I have a 2001 Pontiac Montana with a little over 250,000 miles. I have been noticing red fluid on the ground under the van lately and had my local mechanic check out what was going on. I am told I need to repair the rack and pinion to the tune of $750.00. Should I consider this with the amount of mileage already on the vehicle or should I use Stop Leak, check the fluid levels, and keep my fingers crossed that this will help for awhile?
I wouldn’t use “stop leak” as it could affect the power steering pump. A bad rack is enough without a bad power steering pump too. Power steering fluid is cheap and if the leak is slow just add fluid every couple of weeks.
If the van is in good shape otherwise, $750 to keep it going doesn’t seem too bad. That steering rack has given you good service for 10 years and 250K miles. Can’t fault it for leaking a bit. Perhaps a replacement would keep you going for another 50 to 100K miles.
Red fluid? That usually points to a transaxle leak as power steering fluid is clear. Or it is when it’s new.
If it is the R&P leaking, I’ve had great success with this http://www.lucasoil.com/products/display_products.sd?iid=28&catid=9&loc=show&headTitle= - Lucas Power Steering Stop Leakwhen somebody didn’t want to spend the money to replace the R&P on a high mileage vehicle.