Question about 1999 Ford Windstar

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Power steering stiff as a day old dead body

I started with a low Power steering problem, added oil and thought nothing of it. Returned to the car 6 months later and found all the oil had gone again. The more I added oil the more it leaked out. I finally decided not to add oil because the oil had begun spitting on the catalytic converter and now the engine light is on permanently.
What can you help me with?

The vehicle is a 1999 Ford Windstar with 120000 miles and is in Africa now as I speak. It is a 3.8 L V6 engine.

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There's a few things you'll need to check, like the hoses coming out of the power steering pump, you need to make sure that there isn't any cracks in them, and that they're tight. If when you check out the hoses, it seems like that's likely to be the problem, you can use teflon tape (plumbing section of the hardware store), you'd need to take the fittings apart and wrap the threads (wrap tape the same direction that the threads go) with the tape. If you aren't able to find teflon tape, just tightening the fittings on the hydrolic hoses so that they're snug (don't wrench it too hard, since this is usually where the pump cracks, just make sure it's tight enough to stay where you need it to) by hand should help a little.

The next thing to check would be the fan/serpentine belt. You want to press down on the belt with your fingertip, 1/2 inch to 3/8ths of an inch give is just right, if the belt is too tight, it could make the bearing go out in the pump, and if you have to loosen it, you're going to need a chilton manual to walk you through it.

If tightening the hoses doesn't help, and if the belt is just fine, then you've probably got a crack in your pump, and you'll need to replace it.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

  • Whitney Ervin
    Whitney Ervin Jul 31, 2009

    There's a few things you'll need to check, like the hoses coming out of the power steering pump, you need to make sure that there isn't any cracks in them, and that they're tight. If when you check out the hoses, it seems like that's likely to be the problem, you can use teflon tape (plumbing section of the hardware store), you'd need to take the fittings apart and wrap the threads (wrap tape the same direction that the threads go) with the tape. If you aren't able to find teflon tape, just tightening the fittings on the hydrolic hoses so that they're snug (don't wrench it too hard, since this is usually where the pump cracks, just make sure it's tight enough to stay where you need it to) by hand should help a little.



    The next thing to check would be the fan/serpentine belt. You want to press down on the belt with your fingertip, 1/2 inch to 3/8ths of an inch give is just right, if the belt is too tight, it could make the bearing go out in the pump, and if you have to loosen it, you're going to need a chilton manual to walk you through it.



    If tightening the hoses doesn't help, and if the belt is just fine, then you've probably got a crack in your pump, and you'll need to replace it.

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