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How Long Can I Drive with Power Steering Fluid Leak?

Obviously, the power steering fluid leak won’t leave you helpless on the side of the road. However, if this leakage problem is not handled timely, it can also wreck the car, causing its repair more expensive than you imagined.

So, when it comes to power steering fluid leak, make sure to drive your car unless you get to any nearest station for replacing the fluid and getting the repair done. Now the question arises, for how much miles a person can drive with the leaking power steering fluid? To get the answer, let’s continue reading it.

Causes Of Power Steering Fluid Leak

In order to understand the power steering fluid leak issue, you must first know what causes this problem. There are many way for your car leaking power steering fluid, but we will just list out the most common 4 factors:

Power Steering Pump

Power steering pump
One of the most common cause of power steering fluid leak

One of the most popular spot for a leak is power steering pump. It is usually because of the worn seal around the pump shaft, which create a source of leaks.

Another factor is the pump itself: When the pump creates pressure, it accidentally breaks the pump casing. Since most of them consist two bolting halves, the joint gasket will leak if it is old or loose.

Hydro Boost Brakes

Hydro boost brakes
power steering fluid leak can also be caused by hydro boost brakes

Hydro boost brake is, even though quite rare, yet another place to look at if you are checking for power steering fluid leak . On some vehicles, the brake system will combine with the power unit for steering. This sounds like a convenience plan, yet there will be several components and hoses that divide the power from one system to another. And yes you are correct, each hose, especially the seal, gasket, can develop leaks.

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Power Steering Hoses

Hoses is the part to take car frequently

This is without a doubt the most common part to check when your vehicle has leaking power steering fluid. The power steering system has a pressure hose and a return hose. A pressure hose will lead from the steering box to the power steering pump, while a return hose will connect the gear box to the reservoir.

In many cases, the hoses can form a crack and make power steering fluid leak if the connection or seal is loose. This will lead the the disconnection between steering system components and the hoses.

Steering Gear Housing

steering gear housing
Another place to take care of

Last but not least, steering gear housing. It also depends on which type of power steering system, yet the mechanism is usually housed in the steering gear housing or within the rack housing. And both of them can cause leaks. If the seals for the power assist piston are worn or old, they can leak easily.

Miles to Drive with Leaking Power Steering Fluid

Knowing how long one can drive is equally important as understanding, the consequences of driving with power steering fluid leak. In this regard, there is no doubt that you can cover miles with the fluid in the power steering pump, even if it’s leaking. However, the situation can get worse damaging the pump, if there is no fluid in it.

To know more on this issue, explore the following list to keep you on road.

Traveling Distance with Badly Power Steering Fluid Leak

Leaking power steering fluid drive
How to drive with leaking power steering fluid

In this case, topping off the fluid is necessary every time you cover few miles as it keeps you driving indefinitely. For instance, 14o z of fluid is added into the pump to drive for 400 miles approximately.

However, if the level of the power steering fluid leak is not examined timely, it can drain completely. Thus, leading to the more dangerous problem associated with the power steering rack.

Once your car has leaking power steering fluid, it makes the driver feel as if the power steering has locked up. To add on, the noise from under the hood can also be heard while steering. Furthermore, on a curve or sharp bend roads, the power steering won’t respond well making it even more difficult to drive, especially in the mountainous area.

Traveling Distance Without Fluid In Power Steering Pump

leaking power steering fluid
Consequences of leaking power steering fluid

Operating with a power steering pump that has no fluid in it can likely cause the pump failure in few minutes only. In fact, one won’t be able to cover even first hundred miles with a dried power steering pump.

Without the fluid, the power steering pump or rack can overheat leading to complete failure of the system. In addition to it, the serpentine belt would also seize by either snap or come off. This will result in loss of alternator and water pump, too. And, if it’s not repaired timely, the head gasket can also break down.

Besides this, leaking power steering fluid means losing the power steering and subsequently, the power brakes. However, as a driver, you can use brakes but this time, you will need to apply more force to them. Finally, after knowing all about the failures caused due to the power steering fluid leak, it’s in your best interest to get it fixed soon from the nearest service station as maintaining it can save your car from wrecking.