Question about 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Steering Rack Leaking

Hi there! Bought my 2003 cavalier 2 years ago with 50,000 on it and have only put 20,000 more on. In March had a major trans axle leak and now have a steering rack leak. Not too long before had break leak. Does this seem like more maintenance than usual? How much should a steering rack fix cost? Is there any cheaper alternatives like stop leak? I am worried I am financing a lemon.

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  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

    Power steering rack overhaul



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You may be juicing a lemon. cavis dont break that soon.(70,000)

Posted on Jun 26, 2009


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After my 2003 Cavalier has been driven for half an hour or so, it develops a noise in the steering when turning L or R. Its not a screech, more like a soft rustling or slipping noise. My mechanic says its...

Please do not put in a "stop leak" product if system has no leaks. They contain materials that swell seals up and it can eventually cause a problem. If product ended up hurting rack it is an expensive and hard job to do. It is rare for a rack to fail so do not add products that are not needed. The power steering is basically the same hydraulic workings that you would find on a log splitter. The pump keeps pressure up - all the time - and as you turn in either direction it puts some pressure on side that is moving to "assist" the rack. The pumps fluid does get warm from constant running and the highest pressure it sees is when turning wheels when car not moving, and turning to very end of travel. All the Ford vehicles I have ever owned have power steering pumps that moan and sometimes whine - but they still work fine. You can try draining the fluid from the fluid reservoir and changing it with clean fluid - but it is messy and does not drain rack. GM systems usually run with auto trans fluid in them. You can try putting in a Lucas trans product - but use one for lubrication - not leak sealing. If you have no clanking, binding, screeching, or jerky movement in wheel I would not be that concerned. If it is louder when turning at standstill or near limit of travel it is normal. It sounds like it is just pump noise and some additive may help - but unless noise is "scary" bad I would let it go for a while and see if it gets worse. If slowly getting worse then pump is failing and will need changing. If you have a few tools and a place to work - this is not a huge job to change. The biggest issue is getting the fitting nut loose for the "pressure" side hose. The hose to the reservoir is usually just hose clamps. You may need a fitting wrench. But places like Autozone do lend tools. Have had pumps that are a little noisy (especially when car not moving or turning hard) last for years with no issue. Cars all have their noises and quirks - top off fluid with a conditioner like Lucas and let it go for a while.

Feb 23, 2015 | 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

My 2003 ford focus lost it's power steering, mechanic replaced the rack and pinion thing - lost steering again and now the mechanic says it is the power steering pump. The rack and pinion was replaced...

if the rack and pinion was not leaking or causing problems. then he may of made a wrong move! if the rack was fine before, and you just lost power steering. then it is most likely the power steering pump or the lines that go from rack to the pump. good-day ! if a rack goes bad, you will get a bad steering problem or just bad steering.

Aug 23, 2011 | 2001 Ford Focus

1 Answer

Is it common for the oil lines coming from the trans cooler to rub on the steering rack? the oil lines comming from the trans cooler have rubbed themselve though on the steerinmg rack and now there...

I can only answer that, by saying ,between yourself and any
repair shop,looking at,inspecting,and working on the vehicle,
that thoses lines should have been wire tied or bent away,from
the rack,years ago.
You as the owner take the responsibility, to personnally examine
everything,once or twice a year.
Sort of, part of ongoing preventative maintainance.
Common,yes and no.

Nov 25, 2010 | 1997 Chevrolet S-10 Pickup

3 Answers

I have a 2003 Ford Escape that is leaking power steering fluid. I replaced the power steering pump and hoses but it is still leaking. It only leaks when the Escape is turned off.

It might be the rack and pinion kit (seals)

I had this problem 2 months ago... replaced the powersteering pump 3 times until I convinced the mechanics to look at the rack and pinion. there they found the leak, especially when I turned the wheel.. They first kept telling me there was air in the lines and it would go away. but that never happened.

Sep 15, 2010 | 2003 Ford Escape

1 Answer

I have to add power steering fluid every 3 weeks or so b/c there is a horrible sound when I turn the steering wheel. I can't see anything leaking from under the car. Saturn replaced rack and pion about 8...

I would certainly take it back to the dealer who put in the new rack and pinion. Certainly that is where your problem lies as the fluid is going somewhere. Perhaps they did not tighten a connection and the fluid is leaking or the new unit was bad. Google Saturn and see if there was a recall on the L steering system.

Aug 04, 2010 | 2003 Saturn L-Series

1 Answer

Power steering fluid leaks, rack replaced approx a year ago

May have a failure in the replaced rack. I would take it back to the shop that did the work for warranty. If you got a remanufactured rack it was re-built and may have had major problems that were not fixed with the rebuild.

Oct 03, 2009 | 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

How do i change a rack and pinion bellow on a 98 chevy cavalier? I need to know if I need a tie rod end puller and I also need to know where the clips on the bellow are located I can find the first one but...

The bellows is just a dust cover. If fluid is leaking from the bellows, the rod seal is bad. It's usually cheaper to replace the rack than it is to rebuild it.

Aug 02, 2009 | 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier

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