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Hi All
I have a 2000 Ranger 4X4. There is a leak in my power steering system and I am looking for some advice. The truck started making some really bad ‘groaning’ noises whenever I would turn. Power steering also became very stiff. All this took place while we were experiencing some very cold weather (-35 Celsius, or about -32 Fahrenheit). When I got home I looked in the pump reservoir and the fluid was all aerated. I was low on power steering fluid so I filled it up and bled the system to get the air out (lots of fun in -35 with no garage). This solved the problem at the time. However, I was not convinced that the fluid level was just low for no reason, but I could not find a leak. Not wanting to damage the pump I chose not to drive it. It got a bit warmer out today so I started up the truck and the noise was back and the fluid level had dropped again. This time I managed to find a leak.
The leak appears to be coming from the end of the steering rack on the passenger side. I am not too familiar with this system, but there is a boot that is attached to the end of the rack. Right where the boot attached there looks like there is a seal of some sort. This is where the leak is coming from. Does this sound accurate? Is there a seal or O- ring in there somewhere? If so, has anyone replaced this on there own, or is this a job for the shop. Thanks in advance for the help.

Hip
 

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The boot you see is called the bellows boot. All it does is keep dirt and moisture out of the inner tie rod end. IF you have fluid coming out of that boot (to make sure, get a small "pick" and put a small hole in the boot and see if fluid comes out), the only repair is to replace the rack and pinion unit.


Jimmy
 
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