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Old 11-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A case for the magical vanishing -- and subsequently reappearing -- steering fluid!

Ideas?

Yesterday I did a bit of driving around. When I arrived at one of my destinations I noticed my power steering pump was making a whine. I opened the cap and noticed the fluid was just to the bottom of the reservoir tube, but still lubricating the pump. With a few more stops to make I continued on. By the end of my last stop the pump was groaning and steering was difficult -- it had run very low on fluid.

I got home, filled it back to it's normal level and drove again, only to find my engine smoking when I stopped again. Somehow now the pump had found that lost fluid and belched the fluid I had just added all over the motor. The reservoir tube was now filled to the top with fluid.

What the hell is going on?

1999 Vulcan SE
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This thread is almost exactly my situation -- Looks like I get to to digging!

Fluid Coming Out Power Steering Pump Cap
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Prismatic View Post
Ideas?

Yesterday I did a bit of driving around. When I arrived at one of my destinations I noticed my power steering pump was making a whine. I opened the cap and noticed the fluid was just to the bottom of the reservoir tube, but still lubricating the pump. With a few more stops to make I continued on. By the end of my last stop the pump was groaning and steering was difficult -- it had run very low on fluid.

I got home, filled it back to it's normal level and drove again, only to find my engine smoking when I stopped again. Somehow now the pump had found that lost fluid and belched the fluid I had just added all over the motor. The reservoir tube was now filled to the top with fluid.

What the hell is going on?

1999 Vulcan SE
The fluid got air in it when you ran low on fluid, the air displaces the fluid volume, then when you added fluid it caused it to puke back out. You probably have a leaking rack, steering lines, etc... I would check the rack first, if you haven't changed it out yet. They end up with swollen boots filled with P/S fluid.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The fluid got air in it when you ran low on fluid, the air displaces the fluid volume, then when you added fluid it caused it to puke back out. You probably have a leaking rack, steering lines, etc... I would check the rack first, if you haven't changed it out yet. They end up with swollen boots filled with P/S fluid.
Boots look good, can't find any obvious leaks, there's no marks on the driveway to indicate any leaks... This was a sudden happening too.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try aerating it out. Mine did the same thing when I accidentally broke loose the PS fluid line instead of the transmission line.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I started whizzing out PS fluid a week or so ago, emptying the reservoir every day or so. I'm now on my second bottle of Lucas' Stop Leak and thing seem to have slowed down.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Boots look good, can't find any obvious leaks, there's no marks on the driveway to indicate any leaks... This was a sudden happening too.
I haven't added p/s fluid to my Windstar since I had the rack changed out, and that was over 2 years ago. It must be leaking somewhere, you'll probably need to get it up on jacks and trace the lines to and from the pump and rack. You could also just watch and see, monitor how much you lose.

DN101,

Sounds like a bad leak, have you tried looking for it yet?
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Last edited by JW657; 11-11-2012 at 04:26 PM. Reason: poor grammar
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As much as I can without ramps or a suitable parking lot to put the car up on jacks (gravel). Haven't pinpointed it yet. Though yesterday, while having my oil changed, the mechanic told me my transmission was leaking fluid everywhere. Which is weird because not only is it topped off, even by his own admission, but I haven't had to add a drop since I had the fluid exchanged early in the summer.

My thought was that he was seeing Stop Leak, which is pretty much the same color as ATF.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DN101 View Post
As much as I can without ramps or a suitable parking lot to put the car up on jacks (gravel). Haven't pinpointed it yet. Though yesterday, while having my oil changed, the mechanic told me my transmission was leaking fluid everywhere. Which is weird because not only is it topped off, even by his own admission, but I haven't had to add a drop since I had the fluid exchanged early in the summer.

My thought was that he was seeing Stop Leak, which is pretty much the same color as ATF.
I would take a guess that it's either a P/S line around the transmission or the rack.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Shes dead, Jim.

Pumps got a permanent whine and it's shooting fluid out whenever I turn the car off.


GG. I'm too broke to fix it, so I guess I'm out a car

Edit - And yes that is a C-Clamp holding the DPFE sensor on. The bolts sheared off trying to remove it at one point.
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