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ATF stop leak work for power steering?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 RickOregon

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:57 PM

There appears to be a slight loss of power steering fluid in our son's 1988 GL-10 turbo wagon.

I was wondering if anyone has tried using ATF stop leak treatment in the p/s system, as it takes ATF. Anyone? What were the results? Anyone have any thoughts on this possible approach to reducing the leakage?

I'm out in North Dakota having traveled 1500 miles from Burns, Oregon to help our son get his car roadworthy. There were a number of issues that I needed to address, but I'm hoping to defer the p/s rebuild/replacement until I return with the car to my home shop.

Thanks, Rick

#2 86subaru

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:22 PM

i usd lucas power steering fluid ,but i had no power steering at all , cleaned out the tank and added lucas

#3 pyromanic

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:30 PM

There appears to be a slight loss of power steering fluid in our son's 1988 GL-10 turbo wagon.

I was wondering if anyone has tried using ATF stop leak treatment in the p/s system, as it takes ATF. Anyone? What were the results? Anyone have any thoughts on this possible approach to reducing the leakage?

I'm out in North Dakota having traveled 1500 miles from Burns, Oregon to help our son get his car roadworthy. There were a number of issues that I needed to address, but I'm hoping to defer the p/s rebuild/replacement until I return with the car to my home shop.

Thanks, Rick


Thats a good question for which I don't know the answer. So instead, just in case it helps even a little, I pose this rhetorical question. What makes ATF stop leak work? I don't know that either. But I wonder if what ever the conditions are in an Auto Trans that make the stuff work are present in a power steering unit? Does it require some degree of heat? If so, (and remember, I have no idea) does a power steering pump generate enough heat like a tranny?

Hmm. I'll shut up now cause I bet this isn't helping. Well I tried. Sort of.

Good luck and safe travels

Pyro

#4 RickOregon

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:52 PM

86subaru: the p/s system in this car uses ATF Dextron III, not power steering fluid.

Pyro: that's sort of what I was thinking, when I bought the bottle at Walmart... if it works for auto trannys, maybe it would work for another system that uses ATF - provided the method of sealing was similar. Both systems have valves, seals, and metal parts. Both operate under high pressure conditions... I just don't know, so I'm a little reluctant to add some before a 1500 mile trip back to eastern Oregon from eastern North Dakota. Figure it might be safer to just keep adding ATF every now and then. But, if anyone has tried this, and it works, I'd like to know - then I'd give it a shot... might preserve the pump and associated equipment a little longer and put off yet another repair on my growing list.. 8-) Thanks for your feedback.

Anyone else heard of this approach?

#5 calebz

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 01:05 AM

I haven't done it to the wagon yet, But I used ATF stopleak to te steering rack on my camry a year or so ago. I was having to top it off every week. Hasn't leaked for a year (30k miles). Pump is starting to sound tired though

#6 kayakertom

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 01:41 AM

I used a half bottle "Bar's Leaks" Power Steering Stop Leak and Conditioner in my XT 3years ago and have had no leaking problems since then.

Tom in Lake Oswego

#7 pyromanic

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 08:06 AM

Hey Rick, I know you have enough on your plate, and even specificly requested no comments on rebuild repair and such, but just thought I'd mention, (in case you don't know) that rebuild kits are 25 bucks or less and very simple and quick. They consist of only a gasket a couple of O rings and a seal. Takes about 1/2 hour to do. I carry one now in my kit. For what it's worth or for future reference.



Pyro

#8 RickOregon

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 12:28 PM

Thanks for all the feedback on stop-leak treatments - I might use what I bought. Or maybe I'll just wait and get the rebuild kit Pyro mentioned. If it's just a seal leaking, and the metal parts are still in good shape, a rebuild would be cost effective compared to replacing all the components.

Pyro - where do you usually buy the rebuild kits? Some place online? I'll check autopartsgiant.com and thepartsbin.com and see what they offer.

Thanks again, Rick

#9 baccaruda

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 01:51 PM

I've used the lucas (2 bottles) in a leaky PS rack before... it slowed the leak a little. i don't know how bad your leak is compared to mine though.

is the leak from the rack or the pump or somewhere in the lines? the rack is sort of a pain to replace but not bad. the pump is easy. either should be less than $20 from a junkyard.

#10 RickOregon

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 02:34 PM

baccaruda: it appears to be coming from the pump, though I haven't taken a *really* close look. Leaked when the p/s reservoir was at the proper level, slowed a bit when it got low. Oil puddle appears to be below the vicinity of the pump. I think I have a spare at home.

At any rate, I decided to just risk it. Earlier today I put about 2 to 4 oz of the stop leak in the reservoir [takes full 8 oz bottle to treat a transmission, according to instructions], then did full circle turns in a parking lot turning wheel to full stop in both directions several times. Went for a drive, did some more of those full circle turns. We'll see what happens...

Murphy's Law says the unit will completely fail now that I've ventured into the unknown! 8-) I'll keep my fingers crossed. Maybe get my wife to pray for me -- maybe she'll do some Hail Marys and Our Fathers on her rosary beads! She did that one time when we flew our plane over the Cascades in central Oregon and encountered a downdraft... but that's another story. Bottom line is we survived, so she must have helped. Thanks for the insights.

#11 pyromanic

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 05:48 PM

I bought a kit from the Soob dealer in Bend. (they are generaly cold and unknowledgable Re: older soobs, to me anyway, but then maybe I lool like an ax murderer to them, who knows)

It was cheap, but then you don't get much either.

The main seal is behind the pully on the shaft. Held in with a clip. Thats where my leak was. I didn't even replace the gasket that comes with the kit for between the resivoir and the pump. You also get a couple of O rings. I think I used one of them. Every has seemd fine for 1000 miles now. Good luck.

Pyro

#12 RickOregon

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 08:01 PM

I checked autopartsgiant.com, thepartsbin.com, 1stsubaruparts.com, and autostreet.com - none has the p/s rebuild kits/parts. So, unless I can locate another source online, I guess I'll need to endure the Subaru parts department, as well $25 for a seal seems about right from a dealership... uggh. Thanks for your input.




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