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Power Steering Pump Leak


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ummmm- its dissappearing from the reservior...slowly. hoping just a vaccuum hose leak.

put in some lucas ps conditioner...anyone else used this???

might be seals.

just replaced pump in 2003...can't believe it would be gone again!!

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ummmm- its dissappearing from the reservior...slowly. hoping just a vaccuum hose leak.

put in some lucas ps conditioner...anyone else used this???

might be seals.

just replaced pump in 2003...can't believe it would be gone again!!

I would not recommend any additives. Lots of info to lookup on this. When you replace/rebuild the pump, you should also clean/replace both the filter screen in the reservoir and the solenoid in the rack and of course do a flush: http://www.lexls.com/tutorials/steering/psflush.html and replace fluid. Check for puff of smoke out the pipes at startup. If so, the idleup valve needs cleaning along with the rest.

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I had the power steering pump replaced or rebuilt a bunch of times during the 13 1/2 years / 183,000 miles I owned a 1990 LS400. If you got six years out of a pump, you are doing great.

Consider making a drip guard for your alternator from a plastic container -- leaking PS fluid trashed my alternator once or twice.

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just an update on the Lucas PS conditioner---well I put some in (before black top told me maybe better not)- but it seems to have stopped or slowed the leak....it is very thick oil type fluid, and the whole car seems to run smoother.

dunno- hope I didn't muck something up...i guess time will tell- and i will keep u posted.

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put in some lucas ps conditioner...anyone else used this???

might be seals.

My grandpa used it on his '55 Cadillac - worked like a charm. I have personally went through 1 and a half bottles of this on my '91 LS400. The first bottle leaked out in about 2-3 weeks, which is longer than the regular PS fluid lasted. The steering also felt so much smoother to turn.... kinda renewed ya know? I have put in another 1/2 of a bottle and will see what happens. It says it may take two applications... I guess time will tell. My leak was so bad I know I could not mess anything else up. It still boggles my mind that ALL 1990-94 LS400s have, have had, or will have major power steering leaks. Some started leaking before the car was even a few years old... I still have never understood why there was never a recall issued on these CRAPPY and SHODDY power steering pumps! Some will say, well the cars are old, have alot of miles, but this is no excuse. I have had alot of cars, even much older than this LS400 without PS leaks. I have two early 70s General Motors cars that dont leak a drop of anything..... I had had several 1980s Mercedes, no leaks at all, ever. I have had several 1980s Honda Accords and a 1991 Honda Accord - 180-250K miles - no power steering leaks. It was just a major defect on the LS400s. I know these cars are old now, but I think that since it was such a widespread issue and ever before they were too old- they should at least offer a discount on repairs/parts.

Consider making a drip guard for your alternator from a plastic container -- leaking PS fluid trashed my alternator once or twice.

1990LS400... do you have details on how to make this and how to install it over the alternator?

just an update on the Lucas PS conditioner---well I put some in (before black top told me maybe better not)- but it seems to have stopped or slowed the leak....it is very thick oil type fluid, and the whole car seems to run smoother.

dunno- hope I didn't muck something up...i guess time will tell- and i will keep u posted.

Some people say that any additives/stop leaks will cause more damage, but when its all so far gone, I dont see what more harm it can do. I envy anyone with a gen 1 LS400 with a NON-leaking PS pump. Hope the Lucas works... I know it did on my grandpas 1955 Cadillac. He had a bad power steering leak from a hose that was hard to find... tried Lucas first (recommended by his mechanic) and the leak instantly stopped and thats been two years ago!

Good luck - keep us posted!

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yep- hope it works.... it says it reconditions the rack and pinions, and seals...so it only works if that is where it is leaking.

i will get it cleaned, too, and see what happens. it doesn't seem to be dripping on the alternator....hmmmm..wonder where it is going???

yep- crappy pumps in these great cars, water pumps too, just replaced that last spring.... never seen such a 'leaky' car!!

but, ......the performance.....how can we ever drive anything else???

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yep- hope it works.... it says it reconditions the rack and pinions, and seals...so it only works if that is where it is leaking.

i will get it cleaned, too, and see what happens. it doesn't seem to be dripping on the alternator....hmmmm..wonder where it is going???

yep- crappy pumps in these great cars, water pumps too, just replaced that last spring.... never seen such a 'leaky' car!!

but, ......the performance.....how can we ever drive anything else???

Yeah, I hope it reconditions the decent seals that are not yet leaking on my car. It dont seem to be leaking on the alternator on my car either, but the panel under the engine is soaked in fluid. Also, my "brake" light is illuminated and I was told this was an early sign of alternator failure, but the light has been on for a very long time. I would think that the battery light would be the one illuminated, not the brake light. <_<

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1990LS400... do you have details on how to make this and how to install it over the alternator?

The photo of the alternator guard on the thread I remember has been deleted: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...guard&st=15

It says to "make a protective cover for the alternator out of an empty 1 gallon bottle of Chlorox". I don't remember how they attached the guard to the alternator -- maybe it was with a metal strap.

Edit: Whoops! Further down the above thread is another photo of an alternator guard made from a plastic bleach bottle. I don't see how it is held in place. I don't remember the guard I saw a long time ago hugging the alternator as closely as the one in the photo.

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  • 2 weeks later...

ok- just an update on the pump problem...took it to my mechanic, who put in my water pump last August, and he said he had drained and cleaned the ps pump res, when he did the water pump. he mentioned that it was leaking a bit then, but i was aware of a very slow leak....anyway...he said that the lucas was in there now, so see what happens.

i will probably need a new pump anyway.

so far, so good....it seems to have slowed the leak, but not completely stopped...however, this is just my first bottle, and it says to put in 2.

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it doesn't seem to be dripping on the alternator....hmmmm..wonder where it is going???
Through the Idle Air Control Valve into the intake manifold and out your tailpipe as blacktop suggests.

From what I've read PS pumps don't come with the IACV. So more than likely yours was taken off the old pump and put on the new. That's why your problem persists.

I don't know if the IACV can be cleaned or if it has to be replaced. I replaced it on my 90 to get rid of the smoke on startup.

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The Idle up valve that is mounted on the PS pump in all first gen cars has a vacum hose that runs to the block. When fluid leaks throught that valve it goes into the engine to be burned. the IACV is not connected to the PS system. The IACV can usually be cleand and seeing as it's almost a $1K is not normally replaced before it completely fails. The Idle up Valve on the PS pump is about $80 and can be replaced or bypassed.

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so far, so good....it seems to have slowed the leak, but not completely stopped...however, this is just my first bottle, and it says to put in 2.

Well, I hope you have better luck than me. I am on the 2nd bottle of the stuff and bottle #2 has almost completely leaked out. I drove the car today and on my way home the steering was getting heavy on slow turns, but oddly this time it was not making that growling sound it usually makes when its almost out of fluid. I checked it when I got home and there was only very little fluid showing on the bottom of the stick. :rolleyes:

I guess the pump is completely shot. I guess I will park the car for a couple of years until I can afford to fix it. <_< - and the motor mounts and the valve cover gaskets, and.... :rolleyes: The money in my savings account is going to pay off a loan. Thankfully I have two other cars to use. I think I may take a huge loss and end up selling the Lexus. I had intended on giving it to my mother, but I dont want to give her an expensive to maintain hunk of crap.

Good luck.

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so far, so good....it seems to have slowed the leak, but not completely stopped...however, this is just my first bottle, and it says to put in 2.

Well, I hope you have better luck than me. I am on the 2nd bottle of the stuff and bottle #2 has almost completely leaked out. I drove the car today and on my way home the steering was getting heavy on slow turns, but oddly this time it was not making that growling sound it usually makes when its almost out of fluid. I checked it when I got home and there was only very little fluid showing on the bottom of the stick. :rolleyes:

I guess the pump is completely shot. I guess I will park the car for a couple of years until I can afford to fix it. <_< - and the motor mounts and the valve cover gaskets, and.... :rolleyes: The money in my savings account is going to pay off a loan. Thankfully I have two other cars to use. I think I may take a huge loss and end up selling the Lexus. I had intended on giving it to my mother, but I dont want to give her an expensive to maintain hunk of crap.

Good luck.

Does this mean LOC will be losing you to the MB forums?

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it doesn't seem to be dripping on the alternator....hmmmm..wonder where it is going???Through the Idle Air Control Valve into the intake manifold and out your tailpipe as blacktop suggests.

From what I've read PS pumps don't come with the IACV. So more than likely yours was taken off the old pump and put on the new. That's why your problem persists.

I don't know if the IACV can be cleaned or if it has to be replaced. I replaced it on my 90 to get rid of the smoke on startup.

will it damage anything not to replace it?....soon...i will eventually.

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The Idle up valve that is mounted on the PS pump in all first gen cars has a vacum hose that runs to the block. When fluid leaks throught that valve it goes into the engine to be burned. the IACV is not connected to the PS system. The IACV can usually be cleand and seeing as it's almost a $1K is not normally replaced before it completely fails. The Idle up Valve on the PS pump is about $80 and can be replaced or bypassed.

thanks....i guess that's next.

thanks everyone for the information!! B)

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Does this mean LOC will be losing you to the MB forums?

No, never. :P I will still be here.... unfortunately I will have to keep the Lexus (I could never sell it for what I have invested in it) and will have to s l o w l y repair it as funds permit. :(

As far as the Mercedes forums go, despite my Mercedes being 3 years older, it has never gave me any problems and I paid much less for it than the Lexus. Also the Mercedes is unbelievably easier to service than the Lexus, but the MB is an inline 6-cylinder. The Mercedes is a much less complex car as well. However, had my Mercedes been a 1992 or newer, it would probably have more problems and be incredibly complex. My current MBs design dates back to 1981, so its pretty simple. I have owned alot of Toyotas, Mercedes and two Lexus and I have loved my Lexus and they are good cars, but out of the three different 1980s Mercedes I have owned, all have needed less maintainence than my current LS400. Perhaps its just where I bought my LS at a time that everything was falling apart? Perfect timing on my part.

Whats strange is that I have owned 1987-1993 Toyota Camrys and Toyota trucks with mileage as high as my Lexus cars I had and never had issues with those. :huh:

More with my PS issue, my steering was heavy yesterday and I added fluid this AM, but put too much, so had to take another car to work, but suctioned out some of the fluid when I got home and drove the LS to town. Fluid is full, but steering is still heavy.... takes much more effort to steer even though its full of fluid. Perhaps air in the line? Or the pump is totally shot?

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Does this mean LOC will be losing you to the MB forums?

No, never. :P I will still be here.... unfortunately I will have to keep the Lexus (I could never sell it for what I have invested in it) and will have to s l o w l y repair it as funds permit. :(

As far as the Mercedes forums go, despite my Mercedes being 3 years older, it has never gave me any problems and I paid much less for it than the Lexus. Also the Mercedes is unbelievably easier to service than the Lexus, but the MB is an inline 6-cylinder. The Mercedes is a much less complex car as well. However, had my Mercedes been a 1992 or newer, it would probably have more problems and be incredibly complex. My current MBs design dates back to 1981, so its pretty simple. I have owned alot of Toyotas, Mercedes and two Lexus and I have loved my Lexus and they are good cars, but out of the three different 1980s Mercedes I have owned, all have needed less maintainence than my current LS400. Perhaps its just where I bought my LS at a time that everything was falling apart? Perfect timing on my part.

Whats strange is that I have owned 1987-1993 Toyota Camrys and Toyota trucks with mileage as high as my Lexus cars I had and never had issues with those. :huh:

More with my PS issue, my steering was heavy yesterday and I added fluid this AM, but put too much, so had to take another car to work, but suctioned out some of the fluid when I got home and drove the LS to town. Fluid is full, but steering is still heavy.... takes much more effort to steer even though its full of fluid. Perhaps air in the line? Or the pump is totally shot?

Hate to say it, but ... time to check the rack. Likely the solenoid is plugged. You'll have to clean or replace.

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will it damage anything not to replace it?....soon...i will eventually.

Not really, but I imagine it would hasten carbon buildup inside the manifold.

Rather than replacing it, you can remove it and plug it up with a bolt. You can find several threads here on how to do that.

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Hate to say it, but ... time to check the rack. Likely the solenoid is plugged. You'll have to clean or replace.

Oh good Lord, how hard is that to do? I think there is a thread somewhere on it? I will search.

Did I say how much I love this car? :P

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Hate to say it, but ... time to check the rack. Likely the solenoid is plugged. You'll have to clean or replace.

Nahhhh.......That'd be too easy........That CAN'T be it.......

Oh? What do you think it is making the steering harder to turn that normal? About a week ago it was as easy as pie to turn when it was full of fluid. Now, even with full fluid it seems harder to turn than it was. Its still easy to turn, but definitely stiffer than it was. Its like it dont want to turn back on its on after I make a turn by releasing the wheel a bit. Its slower to want to straighten back up.

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Hate to say it, but ... time to check the rack. Likely the solenoid is plugged. You'll have to clean or replace.

Nahhhh.......That'd be too easy........That CAN'T be it.......

Oh? What do you think it is making the steering harder to turn that normal? About a week ago it was as easy as pie to turn when it was full of fluid. Now, even with full fluid it seems harder to turn than it was. Its still easy to turn, but definitely stiffer than it was. Its like it dont want to turn back on its on after I make a turn by releasing the wheel a bit. Its slower to want to straighten back up.

Don't know when you last changed fluid ... but you might want to flush the system while you're at it.

Btw, nothing is easy as pie except pie. :D

Btw Threader ... I know it's fun to stay fresh, but liked your Dr Stangelove avatar best.

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will it damage anything not to replace it?....soon...i will eventually

Not really, but I imagine it would hasten carbon buildup inside the manifold.

Rather than replacing it, you can remove it and plug it up with a bolt. You can find several threads here on how to do that.

thanks- that's probably the route i will go. i'll have it cleaned first, and then plugged.....those valves are $1000.00!! ( and seem to be out of stock everywhere)

has anyone tried the asian ones??...they seem quite a bit cheaper@ 300.

saw one at autowarehouse...for $188....wonder if it would fit.

:D thanks again, blacktop, 90Lexus, AZhotLS, killer, jc.. and everyone who has been so great answering my questions!!

You guys have probably saved me a small fortune....

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