A power steering pressure hose is a key component of the steering system that can help direct your car carefully, smoothly, and securely. The power steering pressure hose carries high pressure power steering fluid between the steering pump and the power steering rack. The power steering pump directs fluid from the reservoir into the steering gear, helping to apply the right amount of pressure to turn the wheels smoothly and consistently on uneven terrain and high speeds.
With two types of power steering pressure hoses in cars, one that carries fluid from the pump to the rack, and a low pressure hose that carries the fluid to the pump, these are important components to ensure smooth steering. It is important to keep this part working well and in good condition, and notice the signs of a failing power steering pump hose – like a smell of burning oil under the hood.
Knowing how to fix a power steering hose leak, how to perform a power steering pressure hose replacement, how to know if you need a power steering pressure hose repair, and the symptoms of a failing power steering pressure hose is crucial to the longevity of your steering system.
How to Fix a Power Steering Pressure Hose Leak
First, you should park your car and lift the hood while you keep the engine running. If you are parked somewhere on a slope or somewhere where your car could roll, ensure that your parking brake is on and the car is in Park.
Second, you should be able to easily see where the power steering pressure hose is leaking, as you will see the fluid coming out from the hose. Since the fluid can cause a fire and cause a dangerous leak, you shouldn’t drive the car any further. You might need to call for a mechanic or a towing service, but paying for that service is better than risking a fire in your car.
Next, turn off the engine after you have identified the origin of the leak. Try to repair the power steering pressure hose leak if you are on the highway and can’t immediately get it replaced.
After you have determined the source of the leak, the repair begins. Cut the damaged or leaking portion of the hose with a sharp knife. Use two hose clamps on either side of the hose after the cut portion and connect the hose together using the knobs on each clamp. Make sure these clamps are air tight and shouldn’t be too tight as to cut off the threads of the hose.
Once the hose is connected, you can replace the hose in its original position. Since the power steering fluid has leaked, you will have to refill the power steering fluid. Some of the best power steering fluids on the market today is the Lucas Oil 10442 Power Steering Fluid, the Prestone AS261 Power Steering Fluid, the Royal Purple MAX EZ power Steering Fluid, and other options by Honda or Mitsubishi. Oftentimes these containers will cost less than $15 at your local auto shop, with OEM fluids being at the higher end of the price range.
After you have replaced the power steering fluid, you can start the engine and ensure there are no other leaks apparent in the hose. Keep in mind that although this can let your car keep running safely, this is a temporary repair. You should drive right away to a mechanic shop and have an experienced professional replace the power steering pressure hose as soon as you can.
Steps to Power Steering Pressure Hose Replacement
If your power steering pressure hose has extended damage, you might need to replace the power steering pressure hose. The first step is to shut off the car’s engine and remove the hose at the power steering gear, letting the additional power steering fluid to drain into a pan underneath your car.
Next, loosen the fittings that are holding the hose securely in place and the steering gear. Cap the pump and remove the clips that are connecting the power steering pressure hose to the chassis of your vehicle.
After you have removed the hose from the chassis, replace the O-rings and install the new power steering pressure hose to the chassis. Fasten the fittings and the steering gear, and finally reattach the hose at the power steering gear.
How Do I Know I need a power steering pressure hose Repair Without a Leak?
If your power steering pressure hose needs a repair, the most common sign that most drivers will be able to notice is a leak. However, you need to keep an eye on the pressure and the steering abilities since the leak might be too slow to detect. In addition to a leak, there are other symptoms which are pretty obvious. The power steering might begin to make a whining noise, or might fail unexpectedly.
To check a power steering pressure hose, you can take precautions before the power steering hose deteriorates over time. There are a few check ups which you can do to check the longevity and the condition of your power steering pressure hose.
First, make sure the hose is not soft. This can be a sign of internal deterioration and breakdown. Next, ensure there is no leak or drip that occurs at the connection. In addition, make sure the hose has the same flexibility as it did originally, ensuring that the hose has not lost the ability of absorbing pressure.
Further, check the outer layer for any cracks or pinholes in the hose, which can cause leaks and a lack of pressure. Lastly, if the steering fluid is not the right color or is contaminated, the metal particles have entered the power steering system and the power steering pump hose needs to be repaired or replaced.
Symptoms of a failing power steering pressure hose
As we know, the power steering hose helps to transport the power steering fluid to the rack and the pump from the reservoir. With the high pressure and low pressure hose making up this power steering pressure hose system, a leak or clog in the hose can lead to one of these symptoms.
One of the key symptoms the power steering hose is failing or deteriorating is that the steering wheel becomes difficult to turn. If there isn’t enough pressure to retain the power steering fluid and put it back to the rack, the vehicle will not be able to turn correctly and can cause difficulty when controlling your car. If you notice that your steering wheel is hard to turn or you are having trouble controlling your vehicle, either at high or low speeds, contact a professional so that you can continue to safely drive.
Groaning noise while steering
If you notice that there is a whirring noise, difficulty steering, or groaning going along with the inability to turn the wheel, then this can mean a low power steering fluid level. This is reminiscent of a leak in the pressure hose being a possible cause of the low fluid level. Make sure you check the power steering hose to determine where the low fluid level is originating from.
Along with leaking fluid and fluid leaks, rubber particles can be found within the power steering hose reservoir and affect negatively the interior of the pressure hose or the power steering pump, causing it to deteriorate over time. All rubber hoses need to be replaced or repaired over time, and the system needs to be flushed to ensure that the fluid does not contain debris or particles. Sometimes, an in-line aftermarket fluid filter might be required for some replacements, causing the power steering pressure hose to keep working correctly.
Both the pressure and return hoses are made of rubber material, which has a limited service life. If the vehicle is old, like over a decade old,and you have decided that power components are in need of replacing, the rubber hoses should be replaced as well.
If you are able to notice a leak within your power steering pressure hose or notice that there is power steering fluid dripping from your car, then there are more often than not a leak in your hose. To distinguish this leak from other parts or other liquids in your car, the steering fluid is generally a clear or brown color and can smell like burning oil.
The only good thing about this symptom is that it is pretty easy to smell this burning oil coming from your car and hard for a driver to ignore. Make sure that you get your car checked as soon as you smell this, as it is a hazard and will require cleanup and your vehicle to be inspected immediately.
Low Fluid Levels
Make sure that along with your other regular maintenance that you check your power steering fluid at regular intervals. If you check it regularly, you will be able to notice when there is a drop in the fluids. This can indicate to you that something is wrong with your power steering system or your power steering pressure hose.
If you recognize the low fluid levels, this can indicate a problem with the power steering reservoir. You should bring your vehicle to the local mechanic to diagnose this issue and ensure that this is the right problem. If your power steering pressure hose is leaking power steering fluid, this can damage the engine, leading to a much more costly repair.
Is it safe to drive with a power steering pressure hose issue?
Long story short, it is not safe to drive with this power steering pressure hose issue. As like with many important parts of your vehicle, driving with something wrong can only cause further damage to your car, leading to more costly repairs and replacements.
The fluid in the power steering pressure hose is extremely flammable, as we talked about earlier, any leak with the power steering pressure hose can cause a fire if not fixed immediately and clamped off for a temporary fix. If a leak can spray fluid into a part of the engine that is under a high pressure situation or high heat, like the exhaust manifold, this can cause a fire.
Leaks related to the power steering pressure hose can cause problems with steering and accuracy if the leak causes the fluid level within the reservoir to go to levels that are too low to operate correctly, causing the power steering pump to undergo damage.
Keep this in mind when replacing the power steering pressure hose…
- When you have decided that the power steering hoses need to be replaced or you have brought your car to a mechanic, the entire power steering system needs to be inspected. The power steering system helps drivers steer the vehicle and enables them to turn the steering wheel. With three main types of power steering systems, like hydraulic power steering, electro-hydraulic power steering, and electric power or motor driven power steering.
- Use only OEM specified power steering fluid within your power steering system and power steering pressure hose. OEM means the original equipment manufacturer, and their recommendation will usually reference the type of oil needed to use and the viscosity required.
- If the pressure hose has worn out from the inside out, then you might need a mechanic to flush the entire system and replace the rubber return hose. A mechanic might also state that you should install an in-line filter. In-line filters are used to trap small particles within the tube or the pipe to ensure that the fluid is contaminant free, making sure the power steering pressure hose does not have any debris inside.
- Making sure you remove all of the air from the system can take some time, even after you have completed the normal bleeding procedure. If you find that turning the steering wheel results in some noise, then you should bring your car back tinto a mechanic to ensure that the system is working correctly. Rechecking the pressure power steering hose and the entire power steering system ensures nothing was missed.