2002 Mazda 626 Power Steering Problem

So the car has 160K+ miles on it and in the past week I jumped in it and tried to take off and the steering wheel was rock hard to turn, so I assumed the power steering fluid was low and filled it up with lucas stop leak and within an hour all the stop leak leaked out the bottom of the car. The leak is normally leaves a puddle around the passenger front tire but is actively leaking out of the middle bottom of the engine. Could this be a bad power steering pump? Is it gonna cost me an arm and a leg to fix?

Only an inspection will do. Sounds like a leaking hose or pump. Those are not especially expensive parts.

If you can’t fix it yourself or have a friend that can get it up on ramps, then you’ll need to get it to a shop. Does it leak out instantly or does it give you time to drive it? I ask, because you need to tow it if it just flows out. You would lose steering. More than likely a hose and a cheap fix. Should be very easy to spot the leak once the car is raised.

Steering will still work if the PS system fails, but will be very hard. Towing may not be necessary, but be aware that you may not be able to execute any needed quick evasive maneuvers.

Whenever I fill it up with fluid and drive it doesn’t leak. It usually only leaks when the car is parked for a prolonged period of time. Otherwise I’ve been able to drive anywhere I want as long as I fill up the reservoir before I travel. Thanks for the response! Good to know it’s not going to be that big of a deal.

Take it to someone and have it fixed. See Mechanis Files link above for a mechanic in your area. You need to get it taken care of. If it fails while driving, it would be very hard to steer. At least you save on towing.

I’ve got a guy I’m taking it to in the morning. Thanks for the input!

The most common source of a PS leak is at the hose connector where the power steering hose connects to the rack. It’s a rubber hose under pressure and is constantly being flexed when you turn the steering wheel, and really gets extra-flexed when you turn the steering wheel enough that it hits the steering-stop, you know, the point where you can’t turn the steering wheel any further, like happens sometimes when parallel parking. Cross you fingers it is that, as fixing it means simply replacing the hose.