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How to Stop a Leak in a Power Steering Reservoir

Updated April 17, 2017

Power-steering fluid leaks are common in automobiles. Over time, the hoses, fittings, internal seals and the reservoir itself can develop cracks and fissures. Since the power steering fluid is pumped throughout the system under high pressure, a small crack can cause a massive leak. To properly stop a leak, you must inspect several components of the power steering system, including the reservoir. Adding a stop leak additive to the system can help temporarily stop the leak until the reservoir or other components can be replaced.

Open the bonnet. Locate your power steering fluid reservoir. It is usually located close to the accessory or serpentine belt and is identifiable by a cap that says "Power steering". Your owner's manual will note the exact location of the power steering reservoir.

Clean the reservoir off with a shop rag. Closely inspect the reservoir and any hoses originating from it for cracks and leaks. Inspect the reservoir cap for cracks or chips. If the cap is damaged, it should be replaced.

Start the engine and rotate the steering wheel left to right as far as it will go. This will increase system pressure and in many cases, cause the leak to present itself.

Pour the recommended amount of power steering stop leak into the reservoir. Let the stop leak circulate within the system for a few minutes. Depending on the severity of the leak, you should see results immediately or within a few days.

Inspect the reservoir for further leaks. If you notice a severe leak, the reservoir should be replaced.

Tip

Most power steering reservoir caps feature vents that allow excess power steering fluid to "vent" out of the reservoir. A small amount of power steering fluid on the cap or even on the ground is normal for most vehicles.

Warning

Never overfill your power steering fluid reservoir. Excess fluid can potentially damage the vehicle's power steering system.

Things You'll Need

  • Shop rags
  • Power steering stop leak
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About the Author

Mark Robinson is a freelance graphic designer and writer. Since 2008 he has contributed to various online publications, specializing in topics concerning automotive repair, graphic design and computer technology. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Alabama A&M University.