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#1 Old 02-15-2013, 06:05 PM
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Power Steering Question

I have a 2009 Camry LE with the 4cyl. engine. The stealership I took it to for the annual state inspection pointed out that the power steering return line was leaking. The leak appears to be in the short piece of rubber hose that connects to the power steering fluid reservoir. I plan to replace it. As such, I wanted to verify something the "service advisor" said. He indicated that the power steering system would need to be bled as a part of the repair. Is this true? This is my first time dealing with the power steering system in any vehicle. Thanks.
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#2 Old 02-15-2013, 07:47 PM
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Sounds right...removing the hose will admit air into the system that needs to be purged...not a difficult task...
My PS fluid was replaced recently and if I recall correctly, (after you replace your hose)....this would be the procedure...after raising the front end off the ground..

....fill the PS reservoir, and while someone slowly turns the steering wheel a few times from one extreme to the other, stopping at each end to make sure the fluid "burps" air...filling the reservoir as needed to make sure the fluid stays above minimum line...doing this a few times should be all you need to do.....

I'm sure someone can correct me if I've overlooked something...but in any case, it's not a time con$uming operation so your local indie mechanic would likely charge a (typical minimum) hour labor charge...

If it's a DIY do a search to see if someone's done it...and make sure you use the appropriate PS fluid (I used Castrol IMPORT Transmax ATF fluid)...

I found this thread on bleeding/flushing PS...
Power Steering Issues

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KitaCamry: an 05 J-vin LE 2.4/5-sp manual tranny with 17" Italian rims!....Enjoy your J Y T Y

Last edited by kitacamry; 02-15-2013 at 08:03 PM.
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#3 Old 02-15-2013, 07:58 PM
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From what you described it sounds like minor work. I don't think air will even enter the pump or the rack. When you refill the reservoir, the ATF should fill up the new rubber hose you just installed. Just make sure you get an ATF hose formulated to handle the fluid. NAPA has the generic hoses, not shaped.

I think it's just another way for the dealer to milk you for $$. Dealerships need to make money, and the service advisor probably has quotas to meet too or they'll let him go.

If the system has air (reservoir bubbles) and it's unable to self bleed, then do what Kitacamry mentioned. Here is a DIY in a typical PS system flush:

DIY: Power Steering Fluid Flush/Exchange

also, Changing Power Steering Fluid - advice needed
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#4 Old 02-15-2013, 08:06 PM
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If you go factory with that rubber line, it only comes with the return line assembly. At least thats what the last warranty one I did came with.

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#5 Old 02-16-2013, 11:44 AM
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No big deal, just replace the hose and let the car run awhile. Recheck fluid level. Might be a good time to empty the reservoir with a big syringe available at Home and Ranch stores. Replace fluid with type shown on reservoir cap. Repeat the procedure until you go through a bottle of fluid and you have replaced about 90 some percent of the ps fluid. Regards
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#6 Old 02-16-2013, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I definitely got the feeling that i was cutting into the advisor's commission by even asking about DIYing it. When i had the tech that did the state inspection show me what was wrong, it confirmed to me that the advisor had no real clue and was just trying to get one over on me. But long story short, i will either DIY it or take it to one of the mom and pop places around the corner from me.
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#7 Old 02-17-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatteras8926 View Post
I wanted to verify something the "service advisor" said. He indicated that the power steering system would need to be bled as a part of the repair. Is this true?
The steering system is self-bleeding (unlike the brake system). If there's air in the system, it will rise to the reservoir. As someone else noted, you might have to top off the reservoir after it has run a while. A couple turns of the wheel lock to lock should purge any air.
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#8 Old 02-17-2013, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatteras8926 View Post
I have a 2009 Camry LE with the 4cyl. engine. The stealership I took it to for the annual state inspection pointed out that the power steering return line was leaking. The leak appears to be in the short piece of rubber hose that connects to the power steering fluid reservoir. I plan to replace it. As such, I wanted to verify something the "service advisor" said. He indicated that the power steering system would need to be bled as a part of the repair. Is this true? This is my first time dealing with the power steering system in any vehicle. Thanks.
Are you fairly sure the hose is actually leaking and not the hose connection at the reservoir? Mine was leaking at the connection and a quick replacement of the clamp with a heavy duty clamp fixed the leak.

Good Luck!

Fred

2005 Camry XLE, I-4, 5 spd. auto., Leather, 49K mi.
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#9 Old 02-17-2013, 06:31 PM
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Good point "Dad"....When I changed my PCV valve I noticed that the end-tips of the PCV hose was rock-hard brittle cracked and I changed it with the valve...

KitaCamry: an 05 J-vin LE 2.4/5-sp manual tranny with 17" Italian rims!....Enjoy your J Y T Y
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