Power Steering question?


Active LVC Member
Mar 11, 2014
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Sioux City
Yesterday, went to take the girlfriend out to dinner. Power steering was winding and making other noises when turning, especially at lower speeds. Got home and there was a puddle of fluid on the garage floor and also seemed to be dripping from a rubber boot on the left front. Is my power steering pump shot or could the boot just need replaced? I am no mechanic so any help is appreciated.
It's a shot and I'm sure the others will chime in. But it could be the sensor on the pump most times it fail in the middle of that connector.
I'm sure he's talking about the power steering pressure sensor. Somehow the sensor fails allowing fluid to leak through into the terminal housing where it connects to the electrical connections. It's visible once you raise the car up. I have had the exact same issue you're having OP. The sensor was around $30 or so at autozone. It's a DIY job.

I spent a heck of a lot more in power steering fluid than in fixing the problem. Had I known it was such an easy task, I could've replaced my coils a long time ago.
From some reading there is two pressure switches? One at the pumpa and one inline?
From some reading there is two pressure switches? One at the pumpa and one inline?

There is only one pressure sensing switch. It is on the high pressure line from the pump.
There is a pressure control solenoid on the steering rack.
Thanks Joe. I am guessing due to the location of the leak under the car near the left front wheel it would likely be the pressure control solenoid on the rack that is leaking? The leak looks like it is coming from the rubber boot. Pretty easy fix once I got it up on ramps?
I couldn't tell you from that description. The fluid is under pressure at both the sensor and the actuator. For either one, it will spray and may drip from where it sprays to. You need to start the engine and find where the fluid is coming out. Failure of the pressure sensor/switch (pressure line) is more common than failure of the solenoid/actuator (rack).
The rack is a pain, but I had to replace my power steering rack in my LS, and it was making the same sounds you are describing, also left a big pool of fluid on the left front.
Thanks guys. Will start it up and see where it is coming from. I don't know if I want to get involved in changing out the rack. May hire that out if that is the case.
How did you achieve removing the sensor? I had a heck of a time figuring a way to get it off with an exponential amount of universal joints to make the 90 degree turn to get horizontal.

Between the shock tower and the valve cover it was near impossible to get a good turn on the sensor. I ended up using extensions to run all the way back by the catalytic converter with the wheel turned all the way so that the steering joint was out of the way
Ok, I got a chance to put it up on ramps and run it. The leak is definitely coming from the boot. Once I warmed up the car and filled the fluid reservoir, the pump seemed to make a high pitch whine even while just idling. Any new input? 0415141936.jpg0415141936a.jpg


Failed rack seal. You can try rebuilding it, but you'd be much better off to replace it instead.
If the pump ran too long with low fluid, it may be damaged too.
Thanks again Joe. Not sure I will tackle that myself but at least I have an idea what it is and between that and the pump it doesn't seem really serious which is great because I didn't buy the car long ago and have only put about 500 miles on it.

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