Power steering pump major leaks

Kramer79

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Hello, any advice on a leaking power steering pump? Are these difficult to replace with the pressed on tubing? Can you replace the front seal or not worth it? Thanks!! Not sure I want a mechanic to charge me who knows what…
 

Mikes5thAve

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The pump itself isn't too hard to change but about 99% of the time it's the high pressure hose that leaks and makes it look like it's coming from all over the place.
 

volare 1977

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You can get rebuilt pumps pretty reasonable if you are unsure about rebuilding one yourself. Not that hard to replace the whole pump.
 

Aspen500

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Reman pumps from the parts store are hit and miss for quality so, beware (I could site many examples from work). The shaft seal is easy to replace. You need a p.s. pulley remover/replacer though to get the pressed on pulley off and back on. The reservoir has a large o-ring around the pump body itself and an o-ring between the reservoir and pump at each of the retaining bolts and also where the high pressure outlet screws on. In some cases the shaft seal leaks because the shaft has a groove worn in it (or rust has crept in) from the seal lip, and a new seal will leak also.

Like Mikes said, be sure it isn't the high pressure hose. The return can leak also but not spew fluid. It's always a good idea to replace that hose too, just because. A parts store should have the correct size and type of hose. It's 11/32" and will have "power steering return" printed on the hose.
 

Kramer79

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Thanks, I had to have a shop replace a brake line, did a few myself but this was from the front to the back “splitter.” He said he could fix the pump with a new front gasket but may be 3hrs labor charge…
 

Aspen500

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3 hours seems a little much to me but I don`t work in the business.
I was thinking the same thing and do work in the business. On a car like a Diplomat, to remove the pump and replace the shaft seal and reservoir to pump housing o-rings would be more like 1 hour labor. It's not that big a job. On some vehicles made now days, 3 hours would be pushing it to just replace the pump with a new one. Chevy Traverse/GMC Adadia comes to mind........
 

BudW

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This is from my Alldata labor time guide (what a repair shop "should" charge a customer):

2021-07-23 122325.png

If you can't read it, it says 1.2 flat rate hours to R&R (Remove and Reinstall or Remove and Replace) and 2.0 flat rate hours to Remove/Reinstall and Overhaul).

I didn't know what car you have, so I used my '86 Fifth Ave for the time (which has A/C and A.I.R. pump).

Below is repair pages from my '77 FSM (Factory Service Manual) - which is exactly the same as my '86 FSM. You do no need to perform an overhaul to replace the front shaft seal.
I would recommend replacing the can to pump seal O-ring though. That O-ring (can to pump) has given people problems over time, enough so that I would replace while there, I wouldn't go any deeper than that, though.
BudW
 

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BudW

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Removing (and re-installing) the P/S Pump pulley is the hardest part – but that is not difficult if you have a pulley tool. There are several different versions out there and this is one version:
PS Pulley Tool.jpg


Our cars use the GM Saginaw P/S pump. If you find a tool that works for GM pumps, then it should work for you, as well.
BudW
 

Aspen500

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Some parts stores have rental or tool loaner programs and they should have a kit similar to the above. For those that may do it themselves only one time, it doesn't pay to buy a kit, although they aren't all that expensive.
 

BudW

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Dab blast it. I was meaning to say that in my post - to rent the above kit (or one similar) from a parts store.
Thank you @Aspen500.
 

Kramer79

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Thanks! I held off for now on the pump, any damage in running it empty? Dare I try some sealers? I am new tires, ps issue, and some compound/waxing away from my summer goal of a cruise night with the kids! Took them around the block yesterday!

CF94EC6B-8D71-4728-AF60-9129A2547139.jpeg
 

Mikes5thAve

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Yes. Running it dry can damage the rest of the rotating components in it and stop leak stuff works by swelling seals which will also affect the seals in the steering box. Fix it properly.
 

BudW

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It will eat up the P/S pump if ran dry. The metal shavings from that will have a snowball effect on the rest of the P/S system.
Note: not a snowballs chance of surviving someplace very hot - but a cascading amount of metal damage that compounds quickly, like a snowball going down a snowy mountain.

FYI: The P/S pump will start to whine when it gets low fluid level and you will lose all power assist in steering when pump is almost dry.
BudW
 
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