Treb Reader
9/15/12 12:06 p.m.

Starting one week ago, I'm losing power steering fluid at a pretty rapid rate. I've refilled the reservoir twice in that time -- about 1000 miles.

The only place I see/feel fluid is the DS steering rack boot.

Bentley manual seems to say that if there's fluid inside the boot to leak out, then the seal in the end of the rack is bad. That seal is not something the Bentley otherwise mentions, and the rack itself -- seals presumably included -- is described as not serviceable. Replacement is not simple either, as it's hidden way at the back of the engine, above the transmission.

My preferred parts place on line doesn't stock racks; my not-preferred place offers them at something like $1100 (including a $200 core, so that's a bargain at $900).

So this went from annoying to possibly-more-than-car-is-worth in a hurry.

Are there possibilities that I'm missing? Anyone ever replace a rack seal in a non-serviceable rack? Anyone have an A4 parts car?

Thoughts and suggestions appreciated. Thanks Matt

Treb Reader
9/15/12 12:25 p.m.

Quick google gets me this:

Rebuild kit


Would mean removal and reinstall, I guess, but 1/10th the cost of a rebuilt rack.


Treb Reader
9/16/12 11:15 a.m.

More generally, then...

Anyone ever rebuild a PS rack? Good idea or bad?


Treb Reader
9/18/12 8:04 p.m.

OK... I've found a rebuilt rack on line for about $650 net.

Lots of people on places like the vortex saying that rebuilding is complicated, which isn't necessarily a problem. But nobody that I've found even claims to have rebuilt one. So that's nice.

More general question (not that I would mind answers to any of the specific ones above):

Is VW PS fluid (Pentosin, also I think suggested for BMW and Mercedes) magic/not interchangeable with other PS fluids?

Again, much controversy on the VW boards. Some say that the seals are all the same, no matter what kind of car, and the pumps are literally all the same anyway (all made in Michigan by the same company).

Someone on the vortex even suggested a PS stop-leak type of thing. Again, any thoughts or experience?

Thanks Matt

(most of my cars don't have power steering. Never had to work on PS before, so sorry for all the questions.)

docwyte HalfDork
9/19/12 1:06 p.m.

You have to use the Pentosin. You can also use the Castrol CH stuff, but you can't use "regular" PS fluid.

bluesideup Reader
9/19/12 2:24 p.m.

You can also use the rack out of an A6 or B5 Passat. There are a lot of those in the pick n pull yards down here in SoCal.

Check the feed and return hoses to the reservoir. I had mine leak out fluid due to the factory clamps not being very good.

Treb Reader
9/19/12 8:45 p.m.

Yeah, one of the hoses at the bottom of the reservoir was a little loose when I got the car... an actual hose clamp on it and no issue there. I checked there this weekend, just to see, but still dry.

Treb Reader
9/23/12 9:48 p.m.

So, okay.

Didn't have time this weekend to get to a junkyard to find a rack.

Topped up the fluid, though, with pentosin -- the bottle that was in the trunk when I bought the car 90k miles ago. It's just about gone.

Anyway, started the car up today and the PS pump is making noise -- an awful sounding rattle. So is it on the way out, too?

Again, I apologize for simple/stupid questions. Never worked on power steering before.



Our Preferred Partners