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Where Is My Ps Fluid Going?


mattbys
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Posted this yesterday, but did not go through.

Every month my 94 LS400 needs PS fluid, as evident by first the squealing sound and then the reservoir level being low. Steering is fine while low and the same after I top off the fluid, except the noise goes away. I have no visable leak, but am going through the PS fluid way too fast.

Where is it going, and how can I fix it?

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Very well could be a faulty valve on the PS pump. It allows the pressure/vacuum of engine to assist steering @ low speeds or rpms.

What commonly happens is the valve seal leaks and PS fluid is sucked up into the intake. White smoke at startup is classic sign of this additional fluid burning off the valves. This is where the fluid is being "relocated too".

Anyway, the valve is about $90 part (could be cheaper online) + 2 hrs labor.

the 90-94 PS system is nortorius... ;)

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At first glance I could find no signs of leaking fluid on anything and none is ever dripping to the ground. I would estimate at least 1/2 quart in the last 3 months, if going to the alternator would it still be working?

I will look into your suggestions in further detail and report back with findings. Thanks for the help.

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To replace the pressure valve is simple. It has to be reached from under the car. It is located on the bottom of the ps pump. If I remember correctly it takes a short 17mm wrench to loosen the valve, then all you have to do is unscrew it by hand and replace with new one , retighten. You don't have to remove the pump for this, and ther are on o-rings to replace if it is only the valve leaking. I just did mine a couple months back. Took about a hour.

Good luck

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went to my local mechanic and he couldnt find any visible leaks and apprently it was leaking into the engine area or something? he said i had to replace the pvc valve i think. my alternator seems fine to me and i havent had any trouble with it.

That's what we've been talking about.

The pressure valve is defective and allow PS fluid to flow into intake - there would be no signs of leaks anywhere because its internal.

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I just pulled mine out. Are you talking about the little flat ones on the plunger inside the valve? Those aren't your typical round o-rings. Where would I get those? The plunger in mine just fell out. I suppose it (the o-rings) should be tighter than that?

Thanks,

CL

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michaelsn,

I think what you've highlighted in yellow is what CL & mapman are recommending.

On a side issue, the "AIR CONTROL VALVE" (in the diagram) is what I'm talking about.

I was just in a Lexus repair shop last week - a guy with 93 LS, 135K has PS leak but nothing visible. This "air control valve" (your diagram) was the culprit. I think the shop pulled one (or both) of the vacuum hose(s) off the end of this valve. (I guess see which one goes to manifold). They checked for Fluid dripping from them to validate the PS fluid was getting sucked up into the manifold. They found dripping fluid, although small amount, and determined to replace the valve.

Hope this helps,

99

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Good fix michaelsn!

And excellent photos with Text - Thanks for doing that :D

(I keep my 3mp camera with me all the time).... :lol:

This is exactly what happened to the 93 when I was in the shop last week! Smart move to replace the hose too. The leak will cause engine to "Puff White Smoke" some on startup, so you might have some residue for a bit. I think they charged the guy $100 for the part & $270 total for the fix!!

Smart Diaganostic with the fuel filter!

Let us know how much the part costs and give us a review after test drive......

99

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I have also had the disappearing power steering fluid problem, and the failed alternator. Think I might as well just get a rebuilt power steering pump. Have found them on the internet for $2ll.44. Is the removal and installation difficult?

Don

92 LS400 180,000 happy miles

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