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Power Steering Related Question-

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Here's the situation...I had power steering fluid leaking from the P/S pump seal and also lots of white bluish smoke coming out of the tail pipes at start up....ok, that's a common problem and tons of info about it in the forums. The problem is that, before I had the pump replaced the car ran great and steering was nice and easy at the right fluid level, however, after the mechanic replaced the pump...he put it P/S fluid and NOT A/T make matters worse car started to blow out TONS of smoke all the time and not just at start up plus engine started to hesitate as if there was a vacumm leak (I checked all connections and did not see any missing or defective vacumm lines). That's when I read about the Air Control Valve possibly causing fluid to leak into the intake and since it was a new pump..I am guessing the amount of pressure and fluid into the intake was a lot more. Therefore, I told the mechanic to take the ACV and that immediately stopped the smoke. But the hesitation in the engine continues specialy when I am stopped at a light/stop sign, it feels like the car is going to stall....unless I put the car in parked and there's no hesitation there. Also, the steering, although is not too hard, it is definately not as easy as it was before the pump replacement. I took the P/S fluid out of the reservoir and added A/T fluid...but only made a very small improvement in the steering.

My questions

- could the excesive amount of fluid sucked into the intake manifold be clogging up something and cousing the hesitation in the car?

If so, what would you recommend I do? As I mentioned before, the engine ran great before the pump replacement so I am assuming is not the fuel related but the posibility of a faulty fuel pump and/or EGR valve came to mind.. I was thinking of using SeaFoam to clean the system.

- would using Power Steering Fluid instead of Automatic Trasmission Fluid be causing the hard steering?

I am assuming it is and I'll be flushing the system soon but I want to know if this has happened to anyone else.

Or perhaps the new (rebult) pump is somehow defective?

Please let me know what you guys think......thank you!

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The ACV sees vacuum on two ports, one is on the intake piping, the other on the front of the plenum. I would first make sure that the ACV is indeed removed and fitted with a plug or at least capped off, and that both ports on the engine are capped. They're very small so you could get engine hesitation without stalling if one was left open, but it'd be pretty noticeable when inspecting.

The amount of fluid sucked into the intake won't make a huge difference, it's already gummed up from years of debris so unless you took in a few gallons at once that's not the culprit, though I wouldn't ignore the idea of hot tanking the intake plenum anyway (I just did a timing belt on an SC400 with 277k miles, the intake was literally caked with over a half inch of carbon and deposits).

As for the steering, regular PS fluid is known to cause dead spots or heavy steering as it breaks down faster from heat, and it degrades quickly leaving varnish in the lines and hoses. But again it wouldn't happen that quickly, probably a combination of air in the system and a weak or faulty pump is your issue.

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Thank you for you quick responses


Yes...the ACV has been removed and fitted with a plug, also I made sure both ports were capped. I will try SeaFoam tomorrow and see what happens. As for the steering, I agree with you that it would take a while for the P/S fluid to negatively affect the steering but I was hoping that was the cause so it could be easily fixed with a fluid flush. I will still flush the P/S fluid out, double check for any trapped air and if nothing happens then send the pump back and get a replacement...(good thing it came with a 2 yr. waranty!) although I trusted it would be a good pump since they mentioned; - All their Units Are 100% Hydraulically Tested And Put Out Factory Recommended Pressures Before Shipping!!!.

Is there a way check if the pump is working properly?

CuriousB -

I'll clean the throttle body and IACV after I do the SeaFoam (I am sure they need some very good cleaning)....while I wait the SeaFoam to work and start the car again.

I'll keep you posted on any changes.

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