How to Fix a Power Steering Hose Leak

January 27, 2012

A power steering hose carries high pressure power steering fluid between the power steering pump and the power steering rack. There are 2 types of power steering hoses-a high pressure hose that carries the fluid from the pump to the rack and a low pressure hose that carries the fluid from the rack to the pump. You can probably identify a hose leak problem if you get a smell of burning oil under the hood of the car. This is usually accompanied by difficulty in steering the vehicle.

How to Fix a Power Steering Hose Leak:

  • You should park the car and lift the hood while the engine is running. To be safe, engage the emergency brake and put the gear in park.
  • It's easy to identify the place that has sprung a leak as you can see the fluid spurting out. Since this gushing fluid can cause a fire, you shouldn't drive the car with a hose leak, even without power steering.
  • Shut off the engine and try to repair the hose leak if you are on the highway and can't get it replaced.
  • To conduct a power steering hose repair, cut the damaged portion of the hose with a sharp knife.
  • Use 2 hose clamps on each side of the hose and connect the hose together using the brass knobs on each clamp. Ensure that the clamps are tight. Remember, the clamps shouldn't be too tight as this can strip the threads of the hose. 
  • After the hose is connected, replace it in its correct position.
  • Since the power steering fluid has leaked out due to the damaged hose, it's necessary to refill the fluid.
  • Once the power steering fluid has been replaced, you can start the engine and test it for further leaks.
  • You must keep in mind that this is a temporary repair and make sure you replace the hose at the earliest.

Power Steering Hose Replacement:

  • Shut off the car's engine.
  • Remove the hose at the power steering gear and allow the power steering fluid to drain into a pan.
  • Loosen and remove the fittings that hold the hose in place at the pump and steering gear.
  • Next, cap the pump and gear fittings and remove all the clips that connect the hose to the chassis.
  • Remove the hose from the chassis and replace the O-rings at the ends of the hose.
  • Then, install the new power steering hose by attaching the hose to the chassis and connecting the clips that hold it in place at the chassis.
  • Subsequently, fasten the fittings of the hose to the pump and steering gear after uncapping the latter.
  • Lastly, reattach the hose at the power steering gear.
  • The pump should be filled with power steering fluid till the recommended fluid mark.
  • Once everything is in place you can start the engine and check for leaks.

Power steering uses the principal of hydraulic pressure. This can put a lot of pressure on the hoses and wear out the rubber. Therefore it's essential that the power steering hoses of your car are checked regularly by a mechanic and replaced when required.

Related Questions and Answers

How do You Know You Need a Power Steering Pump Repair if there's no Leak?

If your power steering pump needs repair, the most likely sign is a leak. It is possible that the leak is so slow that it will be hard to be impossible to detect. There are other signs of power steering problems before a leak becomes apparent. If the power steering makes a whining noise, or seems to suddenly fail before coming back again, it is possible you have a leaky pump. A leaking pump will eventually leave puddles on the ground. If you catch it early enough, it is possible to fix it with a power steering stop-leak. This is simply added to your power steering fluid, and can help plug the hole. If it is a large leak, it is best to consult a professional.

Is a Power Steering Fluid Flush Useless with a Leak?

A power steering fluid flush is a great way to prolong the life of your power steering system. Flushing out old contaminates and replacing dirty fluid should be done on a regular basis. Check your owners manual for servicing guidelines. Unfortunately, a power steering flush will not fix a leak. If the leak is small, you can use a power steering stop-leak which is simply mixed in with your power steering fluid. It will plug the leak. If the leak is large, a stop-leak will not fix the problem. At this point, the car should be fixed by a professional.Is There a Cleaner Available to Clean Out Power Steering Pipes?

The best way to clean out power steering pipes is to have the power steering system flushed. This involves draining out the old power steering fluid and replacing it with new fluid. This cleans out all of the contaminants in the system. A power steering flush should be done on a regular basis. It is best to check your owners manual for a recommended servicing schedule. If you are comfortable working on cars, doing a power steering flush can be done at home. If you are not familiar with the inner workings of your vehicle, it is best to leave the flush to a professional.Is Getting a Power Steering Pump Rebuild Cheaper than a Repair?

Doing a power steering pump rebuild can be cheaper than replacing it, but only if you can do the rebuild yourself. Even then, the savings will be minimal. A rebuild kit and the required parts and tools will often cost more than the cost of a new pump. If you are capable of doing the work yourself, it may come in a bit cheaper. The satisfaction of doing the work yourself can be worth the additional effort. Having a professional rebuild your pump will most likely cost more than just having them replace it. The ideal solution is to simply have the pump replaced if it is leaking or damaged.

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