Some customers may comment on a fluid leak under the front of the GM vehicle. The technician may find fluid leaking from the power steering system.
1. Start diagnosis by inspecting the fluid level in the power steering reservoir. If fluid level is not low, a careful analysis is necessary as it may involve a different type of fluid leak.
2. Visually inspect the components where fluid has accumulated.
3. Before the component is replaced, inspect fittings and connections for proper torque.
4. Clean the area around connections, joints and seals with engine degreaser.
5. Add fluorescent dye (such as Kent Moore GE28431-6) to the power steering fluid.
6. Start the engine and allow the power steering system to reach normal operating temperature.
7. Turn the steering wheel to the stops in each direction while bumping the steering wheel against the stops three to four times. This will build maximum steering system pressure and help to identify the source of the leak. Caution: DO NOT hold the steering wheel against the stops, as this can damage the power steering pump.
8. Determine the source of the leak.
9. When returning the part to the Warranty Parts Center, mark the component with the location of the leak using a paint marker, paint or tape.
10. If a repeatable leak is found, refer to the following table to determine the proper corrective action needed.
Source of Leak Correction
Pressure feed and return hoses/lines…....Replace seals, hose or line set
Power steering pump………………………Reseal or replace the pump as needed
Cylinder gear/rack lines……………………Replace O-ring seals or rack lines
Some vehicles are equipped with a “duck-bill” style seal that is pierced by the power steering line during installation to the gear during vehicle assembly. Vehicles that are equipped with this type of seal include the following:
2010-2014 Buick LaCrosse
2011-2014 Buick Regal
2007-2014 Cadillac Escalade
2013-2014 Cadillac XTS
2005-2014 Chevy Malibu
2007-2013 Chevy Avalanche and Silverado
2007-2014 Chevy Suburban and Tahoe
2007-2013 GMC Sierra
2007-2014 GMC Yukon and Denali
2006-2010 Pontiac G6
2007-2009 Saturn Aura
Servicing the “duck-bill” type seal requires the use of tool J-42640. Insert the tool just far enough into the duck-bill seal to get behind the seal’s steel ring, then pry against the steel ring to remove the seal. Do not insert the tool too far into the seal, to avoid prying against the housing bore. Scratching the housing bore can require steering gear replacement.
These seals are replaceable, and any leak at the line to gear connection on these vehicles should first be addressed with a seal replacement. Use a J-42640 steering column anti-rotation pin to remove the two seals, then install the new seals by hand and connect the power steering inlet and outlet line. This will seat the seals into the housing.