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Power steering leak

last week, on our mercury monterey, we found that the level of power steering fluid had dropped and steering was making squeaking noise while turning. Filled up the fluid and it worked. Today when checked again, i am seeing drop in level again. So certainly there is some leak. Can we find it at home? Also is it safe to fill the fluid and drive or should we get it fixed ASAP? Thanks,

You should be able to find it, yes…repair it, well, that’s a different issue. I’d imagine, if you had to ask the question, you won’t be able to fix it.

First place to look is under the car. Is there a puddle of steering fluid? If not, then most likely it’s the seals at the ends of the steering rack.

You should get it fixed pretty quickly. You can add fluid as required to get it somewhere to get it fixed, but once leaking, it’s only going to get worse. If it runs out, it’ll damage the pump, which seems to be OK at this time.


I have been limping a leaking steering rack along for quite some time using Lucas’ power steering fluid/stop leak. It works fairly well for basic seal leaks - but only on seal leaks. Just ask at an auto parts store - Lucas is the only one I’ve ever found that does any good.

Note that I am doing this on vehicle that I’d like to replace sooner rather than later. If it was one I planned to hold onto for a long time I’d just have the rack replaced. My lines were also leaking but I replaced those. I do a lot of car work on my own vehicles. If you don’t do much car work then you don’t want to mess with any aspect of the power steering system - easy it isn’t.

Thanks for the feedback. We checked the vehicle at a local shop (firestone) and he found a leak in Rack and Pinion and recommended to replace it at a cost of $535.00. Is this fair price, can I get better price at any other place or try to shop for discount based on this price?
Like Cigroller suggested above, will the power steering fluid with stop leak help in this case?

We finally opted to do the work to replace the rack and pinion for 500 bucks. Now he says there is leak in the high pressure line too and will need alignment also. Is it possible that leak is in both places, or the rack replacement was not needed? feeling that they did not diagnose properly in first place.

Its perfectly possible that it was leaking in both places. Always ask to be shown.

The need for an alignment should have been included in the up front estimate. You have to do it after a rack is replaced.

What you need is to keep away from corporate chain places like Firestone and find a good local shop.

A leaking rack as opposed to a hose, would be a leaky seal. The stop leak is worth a try. I had two cars that stopped leaking entirely using it.