Chevy SSR: Power Steering Hose Replacement
In our continued of my SSR, one of the leaks she had developed was from the Power Steering system. As we have previously covered, after many years of use as a daily driver, we are in the process of restoring her back to life. It’s never fun to have a car leaking on your driveway, much less if it’s leaking on your garage floor. Follow along then as we hunt down the Power Steering leak and address it with a very simple fix.
Parts for this DIY:
- Power Steering Hose
- Power Steering Fluid
Tools You’ll Need:
- Full Socket and Wrench Set
- A Jack and Lift
First, we need to determine where the leak is coming from. If you haven’t noticed a leak but instead are simply hearing the power steering pump struggle (a low whining noise when turning the wheel), there’s a chance that your pump might be bad. In our case though, we had a clear leak.
The Power Steering system is pretty simple. You have a pump attached to the engine and then a feed and return line going to your steering rack (or steering box). The system circulated fluid to make turning easier. Basically then, your leak can be from either hose, the pump or the rack. On the SSR a visual inspection showed that the rack was leaking, but it seemed like it was coming from the connection of the hose. Searching around on the net it seemed like this is a common occurrence and can be fixed by swapping the hose.
The new hose has a slightly different mounting style. Thus, in addition to removing the hose, you’ll have to remove a small gasket retainer found on the steering rack. It would appear that this is the source of the leak. The new hose also comes wrapped with a heat resistance foil, as temperatures can be rather high because of the proximity to the engine.
To remove the hose we need to loosen it up at the steering rack and the pump. At the steering rack, both hoses are held on by a single bolt and pressure plate. When you release the bolt both hoses will come loose. Make sure you have a pan ready to catch the steering fluid.
On the pump side, it is simple to see where the hose bolts in. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of space, but you can get a wrench in there and just take it slow.
You might think that you’d be ready to remove the hose, but there’s still once bracket holding it in place. If you follow the hose from the pump you’ll see a bracket right above the wheel well under the fuse box. You’ll have to unbolt the bracket and separate it enough to get the hose out completely.
With the bracket loose you can now remove the old hose and install the new hose. Remember though that the new hose has a different mounting style on the steering rack side. To install the new hose you will have to remove the seal found on the steering rack. The easiest way to do this will be with a small pick tool that you can slide in and then pry the seal with.
With the old seal out of the way, you are now free to install the new hose. After reinstalling everything make sure you refill the system and burp it to remove any air bubbles. That’s it, a pretty simple fix for a common problem in SSRs, Trailblazers and Envoys.
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