Could I be stopped up?

concretejungle

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My powers steering reservoir keeps leaking fluid out the top. I have a new OEM cap that was just replaced about 5 months ago. I keep getting a groan in the power steering, mostly when the wheels are returning to center. It seems to be getting progressively worse over time. Yesterday’s wheelin’ trip didn’t make it any better. The top of the reservoir is always covered in fluid, even after the new cap. I’m thinking that perhaps something in the system is clogged and backing up causing the fluid to come out the reservoir.

Too much fluid wouldn’t make it groan would it?
 

landtank

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It's taking on air some how and compressing it. When you stop the engine all that compressed air is released and foams the fluid up and out the reservoir.

You need to look at the low side of the system. Fluid passing over a hole can draw in air, but the hole might be small enough not to leak out fluid since it's not pressurized.

I've got a good PS cooler around if that turns out to be the culprit. Look closely where it bends up from under the radiator, that is where it usually fails.
 
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First thing to do is flush it, if the fluid is contaminated with something like water when it gets hot it will boil and blow out the vent.
 

concretejungle

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Tools, it's new fluid and has been flushed twice. I should have never even touched the damn system, but you know how it goes with this board and fixing stuff that aint broke. I figured i had baselined all other fluids, might as well do the same with the ps fluid. Big mistake. Ever since then it's acted strange.

I just got in and will thumb through the FSM, but i don't believe you can replace the lower high pressure hoses can you? I would think my first step would be to replace all hoses with new, replace fluid.
 
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I doubt it's hose related, unless there leaking. Is the groaning happening all the time, or only when the steering is used hard? Mine doesn't groan, but has had the power steering fountain twice now, once at about 115F and the other time it was much cooler out about 90F, both times wheeling hard at very slow speeds. I was going to replace my cap, it looks perfect, but I have leakage around it after wheeling trips, I think it's related to overheating the fluid.

I believe the steering system is undercooled when used hard at low speeds, wheeling. I have done a bunch of Toyota pumps with cooked o-rings and seal way too early in life, the o-rings start to go at 250F, ATF is not happy at that temp. Adding a cooler may solve your problem, but the system needs to operate at about 170-180F, so overcooling is not good. My plan is to add a relatively small Toyota cooler with a PC style pot fan controlled by a thermostat that comes on at about 190F and turns off in the 170F range.
 

concretejungle

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Tools, the groaning seems to happen regardless of if wheeling or just driving around town. It does seem that it only groans when the wheels return to center. For example, i turn hard left into a parking spot, no groan until i begin to enter the parking spot and straighten out the wheels, then i get a good groan.

What's making this tough is that there is fluid from the resevior all the way down all the hoses leading to the pump. So i can't tell if any of the hoses are leaking or if it's just dripping down from the resevior.

Do you think i should start focusing on the vane pump or the gear?
 
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Clean it up to see where it leaking at. Is it leaking enough you have to add fluid often? Is the reservoir full of foam after running?
 

concretejungle

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See, that's another puzzler. I keep thinking that surely it's low because there is fluid everywhere. Yet, when i pop the cap off and pull the little dipstick out it appears full????? Confused yet?!
 
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It doesn't take much ATF to make a big mess. Make it groan in the driveway with the cap off and look for foam in the reservoir, if there is foam or tiny air bubbles in the fluid, try C-Dan's add a cap full of Downy Fabric softener trick.
 

concretejungle

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I tried to make it groan in the driveway, and did. When i looked in the resevior, i just saw a fountain of red ATF fluid and could not really distinguish foam.

Another point to mention is that it doesn't seem to groan during the warm-up process in the morning. After the truck is fully warm it begins the groaning.

I still may try a couple table spoons of downy.
 
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i would suspect the return hose from the resevoir to the pump...

No pressure, easy place for air to enter the system.
 

NorCalDoug

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before I had my ps pump replaced, the thing would groan all the time. it didn't matter what I did. grrrrrrrrrr

in the parking lot...on the trail...grrrrrrrrr

With the new ps pump, I'll get an occasional groan when on the trail with the front locked up.

I'm not suggesting that you need a new ps pump...but maybe you have some air in the line?
 

NorCalDoug

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CruisinGA said:
Doug- did they replace any lines when they replaced your pump?

Might offer a clue...
yes, all lines were replaced. they left the resevoir in place, but I didn't expect them to replace that.

replaced at 99,987 miles. the very last thing I had done under my CPO warranty.
 

concretejungle

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I'm hopeing i dont have to replace the pump. I hope that it's just one of the lines. I will go and check for some 3/8 hose like suggested in another thread and see if that fixes the problem.

If there is air in the system, then i must have a leaky hose. I have replaced the fluid twice in an effort to get rid of the groan.
 

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