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Advice on Honda steering rack repair/fluid use & flush

Against all advice I rebuilt a leaking 2001 CRV steering rack rather than buying a new one. I think I have a couple final issues, wondering how and if to solve them, hoping I do not have to strip it and start again, so advice welcome.

While it was sitting in the garage for maybe a couple weeks, after being put together but without fluid or oil in it, it may have developed a little rust on the interior. This was not an original problem, and it may be only on the fluid inlets not in the shaft.
Any opinions on whether this can be flushed out and not get continue developing with use once it is filled with fluid.

And for an initial flushing or 2, can I just use cheaper American steering fluid and not the Honda stuff until I fill it to actually use again?
Will 10 minutes of using the wrong fluid destroy the seals, etc?

My guess is that you will not have a safe/satisfactory repair until you replace the rack with a professionally remanufactured unit. If you install your rebuilt rack don’t have your hands on the wheel when you start the engine.

And the wrong fluid may be more detrimental to the pump than the rack.


If you think rust developing inside the unit is the problem, take it apart again and clean the rust out, then put it back together. It will take you less time to do that than to try to flush it out. Plus you may discover what’s actually wrong in the process. You may just have it adjusted a little too tight.

Thanks for reply, here’s an issue if you know.
I replaced the end seal seal ring from a kit, this thing about 4 or 5mm thick. to clean out the cylinder I would have to push the new seal out. It is just stuck in there by size , not in any sort of groove would I likely need to replace that seal or could I re-install it, would it likely be deformed?

If I am getting int details you don’t know, thanks for the first answer.

If I had the skills to remove and install a steering rack, I’d install a manual rack rather than another power steering rack and make life easier on myself. You’ll save yourself time at the gym by giving your arms a good workout every time you drive.