Power Steering Problems


Asked by jsnyder Sep 05, 2007 at 08:31 PM about the 1984 Honda Accord SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

HI- I've got a 1984 Accord with just above 68,000 miles on it (I know, it's like a brand new antique!) but I've been having a terrible time with the power steering. At some point it seems like someone put standard US PS fluid in it and ruined the seals on the steering rack; it leaks a whole reservoir in about twenty minutes. I've tried all sorts of rehab on it, but none of the commercial products seemed to work so I am currently going without the benefit of power steering now. It's such a light car that it's not that big of a deal unless you're at very low speeds- it takes a little muscle to crank the wheel around but not too bad- my wife can do it, even!

In short, though: am I living dangerously by driving it like a rack and pinion car, or should I bite the bullet and replace the steering rack? And if your advice is the latter, how HARD is it to do on an older Accord? I'm reasonably competent with a toolbox, but I've never had to do anything to a power steering rack before!

1 Answer


I would say that you are riding on borrowed time. The power steering fluid acts as a lubricant and since you don't have any of that sooner or later you will start grinding things up which means you could bind the rack up with the ground up pieces and parts. You most likely will have to do something with the pump as well unless you have disconnected the belt. The same thing holds true, no fluid no lubrication, bad things happen. Make sure you have the correct type of wrenches to deal with the power steering line fittings and they will easily strip if you use normal wrenches. You should have the car aligned as well as the rack will be out of the car and tie rod ends will either be swapped or new hence the toe settings will most likely be wrong. Good luck.

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