So, I have a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Orvis edition) with about 270,000 miles. It still runs great and has been really helpful in the snow this winter. A couple days ago the power steering pressure hose blew. My mechanic wants $115 to replace it, but I can get a replacement hose for $22 locally. Is there any reason I shouldn’t just do this myself, and save the much needed cash? I’m pretty handy, but don’t have a lot of car repair experience. Looks like a couple open ended wrenches and some patience will do the job. Do I need to worry about the fluid sprayed around the engine? The serpentine belt is only a few months old and squeaked only a little on the three mile drive to get it home. Thanks so much!
$115 is quite reasonable. I would consider it.
If you decide to try it, you do have to wrestle 20 year old fittings. An open ended wrench might do it. You’d be better off with flare nut wrenches (look like this (click)), although those aren’t always so great either. Some would say to cut the old line and get a socket on it. Anyway…I doubt those fittings are going to just spin on out of there without complaining. But they might.
Note that if they are stubborn about coming out, this doesn’t mean that you crank down on them really hard to re-install the new hose. You don’t. They are actually not supposed to go all that tight. A new hose typically comes with some instruction about that.
If the car isn’t running then there’s no pressure in the system so you don’t need to worry about that. But you do need to bleed the system when you’re done. The is normally not very complicated but you’d want to look up the recommended procedure.
I guess the main issue is if you can get good access to it without putting it up on a lift, and if the part is of a good quality or not. I replaced one on my Olds once but the car was only a couple years old, I was young, and had OK access. I agree that’s a pretty reasonable price but you gotta do what you gotta do. If you get half way done though and can’t get it, then you’ll have a tow bill in addition to the $115 repair.
A crow foot line wrench with a long extension is often required to remove the pressure line from the steering secter.
Me, I’d go for it. I’d figure, if it turns out I can’t do the whole thing, I can always tow the car in to my local shop. Plus it might give me a reason to buy some more tools. I had to replace the fuel pump in my Ford truck a while back, and to get access I removed one of those PS steering hoses, so that’s about the only direct experience I have. These PS hoses that have been on there for a long can be very difficult to remove. The posters above have made some excellent recommendation for the proper tools to use. I was able to get mine off just using an open end wrench, but I think if I was replacing the hose anyway, cutting the old hose off at the connector and using a socket on the fitting is probably what I’d try if the open end wrench didn’t work.
Here’s something I learned the hard way: Don’t turn the steering wheel with either end of the hose removed.
This was a whole different car and yours may very well be way easier, but here’s a thread (click) from when I was doing the lines in an Olds Silhouette. I still swear that fitting was a 17.5mm - and it was impossible to get to. Killed a whole day.
Maybe that 17.5mm was an 11/16 inch.
@Rod Knox, I can’t imagine you’d want to go read a thread that old - but I covered that. An 11/16" was too small - it wouldn’t fit at all. Once I finally had it off I actually verified that again. 18mm has a lot or play - way too much. It’s what I ended up getting it with though.
Easy peasy. As a couple other members have noted, you’ll want a crowfoot rather than an open-ended wrench (unless you have really, really short wrenches). Even on an older Jeep, the fittings don’t usually put up much of a fight.
If the hoses have been reinstalled incorrectly somewhere along the way, you may have to loosen and turn the return hose at the steering gear in order to thread the pressure hose. Beyond that it couldn’t be simpler. If you can turn a wrench and clean up messes with a shop towel, you can do this job.
Bleeding the system is really simple: You start the engine and turn the wheel from lock to lock a half-dozen times, briefly pausing at each lock. Stop the engine. If the fluid level is low, top it up and repeat. If the fluid is frothy, let it sit until it’s no longer frothy, top it up, and repeat. You’re done when the fluid stays liquid and the fluid level remains steady at the full mark.