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Old 04-07-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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power steering fluid overflowing out the reservoir cap

An issue with the power steering fluid, when you shut the car off within a few seconds the fluid will start leaking out the cap.
There seems to be some air or block or something in the system.
The power steering gets worse and worse gradually, the usual systems, stiff steering wheel, moaning and groaning. Even though the fluid is low it will still overflow on shutoff.
I have tried to air it out. Run the car with the cap off and just turn the wheel left and right lockout on both sides. You can see the fluid bubbling not sure if thats normal? Doubt it. While doing this will slowly add fluid until its at the normal level and there is no air bubbles visible.
It will run smooth for a day or two but then you can tell the fluid is starting to get low again. And the stains are fresh on the driveway.

Any idea of where to look first?
I hope my rambling makes sense.


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Old 04-07-2014, 01:47 PM   #2
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So you have a leak in your power steering system.
Common areas for leaks are the union at the bottom of the ps pump, the pressure sensor near the pump and sometimes the ps lines to rack joints. Location of the stains on the driveway relative to the car should narrow it down for you. Usually process is to clean the suspected areas of dirt and grime and look for signs of new leaking. However if you're losing that much fluid, I'd think the problem area would be fairly obvious.

Fluid shouldn't bubble; it just indicates air is continuously getting into the system. If you run the pump dry frequently enough, it'll start to whine badly and eventually require replacement.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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Agreed, my wagon had similar problem and I ended up bleeding the system. The method I used was Jack up front end and place on Jackstands, take cap off, and turn wheel from lock to lock many many times. XXX note XXX you will need a spotter to make sure the fluid does not overflow, and you need to turn the steering wheel slowly to make sure this doesn't happen.

Last edited by clayton89; 04-09-2014 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:43 AM   #4
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You can't 'bleed' a power steering system, you simply let car sit after filling and every half hour come back out and start motor and cycle the rack limit to limit one time each way and then let it sit 30 more. I cycle it FAST, the longer you take the more the pump simply tears any air in there into smaller bubbles and harder to remove them. If you have to do it more than thrice you haven't done it right. Jacking up the front end doesn't do squat.

Additionally 'bleeding' will not help a unit that is continually ingesting air through a leak. The leak must be fixed.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amc49 View Post
You can't 'bleed' a power steering system, you simply let car sit after filling and every half hour come back out and start motor and cycle the rack limit to limit one time each way and then let it sit 30 more. I cycle it FAST, the longer you take the more the pump simply tears any air in there into smaller bubbles and harder to remove them. If you have to do it more than thrice you haven't done it right. Jacking up the front end doesn't do squat.

Additionally 'bleeding' will not help a unit that is continually ingesting air through a leak. The leak must be fixed.
I agree with this^^ I should have noted I did this to mine with the engine off. That is the reason I jacked the front end up was to help burp the rack/lines.

Either way the best bet has been stated, try looking for the reason for a possible air leak and get that fixed otherwise nothing else may help.

EDIT: I ended up looking back at a thread I had posted up about a similar issue, the advice I got was to turn the wheel from lock to lock with the engine running, and I clearly remember having the engine off.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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This is the same issue we just had, we watched this video
and it saved us from returning a brand new 2006 Ford Focus 2.0L power steering pump. We followed every step of the .pdf's they supplied as references to replace the pump including removing, flushing, installing and bleeding. We did clean the reservoir but it did not get the dirt off the filter and after installing it all and bleeding it we test drove the car and then found fluid all over the top of the reservoir! So we found this video and one comment bellow talked about using brake clean and compressed air to clean the reservoir. I plugged the line and used the plastic straw that comes with the brake clean to spray in the the reservoir through both the return line and pump outlet alternately, shaking it for a couple minutes between sprays. I did this a few times and would spray compress air from the pump outlet(the one with the 2 o rings) with the cap on(I kept the cap on while shaking the brake clean in there too) so air came out the return line inlet, so as to push the dirt off the screen as that is reverse of how the fluid flows. I have to admit I didn't see a lot of dirt come out but before I did any of this the new fluid looked like it had lots of tiny bubbles in it and afterwards it looks like clear cherry red fluid. Also use only Dextron V as your new power steering fluid, per Ford's updated manuals to save your pumps life and keep the noise away.
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