Overfilled power steering reservoir

I recently had my 91 Lincoln steering gear box replaced and the mechanic over-filled the p.s. reservoir (to the brim). I then drove maybe 400 miles and started to hear a wailing or siren type sound coming from the under the hood, which I thought might be due to the over-filled reservoir. I removed the excess fluid but still hear the wailing, siren type sound. Would a overfilled power steering have reservoir caused this?

There is generally no problem associated with overfilling a reservoir, any reservoir, be it coolant, washer fluid, or power steering fluid. The only reason for avoiding overfilling is that the liquid could slosh out. Do not blame the overfilled reservoir for the mystery noise, whatever it may be.

No, if it was all fluid; but too much air in fluid would. You might get shop to just listen to sound/symptom @ this point. Is the wailing/siren sound worse as you turn steering wheel w/engine running? Try in P or doing figure 8’s in a parking lot. Sounds like the tech was too rushed to properly get air out of pow. steering system after he filled it; air bubbles expanded w/pressure & heat

created by pow.steering system operation, increasing air/fluid volume. Anyway, get fluid level where it belongs. You want to get air out of system. Let engine idle w/cap off p/s resevoir. Have a cup of coffee and “hang out”. Periodically add fluid if nec. (Take note of "hot’ and “cold” lines on p/s dipstick.) After 7-8 minutes turn steering wheel lock to lock and see if your sound is gone. If no, go do a lot of fig

8’s, come back, and refill, if nec. If symptoms still there, check/add fluid. Now you could jack up front of car if poss; w/tires off ground turn steering wheel lock to lock for maybe a minute; (be safe); then check/add fluid. Go for 1 last fig 8 ride, and check/add fluid. If sound is still related to turning of steering wheel I think damage was done to p/s pump and/or steering gear by the tech not getting air out of

system. If sound seems totally unrelated to turning of steering wheel, it’s something unrelated. Or, you could have shop do the work of getting the air out of system- I’m just trying to give you the big picture. Good luck.

The problem with overfilling the reservoir is that as the fluid heats up and expands it is going to be expelled through the vent. If you notice on the little dipstick on the cap, there usually is a ‘cold’ level and a ‘hot’ level. So if the reservoir was filled to the brim the equivalent amount of fluid between the ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ lines would have been expelled. If the reservoir is near the belt or power steering pully, the fluid may have gotten on the belt causing it to slip. If this has happened clean the pulleys (engine not running) and clean or replace the belt.

Let us know what you finally find.

Well, the noise has gone away by itself, maybe due to the fact that the ambient temperature here in Kansas City is now well above freezing, as the wailing had occurred during the last several much cooler days. Or perhaps fluid that may have gotten onto the belt evaporated, or any air bubbles in the fluid may have dissipated due to driving after lowering the reservoir level.

Sorry I had initially forgotten to mention that the wailing seemed to be more related to acceleration rather than turning of the steering wheel, althouth it wailed simply idling. I’ll let you know if the wailing returns when colder temperatures return, supposedly this coming weekend.

At any rate thanks for all the great suggestions and assurances.

over filling any fluid is a no no. you get cavtating or air bubbie,s in pumps and in ten minutes the pump is done never over fill any fluids
ford are harder to get air out of pumps they though they over fill it and if god was with them the iar would leave the pump and all is well
some times you need to use a vacuum hand pump with special cap to remove air or lift front of car high on jack and leave seat over night and the iar will raise to top of pump by itself. some ford,s you have to have the wheels off the grounds as you turn the steering whell side to side to help remove the air. they did something wrong. question did your brother in law do this work? if you got the pump from advance auto take it back. if your brother in law did the work make sure he has the proper pully removing tool or you will belt problems. if pully is bent.

over filling any fluid is a no no.

Well, it depends on the circumstances. You don’t want to seriously overfill your crankcase, because the crankshaft will beat the oil into a useless foam. On the other hand, overfilling your windshield washer fluid won’t do any harm. It all depends on whether the intakes and pumps will mix air into the fluid, or cause some other problem. Follow the instructions and try not to go above the “Full” line. At the least, the extra fluid will be expelled and you will have wasted money and made a mess. Also follow instructions to purge air from any system, if needed (coolant, PS, brakes,…).

I had this happen to me and I chose to remove the excess. You actually don’t have to buy anything to remove the excess fluid. Go in your house or any convient store grab a straw. Stick the straw down in and place your thumb over the top hole. The suction grabs the fluid. Lift it up and out. Remove the excess fluid. Just like you did with chocolate milk as a kid :slight_smile:

10 year old thread, they may have solved the problem by now and your solution is ’ SLOW '.

No-one cares if the question is old. People have the same problems over and over. The straw solution is faster than anything else I saw in this thread. You contributed nothing.

Did you seriously join the website to post that? (contributing how much more than Volvo?) :laughing: The straw method is extremely slow, I would use a Turkey Baster instead myself…(I have one I keep in the garage specifically for siphoning fluids).

Not to continue a ten year old thread but I was surprised when checking my washer fluid in my Acura. You put your finger over the hole and pull the cap off to see how much fluid is in the clear tube attached to the cover. Maybe this is where they got the idea. Yeah it’s in the owners manual on how to check it. On the other hand a $2 turkey baster works pretty good. Just keep it in the garage and not the kitchen after-ward.

I’ve used the straw technique to remove excess fluid, but the turkey baster is faster. The slowest way to remove the engine oil? Repeatedly insert and withdraw the dipstick, wipe the oil off on a rag in between.

1 Like