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Power steering

I have a '99 VW Beetle and the power steering fluid was out. I filled it up to the max level, but the fluid has all leaked out. is this car safe to drive until I can get it repaired? It is my only source of transportation and I am a full time (very poor) student.

How long did it take before it all leaked out? (Miles/days of driving).

What you will do is risk damaging other parts of the system and something that might be a minor and relatively inexpensive problem could become a more major and expensive one. (Of course, it is also possible that you already have an expensive problem, so be prepared for that). The other thing, of course, is the problem of ending up without the power assist to the steering. That can be a little dangerous.

So it really is something that you want to deal with asap. How long before you can have someone look at it?

My wife happens to be running around at the moment with a power steering leak. I am waiting for the parts that I need to fix it to arrive. In the meantime I have kept the leak to a slow one using this: - and I check it everytime she comes back in the driveway.

I just noticed this morning when I went to run some errands that the steering seemed stiff. I checked the PS fluid resevoir and saw that it was almost empty so I picked up some fluid at Walmart and filled the resevoir. I drove home( about 6 mile) and my husband went to load stuff in the car a couple of hours later and noticed the puddle on the garage floor. the resevoir was empty again. don’t know if there is a loose hose or if the pump went out.

Also, my husband just went out and put more PS fluid in the resevoir. it ran right out. Does this sound like a bad pump or perhaps a hose that is off or has a hole in it?

A major leak to be sure. It could be a cracked seal, cracked reservoir, or cracked hose. Driving it like this will damage the pump, which may lead to a more costly repair. You may want to consider towing it to a shop to be fixed.

A damaged hose is a cheap fix. The power hose is only $40. A cracked reservoir is a slightly more, but still fairly inexpensive. The pump being bad is expensive. The pump is $200 for an aftermarket reman., and doesn’t include the attached reservoir. And then there’s labor charges for replacing whatever is broken.

I would get it fixed properly and immediately to avoid further damage and possibly crashing when the dry steering gets “heavy”, as you say.

Thanks for the replies. A friend of my husband’s who works on cars took a look at it. It is definitely the pump. What this guy says is that the pump has a 'blow-out’valve and that would prevent the pump from seizing up or what ever and the car should be ok to drive. He knows a guy that works at a dealer’s and is going to see if he can get a better price on a new pump. What do you all think? This is my only transportation and i need to drive about 75 to 80 miles a day about 3 days a week right now. If it would hold up for a couple of days driving until we can get the part and replace it…

Indeed. You can’t drive it.

Do be prepared though, even if it is just a bad hose. I am awaiting parts to replace my own PS hoses b/c the quote I got from my shop was $360 to do both hoses. The hoses are costing me $80. But they aren’t that easy to replace, so I assume most of that $$ is in the labor. This car is tiny - cramped spaces. It might not be so easy either.

However, as BustedKnuckes said - it will only get even more expensive if you keep going.