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Old 11-24-2008, 10:06 PM   #1
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Steering Rack Leak? WTH? (Pictures)

So these are pictures of my steering rack. It is covered in something that leaked. It has obviously been leaking for a while judging by the extent of the contamination. I cannot figure out where this leak has been coming from or even what the stuff is that leaked.



That's the rear motor mount and the steering rack above it. Note the black stuff caked on it.



Another shot with the flash on.



This is on the other side of the rear motor mount (still on driver side). I've scraped a bit of the gunk off the rack housing. The tie rod inner boot is to the left. Coincidentally, both inner clamps of my tie rod boots are missing or ineffective (I need to replace them with screw clamps), but this gunk is only on one side of the rack. I only noticed this problem when the breather tube between the two boots just fell off when I was replacing my belt tensioner.



This is a shot of the power steering feed/return lines just behind the rack. Note the stain on one of them. Could this be where the fluid is leaking from? I've never really noticed a drop in power steering fluid levels, so it's a little confusing.

Any ideas? I'm at a loss. Oh, these shots are from my 2000 Focus ZX3, 100k miles.


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Old 12-02-2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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not sure what to tell ya. i guess to just keep looking for anything wet. it looks like all that in the pic is old and coverd in dirt.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:36 AM   #3
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This can't be much of a leak. It doesn't look "fresh". And if the power steering fluid level is still not dropping and there is no "drippage", then I wouldn't worry about it. Could it be brake fluid from an old spillage at the brake/clutch fluid reservoir that may have dripped from above? Sometimes during a brake pad replacement when the caliper pistons are shoved back the fluid overflows the reservoir because someone has previously overfilled the reservoir. I wouldn't sweat this right now.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:28 AM   #4
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There is no leak.
All that is left overs from oil changes. Pretty normal if ya ask me.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:00 AM   #5
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I thought it might just be oil from old oil changes, but I dunno. That's a lot of gunk. I'm not under my car very often, at least not in that area, so that might be why I haven't noticed.

I couldn't find anything in the shop manual, but are the inner tie rod joints supposed to have a grease charge? Is that why they are covered with boots? Or does the steering rack and pinion have a grease charge?

Both the clamps on my inner tie rod joints are missing, the boot can slide off freely if it wants. I need to replace the clamps, but could this be the grease coming out of those boots?
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