Power Steering fluid foaming from reservoir? Power steering bleeding

Posted by 99gst_racer, May 12, 2007
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  1. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Coloma, Michigan
    I finally got my car running, and now I'm trying to work out the kinks.

    Everytime I shut the car off, the power steering fluid foams out of the resevouir. Quite a bit comes out, whether the cap is on or not.

    Does anybody know what's going on here? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. rod knock

    rod knock Probationary Member

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    charleston, South_Carolina
    Did you remove p/s lines at all? As if getting air in the system? Thats what it looks like to me.
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  3. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Coloma, Michigan
    Yeah, I removed the lines from the pump when I pulled the engine. Trapped air is a very good possibility. It's strange that it only has a problem once the engine shuts off though. Any tips for bleeding the system?
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  4. toybreaker

    toybreaker Proven Member

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    Never Summer Ra, Colorado
    Oooof!

    I just went thru this with a customers car. It was doing the exact same thing after a motor swap, and they had also disconnected the p.s. pump.

    When the pump is running, any air trapped in the pump or lines is compressed, and gets entrapped in the fluid. When an air bubble hits the pump, the pump will cavitate, and thoroughly mix the air into the fluid, entraining the air into the fluid. When the pump stops turning, the entrained air in the rack and lines expands, pushing fluid out the of the reservoir at engine shutdown.

    I had a hard time getting all the air out, and in the end, I erected a rube-goldberg contraption to resolve the issue. It worked well enough that I actually thought about writing a how to article on it, but I didn't take any pics. I've got to replace the power steering pump on my Galant vr4 here shortly. (bad first mod, liquid cooled alt ROFL )

    If there's any interest, I could shoot a few pics, and do a better write up.

    Pull the reservoir finger screen (carefully insert finger, twist, and pull straight up), and suck the reservoir out with a turkey baster to clean out the res, and prevent leakage when the hoses are pulled off.

    Take the supply line to the pump off at the reservoir, and insert the end of a clean really long (2 foot tall) transmission funnel in to the hose, and hang it from a bungy to the bottom of the hood. (I also zip tied the funnel to the hood support prop rod.)

    Put a piece of hose on the outlet bung of the reservoir, and run it into a drain pan.

    Edit: put the cap back on the reservoir to prevent any overflow

    Fill the funnel pretty full, and wait a moment for all the air that got mixed in to surface. (Helpfull hint, pour it in like a beer, :sneaky: , down the side, so the inlet doesn't get full enough to glug, and mix air in)

    Then, I tried just cranking the engine over without starting it by disabling the cas, while turning the steering lock to lock with the car on a lift, wheels off the ground....It didn't work as well as I had hoped, as not much fluid was draining out. I ran a couple of funnels worth of fluid thru the system to make sure the pump was full of fluid, and purged of air.

    I then reconnected the cas, lit the motor up, and did short 10~15 second runs, refilling the funnel in between runs. The froth that came out into the pan showed the progression. Four or five cycles and it was good to go.:thumb:

    Turn the steering wheel lock to lock to work the air out of the rack. It helps to have the front wheels, off the ground.

    Also, make sure the finger screen is correctly installed in the reservoir. Our customers car came in without it. I don't know how well it works, but the bottom section looks like it would help to separate the air out.

    Hope that helps...but if'n you make a mess, :tease: I....know....nothing....:p
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  5. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Coloma, Michigan
    Awesome! Thanks for the help. I'll go out and try it right now.
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  6. crazyquik22023

    crazyquik22023 Proven Member

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    Akron, Ohio
    this could be a very easy thing to fix. if your car's been sitting for a while the lines just might be backed up or have air in them. all you need to do is bleed the lines. Start the car and fill the power steering reservoir and while the car is not moving turn the steering wheel all the way to the left then all the way to the right. do this 15-20 times and the lines will be bled.
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  7. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Coloma, Michigan
    On top of doing this, it also helps immensely to keep the RPMs up around 3K. I couldn't ever get it to completely bleed at idle.
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  8. Defiant

    Defiant DSM Wiseman

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    glorious Galt, California
    You can probably hear the pressure relief open when you hold the wheel all the way against the lock. Give it four or five seconds at each end- it shouldn't take more than a half-dozen cycles to clear the air.
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  9. darthvadar tsi

    darthvadar tsi Proven Member

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    Columbus, Ohio
    i just had this problem, how much bottles should i use to fill it up when bleeding it out?


    does it matter if i dont get all of the old fluid out of the tank before putting the new fluid in?

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
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  10. crazyquik22023

    crazyquik22023 Proven Member

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    Akron, Ohio
    No you don't have to get the old fluid out and just fill it till the "dipstick" on the resevoir, reads max then do about 10-15 full turns holding it for about 5 seconds at the end of each half turn (all the way to the left then all the way to the right is 1 turn) and it should get all of the air out of the lines, then after that you will probably need to fill the resevior a little bit more. Good Luck
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  11. miguelmcv

    miguelmcv Proven Member

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    Los Altos Hills, California
    Well, every one have tell you how to do it wright, so I can't just repeat all again, I just would like to add, to have on mind that once your engine stops your fluid will come back up in the reservoir, so don't fill it all the way up, other wise fluid will come out of the reservoir...
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  12. darthvadar tsi

    darthvadar tsi Proven Member

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    ok i bled the lines and started the car and shut it off, it doesnt come out the reserve any more but its kinda hard to turn the steering wheel when just beginning to turn left or right

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
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  13. crazyquik22023

    crazyquik22023 Proven Member

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    Akron, Ohio
    is your power steering fluid at the "max" level? Also trying driving it around a little and it will probably help with the problem. Actually never mind just realized you are in Ohio too. I'm sure you don't wanna take your car out in this horrible weather if you don't have to. But when you do take it for a drive make sure to check your levels after driving it around for a couple days.
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  14. darthvadar tsi

    darthvadar tsi Proven Member

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    Columbus, Ohio


    its right in the middle, yeah im gonna drive it and see if it helps. im pretty excited i fixed the overflow problem though :D thanks for the help bros

    do you go to park ave in the spring and summer?
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  15. crazyquik22023

    crazyquik22023 Proven Member

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    never heard of park ave, where is that at??
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