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2000 honda civic hemorrhaging power steering fluid

So I got another one for you guys. Pretty self explanatory but looking for clarification. The car is gushing power steering fluid. RReservoir is good, pump is good. But I did notice that when I turn the wheel this accordion cover thing (I’m not a mechanic I don’t know what it’s called) pops off the silver ring there and fluid spits out everywhere. What needs to be done to fix it?

That’s the inner tie rod end boot.

And behind that boot is the rack and pinion end seal.

I would suggest that you try this product first to see if it’ll stop the leak.

Otherwise, the rack and pinion requires replacement.


Agree with Tester except that I have always heard it called a bellows. I think you are going to need a rack if the leak is as bad as you say.

I looked at the picture, and the leak looks pretty bad

Not only that, but the bellows itself is badly torn, right behind the clamp

Rack time

Just curious, what’s the motivation to replace the rack rather than just the leaky seal? Is parts and labor less on a brand new rack?

I’m going to try the stop leak this weekend. If that doesn’t work I’ll probably just scrap the car, hardly worth the hundreds of dollars the part is worth.

You’re going to scrap a car all because of a steering rack replacement? I could see that if the car was pretty much crap and eaten up with rust but otherwise it’s a bad move.

If the car is halfway straight and clean and you’re going to scrap the car over a bad rack then your automotive future is going to be very, very bleak.

A little background. 260k miles with 5 total oil changes in its lifetime. It needs new tires, suspension, brakes, a windshield, new hood, new bumper, carpet is completely ripped out, trunk doesn’t close anymore, radio torn out, and absolutely no preventative maintenance whatsoever (timing belt, hoses etc)

It’s my mom’s old car that she gave to me, but I have a new car I bought so I’m kind of on the fence about keeping this one. Just depends how much I can fix without putting too much into it.

Car is unsafe to drive and probably is a danger to every other responsible driver on road. Heck, even the folks on sidewalk are in danger if u crashed into them after u loose control. thousands of other idiots on road driving crap like that. Life is hard sometimes. Mom sounds like a shaky individual. No regard for others safety due to zero maintenance habits. Are u the same? U lived together for a long time.

Drive it straight to a junk yard (recycling center!).
They’ll give you a few $ for it, especially with the engine running.

The first response you got…is basically all you need to know. Racks do go sometimes…those seals fail. This is what you are seeing. A new rack is a fun job when you have no room to work…lol


“Mom sounds like a shaky individual.”

The car is clearly in sorry shape, but I don’t believe it does any good by talking smack about somebody’s mom, even if there may be some truth to it

Even if the mom was the one who neglected the car

In fairness, she endangered everyone around her on the road by driving that piece of junk. We routinely call out OPs for creating unsafe conditions for innocent drivers around them. Just because someone happens to be a mother does not absolve them of responsibility to maintain their equipment so that it’s not an outright danger to everyone near them.

How would you like it if I talked smack about your mom and she wasn’t here to respond to my comments?

I wouldn’t do that, because it serves no purpose, even if there was some truth to it

This is purely hypothetical, anyways

“outright danger” . . . you nor I have actually seen the car. We have no idea in what kind of shape the ball joints, bushings, etc. are in

Give me the car to inspect and drive, and I’ll be able to decide for myself whether the car and/or the mom are a menace to society, so to speak

I recently worked on some vehicles at work, it took me over a day to fix worn out suspension and steering components. The steering didn’t seem loose. There weren’t really any ominous and obvious noises driving the vehicle. I wouldn’t call the vehicle operators an outright danger. The vehicles simply needed repairs and maintenance.

Before I fixed the vehicles, lots of my colleagues had worked on them over the years. At no point, did one of them ever say “That thing is a deathtrap, and the vehicle operator is a danger, because he never said anything.”

As far as the Honda in question goes . . . do you know for a fact that the mom was given and laundry list of needed repairs and it was explained to her why they should be performed? Perhaps it was only after OP got the car, that some mecha

Again, hypothetically speaking . . . just because some pep boys mechanic said the car needs a lot of work, does not necessarily mean he’s correct. Some places have been known to make recommendations that were pretty much worthless.

Rack and pinion seal kit is sixty dollars at McParts stores.

  • plus fluid . . .
  • plus labor . .
    Both sides should be done ( included in seal kit ) since this side’s bad, the other can’t be far behind.
    The whole rack is $250.00 / $350.00 at parts stores

Though it sounds like it’s time to shoot it and put it out of its misery.

I’d give "Mom a break on this one. Like my mother, she most likely relied on her husband to handle the maintenance on her vehicles.

My mother keeps up with oil changes, but always misses the noises that indicate a problem.
A few weeks ago it was a idler pulley bearing that was screaming for replacement. Had I not stopped over to move her car and shovel the snow, it would have failed on the highway.

Heck there are men who wouldn’t hear as rod banging on the inside of the block.

Besides the OP may have owned this car for the last 100’000 miles and neglected a lot of the work himself.


@cavelll Not sure if you’re trolling here, or just a keyboard warrior. You don’t know the first thing about me or my mother. Keep your nasty comments to yourself.

I take zero responsiblility for the state of my mom’s car, seeing as how I haven’t lived with her in 9 years. I’m looking for MAINTAINENCE advice, not life lessons. We’ll see what happens this weekend when I put that stop leak in it, but like I said probably just going to put it out of it’s misery.

@db4690 Well, for starters I wouldn’t be telling the internet how much my mom sucks at car maintenance, and I also would have intervened if she were driving around a heap like that long before I took ownership of it, so it would probably never come up.

All that aside, there have been plenty of threads on here over the years where someone with an elderly parent is asking if they should take the keys away and no one has been shy about explaining how much of a danger that parent is to fellow motorists even though the parents have never once to my recollection been here to defend themselves.

I don’t see any difference here. OP did not say his mom has stopped driving. He just said his mom drove a dangerous car around. It’s entirely possible his mom is currently making another car dangerous through extreme neglect, and if that’s the case perhaps mentioning something about it will nudge OP to go have a talk with his mom about car maintenance and perhaps take over the responsibility of it for her, as I’ve done with my mother just so she doesn’t have to worry about it.

Please do not take this as criticism of your mother, but a LOT of people out there do not understand the maintenance needs of their vehicle, so she has a lot of company there. If I may, I would suggest that you learn the maintenance needs of both your own and her new vehicles by reading the owners manuals and you be the dutiful son and check up on her from time to time to see that it is being done.

You could also help her find a trustworthy and honest mechanic to perform the required maintenance and send maintenance reminders not only to her but to you also so you can follow up and make sure it is done and she has a good save vehicle to drive.

Junking the Honda is probably the best economic choice for you now. With all the stuff you say it needs, I don’t think there is a favorable ROI (return on investment) there.


“there have been plenty of threads on here over the years where someone with an elderly parent is asking if they should take the keys away and no one has been shy about explaining how much of a danger that parent is to fellow motorists even though the parents have never once to my recollection been here to defend themselves.”

Again . . . lots of assumptions here

Nobody even mentioned the mom’s age

What if OP is 25 and the mom is 50 years old . . . ?!

I’m not making assumptions about the condition of the car’s suspension and steering, because some shops make worthless repair recommendations, based solely on the car’s age, because of 100% superficial bushing cracks, or other stuff

Maybe somebody will be 100% convinced my cars are dangerous, because they’re several years old

On the freeway, the other day, the motorist behind me made a 100% wrong assumption about me. It was stop and go traffic, and I was maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of me. Well, this guy behind me honked at me. Then he yelled at me that I was on the phone, not paying attention, and that I was a danger to everybody around me, etc.

Well . . . I wasn’t on the phone. My phone was in my pocket, where it belongs, as far as I 'm concerned, if I’m driving. I don’t have a headset. My phone is not even blue-tooth compatible, nor is my car. Both my hands were on the steering wheel at all times. I was not messing around with my radio. I was not fiddling with the ac controls. None of that.

Assumptions are often dead wrong.