How to Stop Power Steering Fluid Leaks

by Vanessa Padgalskas

Running the power steering system when the fluid is low can ruin the power steering pump. Make sure to keep the fluid to its recommended level when fluid is leaking. A power steering leak most often occurs at hose couplings, the power steering pump, or old gaskets. There are a few ways you can stop a power steering fluid leak at home, but major problems should be left to a mechanic.

Trace the source of the leak. Use a mirror on an extended handle to follow the puddle of fluid on your garage floor to the power steering system. Look on the hoses and gaskets to find from where the fluid could be leaking.

Add power steering stop leak additive to your power steering fluid. Lucas Power Steering Stop Additive is 100 percent guaranteed to stop seal leaks. In older cars, the seals shrink, causing leaks. The stop leak makes the seals swell to their original size.

Use gasket sealant if the gaskets are old and leaking. Sealant, such as Permatex, is resistant to engine fluids, and will help repair a leaky gasket.

Replace the gasket, if the gasket sealant does not work. If you still see leaks coming from a gasket after Steps 2 and 3, then remove the old gasket, and put on a new one. You can buy the correct size gasket from the vehicle's dealership.

Replace the power steering pressure hose if you see a leak in the hose. Spray oil on the end fittings of the pressure hose to loosen them. Remove the bolts attaching the hose to the power steering system with a flare nut wrench. Put a pan under the hose before removing it, as fluid will drain out. Replace with a new hose from your dealership, and tighten the hose the same way with the flare nut wrench. There is less risk of stripping the bolt when you use a flare nut wrench. Add more power steering fluid to replace the fluid that drained out.

Warning

  • close The power steering system is complex. Take your vehicle to a mechanic if you have any questions about properly repairing a leak.

Items you will need

About the Author

Vanessa Padgalskas was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., and currently resides in Portland, Ore. Padgalskas graduated from American University in 2007 with degrees in international studies and economics. She holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.