power steering leak?
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This is a discussion on power steering leak? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; hello everyone im new here, just got my 03 wrx friday its got hks catback cobb downpipe k&n CAI and ...

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    Unhappy power steering leak?

    hello everyone im new here, just got my 03 wrx friday its got hks catback cobb downpipe k&n CAI and thats all ive found so far.

    Saturday i gave the car a little lovin with the throttle and after maybe 20 minutes i pulled up to a light and noticed white smoke coming from under my hood. i assumed coolant leak, and popped my hood and sure enough there was fresh coolant on the side of my radiator and some dried on the intake, power steering resevoir, alternator cover, and the engine block. went and got a leak pressure test on all hoses and ended up getting my radiator replaced today. well, it still smokes so i looked around a little harder. turns out theres power steering fluid in a few places. noticed some that had ran down the block and onto the outside of the oil filter (thats how i knew it was power steering, it was red) so i looked through the system and noticed a little bit on top of the pump. the block was wet along with the oil pan and other parts underneath. would the power steering fluid smoke white and have a similar odor to coolant??
    any help or opinions are appreciated. & before anyone flames me, the dealer asked me to fax the receipts and they will be reimbursing me for the problems.

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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    nobody will flame you for asking good questions, we arent nasioc or vwvortex.

    No your PS Fluid will not smell like coolant that is either probably residual or maybe another leak. Coolant is under pressure, when you fix a leak more can start because of new added pressure from fixing the old pressure lost, catch my drift?

    As for your power steering fluid it will be white smoke, the easiest thing is to take the car down to a reputable subaru dealer and have it ink dye tested, especially if the dealer is responsible for the bill.

    And welcome!


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    another thing though, is for the amount of fluid that im seeing on engine components, there isnt any missing from the resevoir at all. im certain its power steering fluid though because it is the exact same color and its running onto the oil pan and the im guessing exhaust piping in the front of the engine which is directly below the power steering pump. surely if my pump was bad i wouldnt be able to steer for **** and my resevoir would be losing coolant though right?

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    Registered User charmander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irhodes14 View Post
    another thing though, is for the amount of fluid that im seeing on engine components, there isnt any missing from the resevoir at all. im certain its power steering fluid though because it is the exact same color and its running onto the oil pan and the im guessing exhaust piping in the front of the engine which is directly below the power steering pump. surely if my pump was bad i wouldnt be able to steer for **** and my resevoir would be losing coolant though right?
    Even if the pump is bad as long as there is fuild flowing through the system you'll be able to steer.
    Do you notice any times when you turn when the steering wheel might jerk a little bit?

    My father's pump just got replaced along with a rocking pinion and a jerking steering wheel (easy then firm then easy again) was one of the ways he noticed.
    As for the coolant, I may be reading you wrong but I'm pretty sure coolant and the power steering fluid are different.
    If it is leaking power steering fluid then you'll find yourself finding it hard to steer in no time if you don't keep filling it up

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    Quote Originally Posted by charmander View Post
    Even if the pump is bad as long as there is fuild flowing through the system you'll be able to steer.
    Do you notice any times when you turn when the steering wheel might jerk a little bit?

    My father's pump just got replaced along with a rocking pinion and a jerking steering wheel (easy then firm then easy again) was one of the ways he noticed.
    As for the coolant, I may be reading you wrong but I'm pretty sure coolant and the power steering fluid are different.
    If it is leaking power steering fluid then you'll find yourself finding it hard to steer in no time if you don't keep filling it up
    oops i typed that wrong my b mean to say the power steering fluid in the resevoir hasnt moved at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by charmander View Post
    Even if the pump is bad as long as there is fuild flowing through the system you'll be able to steer.
    Do you notice any times when you turn when the steering wheel might jerk a little bit?

    My father's pump just got replaced along with a rocking pinion and a jerking steering wheel (easy then firm then easy again) was one of the ways he noticed.
    As for the coolant, I may be reading you wrong but I'm pretty sure coolant and the power steering fluid are different.
    If it is leaking power steering fluid then you'll find yourself finding it hard to steer in no time if you don't keep filling it up
    but pretty much what im asking is if my power steering was leaking onto the block and headers would it cause it to smoke

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    What colour is the fluid in the power steering reservoir?
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irhodes14 View Post
    but pretty much what im asking is if my power steering was leaking onto the block and headers would it cause it to smoke
    yes


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    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    What colour is the fluid in the power steering reservoir?
    he says red?


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    Quote Originally Posted by LPPTundWRX View Post
    he says red?
    yes, when i bought it had red in it and it was at the cold minimum line. the kind i put in there was clear and i filled it to the cold max. so ya its red.

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    to be honest I have never touched my power steering fluid but I could of sworn subarus was mostly golden color


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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    OK just checking. You either have a PS leak or someone dis-and re-connected a hose, maybe during the coolant repair.
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPPTundWRX View Post
    to be honest I have never touched my power steering fluid but I could of sworn subarus was mostly golden color
    well the red im assuming was automatic transmission fluid which does work as power steering fluid, i dont know if it does for the wrx and i didnt put it in there but could that ruin the seals or anything?

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irhodes14 View Post
    well the red im assuming was automatic transmission fluid which does work as power steering fluid, i dont know if it does for the wrx and i didnt put it in there but could that ruin the seals or anything?

    Not likely..all modern Subarus use ATF as PS fluid..

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