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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 35857
Experience:  ASE Certs and Ford Certs
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1999 mercury sable power steering fluid was blowing out of

Customer Question

1999 mercury sable: power steering fluid was blowing out of steering box cap when car is turned of. Mechanic tightened bolt (has 4 holes to tighten it) around axle under boot on passenger side. It is still blowing fluid out of cap.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  Ron replied 7 years ago.

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A symptom of a whining noise from the power steering pump and shooting fluid from the cap when shutting off engine is due to excessive air in the power steering system. This usually occurs after topping off a low system or performing a needed repair. Due to design, this system is extremely hard to bleed and proper procedures must be followed to eliminate air. To start, fill the reservoir to the proper mark. Disable the ignition by pulling fuse 10 in the fuse junction panel and crank engine for 30 seconds. Check the fluid level and fill as needed. Crank the engine for 30 seconds while turning the wheel from stop to stop. Check the fluid level and fill as needed. Tightly insert a rubber stopper or power steering cap, modified with a vacuum nipple, onto the pump reservoir. Reinstall fuse 10 and start the engine. Apply 20-25 inches HG vacuum for 3 minutes at idle. Remove the vacuum, check the fluid level and fill as needed. Reinstall the vacuum source and apply 20-25 inches HG vacuum. Cycle steering wheel from stop to stop every 30 seconds for 5 minutes. Remove the vacuum, shut off the engine and fill the resevior as needed. If the fluid level rises when shutting off, air is still trapped in the system and this procedure will need to be repeated. In extreme cases, it may need to be performed a minimum of 3 times.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Do you know about this bolt with the 4 holes (to tighten it) under the boot on the axle? It was loose and we tighten it. It is still spraying fluid out the reservoir cap.
Expert:  Ron replied 7 years ago.
No I m not sure which bolts he is tightening, The problem you are describing is because you have air in the system, have him bleed it as per my instructions and if it get air in it again then you may want to consider replacing the rack, they have some known issue with air getting in on the outer seals.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

This has been mentioned a few times online. Below is another person talking about it.

10th Aug 2008, 20:44

Hello all,

I think I may have good news for the majority of you with Taurus' and Sables' that have power steering bubbling/ spewing issues. My wife and I own both of these cars both 1999 models. 1st my sable started with the bubbling of the power steering fluid and it spewing out of the weep hole on the cap. I tried bleeding it repeatedly with the same end result. I finally decided to save the money wasted on power steering fluid and drive without it. Till one day, I was expecting a flooring delivery in the A.M. hours that did not arrive until 5:30 pm, the exact time that I needed to leave to pick up my daughter. My wife had to drive the car. I had to put plastic under the cap so that she would have power steering at least as long as it took for her to pick her up and get back home. It worked with bad results (at least I thought bad results). As soon as she got back there was a pop and power steering fluid leaking like it was being poured on the ground. I realized it was leaking from the rack on the passenger’s side. I removed the boot and saw that an internal nut had work its way out. This nut has 4 holes that apparently are used to screw the nut in place. No one at the auto stores seemed to know what the tools was, so I had to improvise. I purchased A very long screwdriver (I THINK 2 FEET) I taped a pipe to the screwdriver to give it more stiffness. (I used the pipe from my hydraulic jack) I worked the nut back in through the wheel well. Once I was done I had power steering NO MORE BUBBLING OR SPEWING!

Fast forward about a year, we purchased the Taurus for my wife and after about 8 months the same bubbling and spewing began. I added fluid that never leaked onto the ground. I again thought it was a bleeding issue. I kept bleeding by turning the wheel left to right and adding fluid as the level dropped. I thought I had it when...POP, the boot slit, power steering fluid was leaking from the rack BUT this time on the driver’s side. I removed the boot hoping to see the same internal bolt... But to my dismay no! The set up was totally different. I could not tell where the fluid was coming from, until I saw this small metal tube dripping slowly. I followed it and realized it went to the passengers side boot. Upon removing the boot I checked that infamous internal bolt and IT WAS LOOSE! After working it back in... You guessed it... no more bubbling or SPEWING!

I surmise that the bubbling is a direct result of that internal bolt being loosed causing air to be sucked into the system. Case Solved! Thank God!

Expert:  Ron replied 7 years ago.
Yes if the Rack is sucking air in as I stated it is likey happing you will need to replace the rack.