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steering rack leak

Started by marko65, October 28, 2021, 08:33:08 PM

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My 55 plate VW Sharan 1.9TD has recently been losing power steering fluid - I've had to top up perhaps 0.5L in the last 2 months - garage looked at it today and have said the leak is coming from the steering rack but they cannot do the repair for a few weeks - any ideas on the cost of a repair like this ?

It depends on whats wrong and how they plan to repair it tbh. The racks are generally very reliable on these and given they have looked at it, it would suggest its not a simple case of a loose pipe else they would have fixed it there and then.

If they choose to replace the rack that will be the only expensive bit parts wise (although given the age of the car I wouldn't be looking to install new but second hand). Labour is going to be your biggest cost on any repair but the steering system isn't tricky or complicated to work on, its just time consuming.

There are too many variables to give you any meaningful guess at cost :(
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
13 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel in Umber Metallic
262Bhp AWD and Factory fresh...for now!
58 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)
LAUNCH X431 Pad PRO - Scanning & Coding for all makes and models done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

OK  thanks - do you think power steering stop leak would do any good ?

Stop leak is one of the worst 'inventions', it basically lessons the lubrication properties of the fluid and raises its viscosity so its more of a syrup - it may well fix the leak but at the expense of longevity of every other component in that system.

Personally I would stay as far away from those as possible, you'll likely go from having a leak to having to replace the pump and rack within a few months.
03 Ford Galaxy 1.9 TDI 115 Ghia in Spruce Green Metallic
With cream leather interior, Full Bodykit, Remapped at 145bhp, Lowered on 18's
13 Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel in Umber Metallic
262Bhp AWD and Factory fresh...for now!
58 Ford Transit 2.2 TDI 115 in Frozen White
With retrofitted everything except another slidey door! :)
LAUNCH X431 Pad PRO - Scanning & Coding for all makes and models done in Wiltshire in exchange for winegums! :)

Your best bet would be to locate what on the rack is leaking really. A case of get under, clean it off so you can see whats going on if its too mucky to tell, and then try to locate the leaking bit. Could be pipework to the rack, or the rack itself.

I've never used the stop leak on a power steering rack before, I have used it on a gearbox to stop a leaking driveshaft seal on another car with sucess, but never known it to work otherwise. Can't see much chance of it working on a pressuried system like a steering rack personally and might cause more problems.

Avoid the snake oil stuff and locate exactly where the leak is coming from then go from there.

Thanks for all your help - I've found another recommended garage to take it to - hopefully it won't cost stupid money to repair

Could you go over it and give all the nuts an extra quarter turn just to make sure everything is nice and tight
I drive a Seat Alhambra 1.9Tdi which has 115bhp and an automatic gearbox.

I am happy to help you with all your questions. I am not a qualified mechanic but seem to be better at fixing my car than even the most experienced garages.

I have lots of friends here and very much enjoy talking with you all. Always remember, a motor car is a serious tool and should be treated with respect. Put your safety first, always.

The car has been looked at - new steering rack needed - estimate is £750 - he quoted for a  new steering rack and 2 new track rods and fluid + labour and vat - does this seem about right for a repair like this?

The rack alone is just under £300 from Euro car parts, The track rods and ends add another £50 ontop of that, and thats only using them as a guide (based on mine, don't think theres much difference between the mk2's as far as steering is concerned) It doesn't seem too far out of what I'd expect for doing it in a garage, and replacing the fluid at the same time is obviously a good idea given its a new rack going on there. Not had the rack off to confirm how easy or otherwise it might be myself.

those figures pretty much marry up with the quote - the garage is well recommended so I'm  happy to get it done (as happy as I can be with a £750 repair)!