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Old 02-25-2018, 12:17 AM
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Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

How do I know if it's failed or if I just have air in the line?

I know the PS system has a leak as I have to regularly add some PS fluid every so often (about every 2 months or so). I know having a leak is potential for having air in the line, however, if I have air in the line I know that the PS fluid is supposed to foam up. Mine doesn't.

The reason why I question if it's the PS pump itself is because even when the reservoir is full of PS fluid the PS pump is making a whining noise with the noise getting worse whenever I turn the wheel. Also note, that when I initially turn on the car, there is no noise at all for the first 15 seconds or so.

I'm leaning on the pump having gone bad (it is original to the car, 317k), but if I also have a leak, I'd like to know where these leaks may be coming from. I know of the common leak at the high pressure hose to PS pump point with the o-ring failure, but are there other areas that I could be leaking from that are also fairly common to see on these cars?
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:42 PM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

Originally Posted by CDsDontBurn View Post
How do I know if it's failed or if I just have air in the line?

I know the PS system has a leak as I have to regularly add some PS fluid every so often (about every 2 months or so). I know having a leak is potential for having air in the line, however, if I have air in the line I know that the PS fluid is supposed to foam up. Mine doesn't.

The reason why I question if it's the PS pump itself is because even when the reservoir is full of PS fluid the PS pump is making a whining noise with the noise getting worse whenever I turn the wheel. Also note, that when I initially turn on the car, there is no noise at all for the first 15 seconds or so.

I'm leaning on the pump having gone bad (it is original to the car, 317k), but if I also have a leak, I'd like to know where these leaks may be coming from. I know of the common leak at the high pressure hose to PS pump point with the o-ring failure, but are there other areas that I could be leaking from that are also fairly common to see on these cars?
On my 99 Accord with a 2.3L, my low pressure line had a rust hole about 4 inches from the steering rack. I replaced all of the return lines except from the res to the pump. About a year later, I had a high pressure line wear thru near the pressure sensor (about 2 inches toward the rack from it), as the clip that holds it to the subframe broke/rusted loose. I replaced it when I was doing the exhaust. Since you're in a salt free zone, I'm not sure where you'd have a leak, but it could be almost anywhere. It could even be in 1 of the 3 or 4 small pieces of rubber hose that partly make up the return line (spring clamp getting loose). I thought the steel line that sits on top of the fork on the left side (front crossmember/crossbeam leg) was where my leak was, due to the outside of it being covered in flaky rust. But it wasn't.
I hope this helps.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:33 PM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?



I replaced #4 about 2yrs ago. I had a small leak at the rack and pinion, but found out that was because it wasn't on tight. It was making a noise for a little bit until I tightened up the flange nut. All was fine, except for the already existing leak I had (but no noise w/that leak existing leak) up until about a month ago. Something I forgot to say in my OP, is that when coming home from work, or even short drives for that matter, I smell burnt PS fluid. What would that be attributed to?
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:37 PM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?



Also, I've read elsewhere, IIRC it was a 7GA forum, about an o-ring on the PS pump itself failing and causing noises. Could that o-ring be #15 or #23?
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:18 AM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

Originally Posted by cdsdontburn View Post


also, i've read elsewhere, iirc it was a 7ga forum, about an o-ring on the ps pump itself failing and causing noises. Could that o-ring be #15 or #23?

#15
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:19 AM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

Thanks! And that O-Ring, is it part of the PS pump assembly? In one of the searches I did, someone said that if the PS is replaced but the O-ring isn't, the noises will continue.

True?
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:53 PM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

That o ring failure mainly pertains to the ps pump on the k24. Does happen on others but not as much from what ive seen. If you are getting the whine even with the reservoir full more than likely the pumps toast. It usually doesnt take much more than a couple of full lock to lock turns with the engine running to bleed the system. Its wise to replace the oring, normally comes with the rebuilt pumps. But check if you get it from a parts store. As for your leaks, get some automotive dye safe for oil etc. Add that to your ps reservoir, clean the lines, rack etc very good, drive for 200- 500 miles and check with a blacklight it will usually glow greenish yellow or orange depending on your dye where its leaking. If you dont want to or cant fine the dye pay a shop to just trace the fluid leak, just dont agree to any repairs if you want to fix it and ask to be shown any shop not trying to rip you off will show you. Hope this helps, the pump is easy to replace on the f23.

Edit: missed your post on smelling burnt ps fluid, yeah the pump has died.
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Last edited by Eclipse99fwb; 02-27-2018 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:13 AM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

If the o-ring failure mainly happens to k24 engines, what else besides the high pressure hose to PS pump assembly point (#27 in the above picture) are other likely areas of leaking / failure for the PS system? I don't want to replace the pump and find out I have a leak somewhere else in the PS system that I could just take care of all at the same time.

I won't be able to know for sure until the weekend when I have the time to get under the car, but I have reason to believe that I have a second leak somewhere else in the system as I am dumping more fluid than I have seen before in the past. I just didn't pay attention to it before since I knew I had an existing leak that didn't bother me, but now it seems that I'm leaking PS fluid at a much faster pace than I was before. If it's not blatantly obvious where the leak is coming from, I'll have to get a dye off Amazon or something to help me find the leak. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:08 PM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

I think you mean the number 15 o ring, replace that either way, should come with a remanufactured ps pump. The other points you will want to check is the feed hose and return hose camps from the resviour. The clamps usually wear and have seepage, if leaking replace with screw clamps. Not sure if you are in the salt belt but next would be the metal lines especially where they bolt to the p/s rack. If it is really leaking bad to where you are adding fluid alot than chances are one or both the seals are shot on the ps rack. Check both boots on the rack, if no obvious fluid than pull back the small clamp(close to the outer tierod) and pull the boot back, if soaked with fluid inside than you will need a new rack. Not much too the ps system so either pump, resviour hoses, high pressure line from pump to rack, or metal lines attached to rack, or rack itself. Let me know if you need anything else and good to see someone diagnose a problem rather than throw parts at it.
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:39 PM
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Re: Power Steering Pump Failure or a Leak?

Originally Posted by Eclipse99fwb View Post
I think you mean the number 15 o ring, replace that either way, should come with a remanufactured ps pump. The other points you will want to check is the feed hose and return hose camps from the resviour. The clamps usually wear and have seepage, if leaking replace with screw clamps. Not sure if you are in the salt belt but next would be the metal lines especially where they bolt to the p/s rack. If it is really leaking bad to where you are adding fluid alot than chances are one or both the seals are shot on the ps rack. Check both boots on the rack, if no obvious fluid than pull back the small clamp(close to the outer tierod) and pull the boot back, if soaked with fluid inside than you will need a new rack. Not much too the ps system so either pump, resviour hoses, high pressure line from pump to rack, or metal lines attached to rack, or rack itself. Let me know if you need anything else and good to see someone diagnose a problem rather than throw parts at it.
Biggest problem with a line leak, is that it'll be down low on the frame work, and WILL spray the rack making finding a leak even harder. If you can spray that area behind the engine and the rack at a car wash, then look for fresh fluid. When my hi pressure line sprung a leak, it was hard to find (sprayed everything down back there), It wasn't until I had the line out that I found the leak. This was versus the low pressure line leak (it was obvious), that was a rust hole near the fitting on the rack.
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