I have a '98 Grand Caravan with a power steering leak. While the resevour(?) is on the passenger side, the fluid SEEMS to be leaking (at least on the ground) on the drivers side. A local national chain garage said the leak is a seal inside the rack & pinion steering and wants over $300 (could be closer to $500 without looking at the estimate) to do the repair. Could this be correct?
If this is correct, what kind of damage or further damage could I do by just replacing fluid from time to time? The van has 206,000 miles on it.
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That's actually a reasonable price to replace the rack. Depending on how severe the leaks is, you can probably keep refilling the reservoir for a long time. However, if it ever runs out of fluid completely, you'll be looking at a new rack AND a new pump. Oh, plus you won't have power steering. It'll be hard to drive home from where ever you are when it bites the dust
I'm a retired ASE Master/L-1 Technician. I still keep current with the latest automotive technology.
I was WAY off on the original estimate - $270 to remove & replace the steering gear and almost $200 for a remanufactured rack & pinion rack assembly. Took the van to another national company (which I trust) this morning. Without the mechanic being there (he doesn't work Saturdays), they said the high pressure pwr steering hose was leaking badly out of the pwr steering pump. They did notice some fluid around the rack & pinion rack, but without getting into it deeper, that fluid could have dripped or flowed from the pump/hose. So their initial guesstimate would be $300 to replace the pump and hose. New mechanics are all greek to me now. I had a '72 Duster and when the power steering went out, I didn't notice much of a difference, LOL! Hopefully the place I trust is right and will find out Monday. And today's place said he would work with me on the price if the other company was indeed correct. But hopefully it's just the hose.
Thanks for the reply, even if I did give you the wrong information.