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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, this is not the typical slow leak from the bottom of the PS fluid reservoir, but it probably started that way.

About a month ago, during my regular oil change, I noticed that telltale sign of PS fluid making its way down the front hose going to the radiator. No big deal. I just crank down on the hose clamp a bit more, top off the fluid, and clean up the mess. At the same time I make a mental note to find time to cut off a bit of the top of the hose at a later date.

Flash forward to yesterday during my drive home from work, and I notice some extra resistance in the steering. At first, I thought it was a flat tire, but that proved to be incorrect after pulling over and inspecting the tires. At the same time, there was an odd burning odor from the front right wheel area that I didn't initially identify. Since I was only a few blocks from home at the point, I decide to continue on. One block away, and I start hearing sounds from the PS pump. As I pull into my driveway and make the left turn into my garage, the PS completely fails.

Opening up the hood, I see PS fluid everywhere. The fluid is concentrated on the driver side, but fluid has made it all the way to the coolant expansion tank. The reservoir is completely empty, and I was very lucky to have made it home. Since the engine is still hot, I decide to wait before investigating.

Underneath the car, I'm lucky that I have a pan under the car since large amounts of PS fluid was dripping from the skid plate.

Once I've had a chance to take a closer look, this is what I find:


There is a fairly large hole in the hose that goes to the radiator. How did it get there? The fan blade was apparently just barely able to reach the hose:



There's just enough room for the hose to reach over to the fan. When I fixed the slow leak a month back, I think that I may have rotated the entire hose/clamp just a bit in order to tighten it. As far as I'm aware (after quite a bit of searching), I haven't seen anyone else report such a PS leak. It's worth everyone taking a quick look at their PS hoses to ensure you don't suffer a similar problem.

Please check your PS hose routing to ensure you don't have a similar mess.

The fix was straight forward enough (cleanup was the worst part), but having to pay $90 for a $30 hose at the dealer was a shock :yikes:. It would have been a perfect time to replace the reservoir and the other hose going to the pump, but I just couldn't stomach the prices at the stealers. Instead, I rinsed out the reservoir that best I could and trimmed 1/2" off the top of the other hose.

For reference, if you need to replace your hoses, I found this to be a good guide:


One last look at the hose:

 

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I checked my clearance..... Its about 3" ...... Not sure how your hose got that far out of whack .... Not sure I could get my hose to touch the fan no matter what I did .. At least not on my setup .

Thx for sharing


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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My clearance is currently only about 1.25" (perhaps I should force it to be more). The radiator hose above it only has less than 0.75" clearance. The PS hose routing is currently following the built in bends of the new hose and goes directly under the radiator hose. What I found is that by twisting the hose at the reservoir, it is possible to reduce the clearance to the point of touching.

The lesson to be learned is that it is possible to inadvertently modify the hose-fan blade clearance, causing the fan blade to be able to nick the hose. I'm just spreading the word to help others avoid a similar problem.
 
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