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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm having an issue with leaking power steering fluid.

Details: 1995 V6 XLE, 180,000+ miles

Symptoms: A couple months ago the power steering started to make a groaning/whining noise. I checked for a fluid leak but didn't see anything; checked the fluid reservoir, a little low, but didn't concern me at the time. A couple weeks pass by and the noise gets louder and the steering gets a little stiff. Previous to this the steering only made a noise while turning, now it made noise while idling as well. Checked for a leak again and was able to see fluid down low on the passenger side of the engine compartment. Also checked the reservoir which was very low. I refilled with new power steering fluid which made the noise go away and returned the steering to normal, however, the fluid slowly leaked out over the course of 1-3 weeks. I repeated this process for a few weeks until I decided to try some stop-leak. Stop-leak helped a bit by increasing the time between refills, but unfortunately didn't fix the problem.

So, those are my symptoms, what do you all suggest? From what I've read on the forum and heard from others, I'm thinking that my pump is going bad. I just wanted to pick your brains and get some advice on what I should check or how I should process! I would prefer to fix this myself, but admit that I have limited access to tools. I would like to avoid a huge bill on this if possible. Anyway, thanks in advance for any/all help!
 

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Registered
Camry 1996 V6 LE
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1,128 Posts
Hey all,

I'm having an issue with leaking power steering fluid.

Details: 1995 V6 XLE, 180,000+ miles

Symptoms: A couple months ago the power steering started to make a groaning/whining noise. I checked for a fluid leak but didn't see anything; checked the fluid reservoir, a little low, but didn't concern me at the time. A couple weeks pass by and the noise gets louder and the steering gets a little stiff. Previous to this the steering only made a noise while turning, now it made noise while idling as well. Checked for a leak again and was able to see fluid down low on the passenger side of the engine compartment. Also checked the reservoir which was very low. I refilled with new power steering fluid which made the noise go away and returned the steering to normal, however, the fluid slowly leaked out over the course of 1-3 weeks. I repeated this process for a few weeks until I decided to try some stop-leak. Stop-leak helped a bit by increasing the time between refills, but unfortunately didn't fix the problem.

So, those are my symptoms, what do you all suggest? From what I've read on the forum and heard from others, I'm thinking that my pump is going bad. I just wanted to pick your brains and get some advice on what I should check or how I should process! I would prefer to fix this myself, but admit that I have limited access to tools. I would like to avoid a huge bill on this if possible. Anyway, thanks in advance for any/all help!
Most likely your steering pump has given up. To make sure you can jack up the right side of the car and using brake cleaner clean the pump and everything else (try to avoid spraying brake cleaner on rubber parts - hose, CV boot, belts). Then start the engine and just watch the pump. Very common leak comes from the shaft seal.
Another possibility is cracked low-pressure rubber hose (from reservoir to the pump). But you'll see it being under the car.

A couple of pics of the passenger side of the car with right front wheel removed. The pump is at the left side of the pic:



 

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01 Solara/12 Highlander
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62 Posts
I just changed that on my Sienna... bought a reman one. and it was a pain just because it's in the Sienna and it's hard to get more than one hand up in there at a time, so on the Avalon it should be easier. No special tools, couple sockets. Was like $110 at Advance Auto Parts
 

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1995 Camry LE
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3 Posts
Check the power steering pressure hose assembly. It goes from the pump to the rack. I just replaced mine yesterday. To save costs steer (pun intended) clear of the OEM unit. It is ~$500.00 for two hoses and some tubing! I bought a replacement unit at $49.00. Note that you will have to transfer some parts from the old unit to the new replacement unit. Jack the car up and remove the front passenger side wheel to check where it is leaking from. You may have to degrease the area and then run the engine to find the leak (I did). Good luck!
 
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