Driving w/o power steering fluid


#1

What I read here confirms my own experience. That is that you can drive w/ some difficulty- straight-line easier than sharp turns. Came from Michigan to Connecticut. At Jamestown NY, power steering went out. High pressure hose replaced w/ small leak at driver’s side seal. 1quart of Lucas power steering repair drained out. One and a half more didn’t do it. A little brake fluid in there to expand the rubber did not do it. So able to drive to Farmington CT. Question is, can I drive it back. When I tell local repair shops the whole story they’re not interested. So I’m gonna give it a shot- keep my speed down and be attentive. I realize the pump and the rack may be toast after this. What is it? A 2003 Audi A6 4.2 w/ 170 K. Yes, emotion overcame rationality last Christmas. That doubl-overhead cam V8 and great handling at speed slayed me. I knew I was taking a risk when I bought it, so I didn’t sell my '93 Cadillac, much to my wife’s chagrin. So I guess I’ll re-register that, and figure out whether to junk the Audi. Wish me luck on the drive back to Michigan.


#2

This depends on the condition of the Audi. In “good” condition it is worth about $3000, in “excellent” about $4000. What will it cost you to replace the rack before the trip?


#3

The whole job properly done will run you a couple grand… assuming that nothing else is discovered like a bad steering link… Figure upwards of $600 for the rack and a few hundred for the pump plus a whole lot of labor and add an alignment.

Whether it’s worth it to you depends on the condition of the rest of the car, how much you really do like it, and your budget. And your wife’s opinion.


#4

Thank you Oldtimer11 and the same mountain bike for your comments. Yeah it’s not in excellent shape, Already cost me a right rear wheel bearing and a belt, It makes sense to bail out and look for something else, Gonna try 80/90 axle oil on trip back,


#5

When the pump runs dry it will lock up and the accessory belt will fail leaving you on the shoulder.


#6

That s a call for someone qualified. I had a 72 ford truck, high pressure ps hose went out $450! , mechanic told me it was only a power assist circumstance and if I wanted to deal with it I would be ok. 15 years I dealt with it, not terrible, just had to know you needed to be moving a little to steer. Really was not a problem.

As far as your car goes you need the opinion of someone more knowledgeable than I to determine if it is a damage situation, or arm muscle issue.


#7

How come nobody’s commenting on the 80w90 gear oil and the brake fluid, being used as power steering fluid . . . ?! :flushed:


#8

At this point the rack and pinion, pump and hoses are all primed for immediate failure @db4690. No need in beating a dead horse.


#9

@“Rod Knox”

I agree that the entire system is headed for complete failure . . .

I just thought it was funny

It reminds me of Tom and Ray “recommending” using 85w140 gear oil in an engine that have severe oil consumption

But I think they were half-kidding, and they agreed that the engine wasn’t long for this world


#10

90W gear oil is actually 40W oil with additives specific for transmission and none of the additives necessary for internal combustion engines @db4690. The higher designation is to deter people from using it as crank case oil. I imagine that GL-5 would severely shorten the life of engine bearings.


#11

Maybe a piece of a garden hose and several clamps can prolong the life while you are driving?


#12

From OP I gather ir is one end of the steering rack that is leaking now. For someone who buys old, high mileage cars, he seems to have little tolerance for repairs.