come on,by chance?....If so,check for error codes.
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Old 12 Dec 2013, 10:49 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Default Re: Power Steering Fluid Leak

Thanks for your help! I'll get under/in there and take a closer look tomorrow to try and identify the source of the leak. I haven't really taken a moment to do that yet but was a bit thrown off by the heavy leaking as I turned in the driveway.

I thought it was odd timing that it happened right after the other issues with the worn out bushings. Is that just a heck of a coincidence?
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