A damaged, cracked, or failing power steering reservoir can spell big trouble for the power steering system in your vehicle. The power steering reservoir holds the power steering fluid that makes steering a car very easy and responsive. As the power steering fluid leaks out from the reservoir there is less in the pump to operate the steering mechanisms. This will quickly burn out the pump making a much more serious condition and repair. Replacing the power steering reservoir is not a tough project and can be done by a backyard mechanic with basic tools.
Step 1 – Disconnect Battery Cable
Park your car in a safe working environment and open the hood. Disconnect the negative battery cable and set it aside.
Step 2 – Remove Belt from Pump
Locate the tensioning nut on the belt system and use a large ratchet wrench to release the tension on the belts. Remove the power steering belt from the pulleys so the pump is not under pressure.
Step 3 – Remove Lines to Pump
Use a line wrench to loosen the coupling to the metal fluid line. Once it is loose move the metal line away from the pump. Set the drain pan under the lines to catch any fluid that comes out. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws of the rubber hose going into the pump.
Step 4 – Remove Power Steering Pump
Look at the pump and locate the bolts that hold it to the block. They may be on the outside of the pump housing or within the pulley itself. Use a socket wrench, with an extension, and remove the bolts. Pull out the power steering pump from the block and set it aside.
Step 5 – Remove Reservoir From Pump
Locate the reservoir on the body of the power steering pump. There will be two metal tabs that hold the reservoir to the pump body. Pry these with a flat screwdriver and pull the power steering reservoir from the pump body. You will notice a metal nipple coming from the pump. Make sure the O ring is still intact.
Step 6 – Install New Power Steering Reservoir
Clean off the surface of the power steering pump. Line up the new reservoir with the pump and make sure the metal nipple is matched with the mating surface on the reservoir. Press together and latch with the locking tabs.
Step 7 – Replace Power Steering Pump
Set the power steering pump back onto its surface and tighten the bolts to secure it to the block. Reconnect the rubber hose to its position and the metal high pressure line to its original position. Turn the tension bolt for the pulleys and replace the belt according to the serpentine pattern.
Step 8 – Fill with Fluid
Once the new power steering reservoir is replaced you will need to fill it with the appropriate amount of fluid. Find out the manufacturer’s recommendations in the repair manual and fill the power steering reservoir. Replace the cap and start the engine. Turn the steering wheel back and forth a few times to work the fluid throughout the system. Check the level again and add any that is needed.