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My power steering reservoir is contaminated with engine oil.

My power steering reservoir...

My power steering reservoir is contaminated with engine oil. it appears the power steering pressure hose is leaking, but i'm not positive.

Mechanic's Assistant: When was the fluid last checked? Have you heard any whining noises while turning the wheel?

I checked it today. i bought new pentosin chf 11s but i did not want to pour it in if the system is contaminated. yes i've heard whining on a rare occasion, but not recently.

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the model/year of your Saab?

2005 9-5 arc

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your 9-5 yourself? What have you tried so far?

Typically i try to. i replaced oil cooler hoses and oil pressure sensor when i thought it was engine oil. i began to think the power steering pressure hose was leaking but i was confused because it looked like engine oil. i checked reservoir and it appears to be full of my freshly changed oil. upon more research it looks like a seal in the pump can fail and cause the reservoir to be contaminated.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

I replaced the coolant/water pump a few months ago and i'm wondering if i disturbed something

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Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 37,768
Experience: ASE Certified Tech
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am happy to assist you today. Give me just a moment to review your post, and I'll be right back with the help you need.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thank you

There is no way for engine oil to enter the power steering system unless it was mistakenly added to the reservoir. Was that the case?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
no not to my knowledge
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
i thought i was reading that a seal on the pump can fail and cause contamination. is this false?

That not correct, if the seal fails you will have a power steering fluid leak. The power steering pump is not part of the engine.

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That would be the case if you have a cam drive pump and not a separate unit. Is your pump cam driven?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
it seems to me that should probably be removed from your website then.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
i'm not sure. i thought it was tied into the serpentine belt?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
how can i determine?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
i don't see the large wheel that ties into the serpentine belt. would i be able to see that in the link?

The pulley does not come with the new pump, its transferred from the old pump. Your diagram looks like the pump link I sent you and if that is the one you have then its an externally mounted pump.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
that's correct

Okay, then I think you should flush the power steering system and add some new fluid and then keep an eye on the condition. If the pump is external then it should not have any engine oil in it.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
we've determined its a separate unit and not cam driven?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
okay. can you give me advice for flushing?

If you do not have access to a power steering flush machine then the only other way to remove the fluid is to remove the return line from the reservoir and cap the fitting off at the reservoir and run the line into a bucket. The start the engine and run a couple of quart of fluid through the reservoir. Once you are done, reconnect the return line and top the fluid off. Its a bit messy doing it this way but it will flush the system.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
okay. so the reason i noticed the power steering reservoir was contaminated was because i have been trying to find an oil leak. is a leak from the power steering pressure hose common? i was thinking of replacing it; however, getting to the 22mm banjo bolt on the rack looks difficult.

Yes, its common for the high-pressure hoses to leak and usually when they do, its very obvious because the hose is under pressure.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
hmm. well then maybe its not the hose. i tried rubbing it in soapy water (similar to repairing a bicycle tube) and got no evidence. lots of oil below the alternator on the steering rack, pressure hose, and frame, etc.

Well before you replace anything why not take some brake cleaner and clean the area up and then keep an eye on it and see if you can pinpoint the source.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
i am concerned brake cleaner is bad for any rubber parts (hoses, gaskets). do so while avoiding hoses ?\

Brake cleaner will not hurt anything, it will evaporate fast and will not hurt the hoses at all.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
okay. thanks for your help today.

Your very welcome and thank you as well. Please take a moment to rate my service at the top right hand side of the page so I can get credit for my time, the question remains open for follow up even after doing so, all you need to do is return to this question if need be.

Thank you again.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
i have found the leak in the rubber part of the power steering pressure hose. after doing some research it looks like i will need to replace the flexible line as well as the rigid steel cooler line it connects to as saab re-engineered the new parts.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
there is an 18mm banjo bolt on the rack that i will need to remove

That would do it and usually, the pressure hose is one piece so you will need to replace the complete line.

Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 37,768
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