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Leaking power steering switch in Ford Taurus

The power steering switch in my Taurus 99 has been replaced but still leaks horribly.Apparently the new part was faulty too. The mechanic wants to bypass the problem by installing a so called “pipe plug” instead. He says it will eliminate the leaking and “burping” problem the car has had and the only problem it might cause is that it may make the car too easy to steer on the interstate. Is this safe? We took the car in because it burped up power steering fluid and he has tried everything: replaced a hose, got the air out of the system etc. We had him install a new rack and pinon too, which is costly, and would now like to drive it for a while… Any good suggestions???

Get a second opinion.

You can’t remove the power steering switch. If you do, the engine will stall anytime you turn the steering wheel.

The power steering switch tells the computer when the load from the power steering pump is being applied to the engine. The computer then bumps the idle up using the Idle Air Control motor to compensate for this extra load imposed on the engine. Without that switch, the engine will stall when turning the steering wheel.


You might have your mechanic install the pipe plug to see if that stops the leak. If it doesn’t (which I suspect will be the case), the leak is coming from elsewhere. Have you replaced the pump and the high pressure hose yet?

The mechanic apparently put in a refurbished rack and pinion and that has a cup or cap which leaks. Rather than put in an entire new set, he wants to try to get at this cap and thread it with some kind of tape(plumbers tape?). He says that should work. Will this hold up? Can we stop pulling our hair out???

A regular pipe thread (NPT) plug won’t thread in. The threads for the power steering switch is a straight SAE thread which requires an O-ring to create the seal. If you look up the power steering switch for your vehicle, you’ll see the threads are straight and there’s an O-ring on the switch.