Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two weeks ago I decided to flush/change the powers steering fluid in my '02 Rav4. The flush was done through the return line by the reservoir. As required after the whole fluid change I turned the steering wheels from left to right maybe 15 times to get the air out of the system. Then, I did the same while engine running following with driving around the block. After all of that the fluid level in the reservoir stayed at the correct level. This was the conclusion for me that the process was successful. My wife drives this car to work every day so I am not able to know much about whats going on with it until she tells me. Well, almost a week later on her way from work the steering wheel was getting stock while she was driving and she had a hard time to steer. Next morning when I started the car I also couldn't turn the steering wheel and the power steering pump was squeaking. The reservoir was empty, so I added the fluid and repeated the procedure of turning the steering wheel many times while adding the steering fluid. Finally the sound got much more quite and I was able to turn the steering wheel OK. Few days later I noticed that the power steering got little louder again and when checked the level of the fluid was low again. So I added a little again. Now, unfortunately the fluid level keeps going down after driving the car for a few days. I am not sure where it is going as I don't see any leaks anywhere under the car.

1. Did the pump got damaged from the time when my wife drove it home the first time (looks like on an empty reservoir)?
2. Could it be that the system is still leveling the fluid level and it may take few more fluid addings until the system is full?
3. In case I need a new pump, should I get a reman. or new one?
4. Any good procedures on how to change the pump myself?

Thank you everyone :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Check the boots at both ends of the steering rack for wetness/seeping. The seals inside are the most common source of PS leaks. If not that, then double check any hose connections you undid. The system doesn't hold that much fluid, less than a quart/liter total, so it has to be going somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, I gotta get under it and take a look. Just took a 20 miles drive and the reservoir was almost empty again. Tonight I'm gonna flash it again and then drive another few days to see if anything changes. Can I replicate the leak with the engine running or does the car has to be moving for the oil to leak. I would like to turn the engine on for maybe 10 minutes and look under the car for any leaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Check the boots at both ends of the steering rack for wetness/seeping. The seals inside are the most common source of PS leaks. If not that, then double check any hose connections you undid. The system doesn't hold that much fluid, less than a quart/liter total, so it has to be going somewhere.
Finally checked for leaks today and of course the bottom of the right boot is wet with oil.



I got an appointment with a local shop to see what my options are. Will update in a day or two. Thanks so much
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finally brought the car to a local shop. They will replace a Rack and Pinion with alignment for $850 ( including 24 months or 24K miles warranty) ANY THOUGHTS ON THE PRICING?. Two other shops quoted me $1100 and $1250. The rack itself at all my local autoparts stores would be anywhere from $340 to $600. I just pray that they won't call me and say that I also need a new power steering pump. I've been driving with low fluid level for few days and despite everything feeling like it's working correctly (steering wheel turns very easily with no hesitation or jerking). I really wanted to do this myself its just being very messy job it would be little hard to do that on my driveway especially doing it for the first time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi there. Any results on the problem ? How come it was so expensive?
Hi, I had the problem with leaking Rack diagnosed 2 years ago and it finally gave away. Not sure why it was so expensive but that's how shops charge around here (Chicago Suburbs). This was the lowest quote I got from calling around. Unfortunately I leave in a condo with no garage so paying the $850 was the only option I had to had it done in a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
I learned the hard way (on Camry) that not changing the power steering fluid will cause all sorts of problems including replacing the p/s pump, rack & pinion steering, high pressure hose etc. That is why on my RAV4 I flush it to prevent this down the road. Good thing is the third generation models have electric p/s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I just got my '03 4wd, automatic, from autonation a month ago. I can see the that the Power steering fluid is black, but at the correct level. Should I change the fluid ? and could be done @ home ? Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
I just got my '03 4wd, automatic, from autonation a month ago. I can see the that the Power steering fluid is black, but at the correct level. Should I change the fluid ? and could be done @ home ? Thank you.
You should change the fluid. Yes you can do it at home with a simple tool. I used a automotive syringe (connected a tube to make it longer) to suck it out but a turkey baster will also work. I also cleaned the reservoir with qtips so I can see the fluid better. I did mine 12 times but I had jugs and jugs lying around from years ago from a previous leaky vehicle with p/s leak.

Here is a video that will help you. It is very simple. Follow the manual for the correct p/s fluid. On mine I used Dexron 3 Atf.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Hi back. Got my self a baster and exchanged some of the oil from the car reservoir. No more sounds after a couple of corner to corner turns. Replaced around 300ml of oil. Didn't have enough time to do more, but I have more than half a liter of oil left so I'll be flushing and replenish until it's good. Thanks for the replies. Have a good day :)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top