specifications, an overhaul of the system will be
For instructions on the removal/installation and
overhaul of the rack-and-pinion system, refer to the
manufacturers service manual for the equipment you
Power Steering System Service
Many of the components of a power steering
system are the same as those used on a manual steering
system. However, a pump, hoses, a power piston, and a
control valve are added. These components can also
fail. requiring repair or replacement. Power steering
system service typically consists of the following:
Checking power steering fluid level
Checking belts and hoses
Checking the system for leaks
Pressure testing the system
Bleeding the system
CHECKING POWER STEERING FLUID.
To check the level of the power steering fluid, you
should NOT let the engine run. With the parking brake
set, place the transmission in either PARK or
NEUTRAL. Basic procedures for checking the level of
the power steering fluid are as follows:
Unscrew and remove the cap to the power
steering reservoir. The cap will normally have a dipstick
Wipe off the dipstick and reinstall the cap.
Remove the cap and inspect the level of the fluid on the
dipstick. Most dipsticks will have HOT and COLD
markings. Make sure you read the correct marking on
The fluid level will rise on the dipstick as
the steering system warms.
If required, only add enough fluid to reach the
correct mark on the dipstick. Automatic transmission
fluid is commonly used in a power steering system.
Some power steering systems, however, do NOT use
automatic transmission fluid and require a special
power steering fluid. Always refer to the
manufacturers service for the correct type of fluid for
Do NOT overfill the system. Overfilling
will cause fluid to spray out the top of the
reservoir and onto the engine and other
SERVICING POWER STEERING HOSES
AND BELT.Always inspect the condition of the
hoses and the belt very carefully.
The hoses are exposed to tremendous pressures; if a
hose ruptures, a sudden and dangerous loss of power
assist occurs. Make sure that the hose is NOT rubbing on
moving or hot components. This can cause hose failure.
Power steering pump pressure can exceed
1,000 psi. This is enough pressure to cause
serious eye injury. Wear eye protection when
working on a power steering system.
If it is necessary to replace a power steering hose,
use a flare nut or tubing wrench. This action will
prevent you from stripping the nut. When starting a
new hose fitting, use your hand. This action will
prevent cross threading. Always tighten the hose fitting
A loose power steering belt can slip, causing belt
squeal and erratic or high steering effort. A worn or
cracked belt may break during operation, which would
cause a loss of power assist.
When it is necessary to tighten a power steering
belt, do NOT pry on the side of the power steering
pump. The thin housing on the pump can easily be
dented and ruined. ONLY pry on the reinforced
flanged or a recommended point.
The basic procedures for installing a power
steering belt are as follows:
Loosen the bolts that hold the power steering
pump to its brackets.
Push inward on the pump to release tension on
the belt. With the tension removed, slide the belt
from the pulley.
Obtain a new belt and install it in reverse order.
Remember when adjusting belt tension to
specifications, only pry on the reinforced flange or a
recommended pry point.
POWER STEERING LEAKS.A common
problem with power steering systems is fluid leakage.
With pressure over 1,000 psi, leaks can develop easily