How to figure out where air is entering Power Steering System - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 34 Old 09-23-2020, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
Frambo
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How to figure out where air is entering Power Steering System

So I've definitely got air entering my power steering system from somewhere. This is based on:

1. Air in the Power Steering system, discernible from the whining noise but also the massive air bubbles that come up into the reservoir when going lock to lock with the engine off and front axle jacked off the floor.

2. After going lock to lock over 100 times, there is absolutely no reduction in the MASSIVE amount of air coming up in the reservoir which suggests that air is entering as I'm bleeding.

What's weird is I seem to be losing absolutely no fluid so maybe there is some sort of one way leak that will let air in but no fluid out?

Here's a video of what I'm seeing when going lock to lock. I did this for 15 minutes straight (I put my smartphone in the smartphone holder and watched a video lol) and there was absolutely no improvement.


How do I figure out where air is getting in from? I've replaced the pump before but that was years ago and this is a relatively recent issue.

Cheers!

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post #2 of 34 Old 09-23-2020, 02:43 PM
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I think fluorescent dye would work same as with A/C units to locate leaks using a blacklight. For this internal issue, my assumption is a bad seal somewhere on the power steering rack.

How old is to that rack or how many miles on it?

Have you drained all the old fluid out completely and are still having the same issue?

More importantly, which movie was it? LOL


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post #3 of 34 Old 09-23-2020, 11:04 PM
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Im not so sure thats air, it doenst have bubbles that pop at the surface. It looks like just a gush of fluid that comes up from the bottom as you cycle fluid back and forth from the steering gear. My biggest concern is the color of that fluid, it looks like melted chocolate....
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post #4 of 34 Old 09-24-2020, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EisBlade View Post
I think fluorescent dye would work same as with A/C units to locate leaks using a blacklight. For this internal issue, my assumption is a bad seal somewhere on the power steering rack.

How old is to that rack or how many miles on it?

Have you drained all the old fluid out completely and are still having the same issue?

More importantly, which movie was it? LOL


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I think the dye would help if I had fluid leaking out but if I have air leaking in (and no fluid leaking out, don't ask how), how would that help? The steering box is about a year old. Yes have drained and refilled a couple of times and still got exactly the same issue.

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Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
Im not so sure thats air, it doenst have bubbles that pop at the surface. It looks like just a gush of fluid that comes up from the bottom as you cycle fluid back and forth from the steering gear. My biggest concern is the color of that fluid, it looks like melted chocolate....
Does that gush of fluid look normal to you? To my eyes and ears there are air bubbles in it and I also have a loud whine (especially at startup... goes away after the engine has been revved - seems to purge air from the system). Yes the fluid colour is a bit grim but this is after multiple flushes so I figure that's just what it looks like when it's been in there for a few days.
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post #5 of 34 Old 09-24-2020, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
Frambo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EisBlade View Post
I think fluorescent dye would work same as with A/C units to locate leaks using a blacklight. For this internal issue, my assumption is a bad seal somewhere on the power steering rack.

How old is to that rack or how many miles on it?

Have you drained all the old fluid out completely and are still having the same issue?

More importantly, which movie was it? LOL


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PS forgot to say, I think it was a bit of classic Top Gear haha
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post #6 of 34 Old 09-25-2020, 03:14 PM
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That fluid does NOT look normal, The power steering fluid these Jeeps take is clear in color. I could be ok with maybe a slight brown color as it ages, but not the liquid mud it looks like in your video. In my experience, that means dirt in the system. And dirt will rapidly wear everything in the system internally. Worn pumps and steering gears make nasty whining noises when turning....That system needs a complete flush of the fluid, and even then I think its gonna still be noisy....Probably needs a new pump again once you get the fluid clean.
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post #7 of 34 Old 09-27-2020, 07:04 PM
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I would think the whine is coming from the PS pump. Air would not be entering the system if there was no leak. If the level in the reservoir is staying at the same level then that's another indication of no leaks. I agree with others that the color is not right. It makes me think that there's something else in the fluid that could be causing your symptoms, something that's separating during the movement of fluid. Just an idea anyway.
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post #8 of 34 Old 09-28-2020, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a video of the noise.

I've ordered some more fluid, I'll try and do a flush this week and will report back. Thanks!

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post #9 of 34 Old 09-28-2020, 04:34 PM
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Two things that stick out:
1- It sounds more like the tranny
2- Your driving on the wrong side of the road.
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post #10 of 34 Old 09-28-2020, 09:20 PM
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get a few bottles of ps fluid. get a helper and a 5 gallon bucket. (or whatever you use instead of gallons) take the return line off the back of the pump, and run it to the bucket. have your helper turn the wheel lock to lock with engine running, while you start pouring the bottles into the reservoir. i recently did mine, and i ran a gallon through it before calling it good. don't let the reservoir run dry. it got quieter after i flushed it, but it's still got the typical jeep "whine" approaching the locks.


ps: vertical videos suck. just don't do them. the youtube frame is clearly designed for a landscape formatted video. thanks!

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post #11 of 34 Old 09-29-2020, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJ60 View Post
Two things that stick out:
1- It sounds more like the tranny
2- Your driving on the wrong side of the road.
I know it does sound like the tranny but trust me it's coming from the PS pump - with the hood open it's obvious. And yes, we may drive on the wrong side of the road but at least my steering wheel is on the 'right' side of the vehicle haha

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Originally Posted by Golden-Arm View Post
get a few bottles of ps fluid. get a helper and a 5 gallon bucket. (or whatever you use instead of gallons) take the return line off the back of the pump, and run it to the bucket. have your helper turn the wheel lock to lock with engine running, while you start pouring the bottles into the reservoir. i recently did mine, and i ran a gallon through it before calling it good. don't let the reservoir run dry. it got quieter after i flushed it, but it's still got the typical jeep "whine" approaching the locks.


ps: vertical videos suck. just don't do them. the youtube frame is clearly designed for a landscape formatted video. thanks!

Thanks, I'm gonna try and do that tomorrow.

Regarding the vertical videos, yes, I apologise, this is actually a pet peeve of mine as well. But I have a valid excuse I think. In both cases portrait orientation was the only option - first video I had the phone resting on the air filter box, landscape wouldn't have allowed me to have the part with the lens sticking off the edge and in the second case, I left it in my phone dash mount which is fixed portrait. But yes you're right, I'm always telling people the same thing as well haha
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post #12 of 34 Old 09-30-2020, 10:41 AM
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have your helper prepared to shut off and restart the engine, as needed. the fluid goes out a hell of a lot faster than you can pour it in. the main thing, is to keep the wheel moving lock to lock, to completely flush out the rack/box.
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post #13 of 34 Old 10-01-2020, 06:21 AM
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Flush will help, but your probably headed to a new pump to stop it all together.
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post #14 of 34 Old 10-01-2020, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden-Arm View Post
have your helper prepared to shut off and restart the engine, as needed. the fluid goes out a hell of a lot faster than you can pour it in. the main thing, is to keep the wheel moving lock to lock, to completely flush out the rack/box.
Didn't get time yesterday but going to do it next Wednesday instead. I heard what you're saying about moving the wheel lock to lock but should I also think about disconnecting the coolant temp sensor to get the hydraulic fan to spin up to full speed as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
Flush will help, but your probably headed to a new pump to stop it all together.
Yeah I'm prepared for that if I have to. JEEP. Just. Empty. Every. Pocket.
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post #15 of 34 Old 10-01-2020, 07:27 PM
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if you have a p/s powered cooling fan, you're going to need even more p/s fluid to flush. you don't need full speed on the fan, to flush it. if it's turning, it has fluid moving through the drive unit. you can run it up, but i'd bet you couldn't fill the reservoir fast enough to keep it from going dry. you can also take some fluid out, and add some seafoam to it, and run it a few days, before flushing and refilling. some atf would also do, for a couple of days, to help clean out the internals, before flushing and refilling.
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