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propster

Power Steering

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The power steering was leaking like a seive on my daughter's Suburban. I was away for work and told her to take it in to the shop. $115 to replace the hoses. So when the hose started leaking on my Suburban, I said "I can do this myself". Picked up the hose and 3 1/2 hours later, voila. Now I remember why they earn their pay! On my vehicle there's only like a 1/2" of swing on the wrench, and I had to keep flipping it over to catch the nut right, all the while working it with my fingertips.

Anyway, wanted to bleed out the old fluid, so went to remove the one end of the return hose and for the life of me I couldn't budge the nut. I filled it and ran the engine and turned the wheel, then sucked the discolored fluid out of the reservoir with a turkey baster. Filled it again, ran it, sucked it out again. Filled it once more and it stayed pretty clear. My question is, does the system need to be bled to get air out like a brake line? Or will it eventually work out any air if I just keep checking and filling? Thanks guys.

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ps: before y'all think if I can afford 2 suburbans I should just pay to have them worked on, between the two they are 29 years old and have 325,000 miles on 'em! They just keep going.

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The act of turning the wheel full left and full right will "bleed" the system of any air. Since a power steering system recirculates the fluid (it starts in the res., gets pumped into the steering gear/rack, and then returns to the res.) the air will eventually make its way to the reservoir where it will automatically get replaced by the existing fluid in the reservoir.

A brake system has no way for the fluid to make its way back to the reservoir so any air has to be bled out via the bleeders.

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Gotcha - thanks Airjer. Where is the ps pump actually located - somewhere out of sight behind/under the reservoir? And would you recommend checking the color of the fliuid again and sucking as much of the dirty stuff out at a later date and replacing with new?

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Right behind the pulley and right under the reservoir.

You will never get the fluid 100% clean but what you are doing is essentially a flush. It will take about a gallon of fluid exchange to start to see a difference in the fluid color.

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On my daughter's it wasn't obvious, they replaced both lines. On mine I could see it bubbling out on the main supply line from the reservoir to the base of the steering rack, right where the clamp/connector meets the rubber hose. So I only replaced the one line, cleaned up where it had leaked, and haven't seen any other leaking, so hopefully I got it with just the one.

Airjer, would you bother with the exchange of fluid, or let it be discolored? PS fluid is reasonably cheap. Thanks for your help.

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