Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Power Steering Leak
I just want to share a story, and the solution to my problem. I have already fixed the leak. Pictures attached.
My truck had developed a power steering fluid leak over the past several weeks. Initially I had noticed what I thought was oil on the cross member near the oil filter so I checked the oil filter to make sure it wasn't leaking (it wasn't). I eventually noticed the power steering fluid level was low, and thus figured out that is what was leaking. I kept an eye on it for a while and it wasn't leaking a lot so I just kept the fluid topped off, I had put some fluid with stop leak in it and it actually had stopped the leak for a while and of course when it quit leaking I forgot about it...
Well, the last bit of cold weather we had down here about two weeks ago it became a massive leak suddenly. I started the truck to warm it up and when I came back to it there was a puddle of fluid. I checked the power steering fluid and it was low. I was having to add fluid every so often while driving or it would run low and start making noise.
So, last weekend I crawled up under there and found the leak. The metal portion of the return line near where it is strapped/clamped the cross member had a small hole in it. I have no idea how it got a hole in it, but that was the source of my problem.
I shopped for a replacement line and no one had the return line and I needed an immediate fix so that I could drive my truck. I didn't feel like getting up under the truck and working with a flaring tool to flare the hard lines so that I could clamp some rubber hose in, so instead I went to Auto Zone and found a 3/8" compression union fitting, cut the damaged section out of the hard line and added the compression fitting. It worked perfectly. It's been on there a week now and no more leak.
You cannot use these compression fittings for pressurized lines, but for the power steering return line it seems to work great. It got me right back on the road, and so far it's holding strong.
Now I just hope that my power steering pump wasn't damaged the couple of times it ran low on fluid before I could stop to check it.