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Power steering leak


Active Member
April 3, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Edmonton, Alberta
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Ford Explorer XLT
The power steering in our Explorer has had a slow leak for quite some time. All over the lower half of the engine bay and front axle is covered in PS fluid. It's been leaking for a long time and no one has fixed it as this thing barely gets used. It was easier to just keep filling the fluid up.

Now its getting used daily and we're trying to find the leak. I can't see any leaks from the fittings, hoses or pump. It looks like its coming from the cap's vent hole. I cleaned the cap, and a week later the cap is covered in fluid again. I replaced the cap previously before as an attempt at a quick fix. Any suggestions as to why the leak would be coming from the fill area aside from being overfilled? The pump also sounds really whiny, even with alot of fluid.

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Check for a crack in the reservoir or a loose fitting cap.

Mine is leaking from the cap, too

I spent 6 months trying to locate my power steering leak. It was intermittent, and sometimes I left large puddles while other times it was very little. I cleaned the motor several times and spent hours on end trying to find the leak. Every time I noticed a puddle, I would check and there would be fluid on the top of the cap.
A couple of weeks ago I was working on the brakes and reached in through the window to turn the steering wheel. I then saw the power steering fluid come shooting out of the vent hole in the cap. I've never seen this happen before. Anyone have any ideas? Is there perhaps a bad valve inside the pump that is causing excessive pressure buildup? Can it be repaired, or should I replace the pump itself?
I know this is an old post that I'm replying to. If no one chimes in, I'll start a new one.

Same problem. Anyone ever find an answer?

I don't recall seeing a vent hole in the cap but I could be wrong. What I do know though is that you should be able to run the engine with the power steering cap off. A lot of people flush this way, disconnecting the return line into a bucket, capping off the reservoir nipple and then pouring fresh fluid into the pump while it's running and spitting out the old into a bucket. I've seen this process mentioned many times.

If your pump is shooting fluid out of the fill tube, there might be something seriously wrong. I couldn't say what that would be though.

For leaks, the most common thing is the swivel connection for the pressure line on the drivers side of the pump, sticking out horizontally. There's an o-ring in-between the fitting and tube and then a teflon washer type thing and they both wear out.

I replaced the hoses on mine along with a rebuilt pump since I broke the return line nipple off the tank while removing the hose. It was just best to get a rebuilt pump for about $40 (lifetime warranty, Lares corp, rockauto.com). Once I did that, all is dry. Pump still whines but that's more a function of the poor design. The one I replaced was far noisier and I've heard much much worse from other Fords.

Leak found & Fixed

I was having the same problem. I knew I had a leak, but couldn't find it. I thought it was coming out of the cap, too. But after extensive cleaning and a couple weeks of driving, I found the leak in the seal where the hose attaches to the reservoir.

At first, it was unpredictable. It would leak sometimes when parked and sometimes when I drive. I tried to get the hose off, but it was stuck... a little leak became a big leak. Lol.

I had originally planned to replace it all, but winter is coming and time is limited. So, I used Lucas Power Steering STOP LEAK, and it fixed it. They have a money back guarantee if it doesn't work. I recommend trying that first. Good Luck!