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Q: Power steering isn't working after many hours of labor

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My 04 Santa Fe began having power steering problems about 2 years ago. I was deployed at the time and my wife was driving it and neglected the fluid level. The car was driven without power steering for nearly 2 years. About a week ago I began repairs. I replaced the pump and the rack and have thoroughly bled the system and still no power steering. Upon bleeding I smelled fish. How do fix this?

My car has 145000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

To start we need to determine if the new pump and rack are working properly. This will serve as a test of the entire system, and of the installation done of these components. You can connect a gauge to the end of the pressurized power steering fluid line. Turn on the vehicle and test for the correct pressure. Each manufacturer will have their own specifications for the pressure that should be at that point. You will have to turn the wheels to test pressures at different parts of rotation (pressure does get higher when the wheels are turned further).

If the pressure is too low or too high, this is your issue. Low pressure is typically a sign of a failed pump (new parts can come faulty), a leak or clogged fluid line, a failed drive belt, or air in the system. If you are receiving proper pressure, there may be a mechanical issue. Consider what may have caused the leak of power steering fluid in the first place. Whatever the original issue was, may still be having an effect on the system. If your wife lost fluid in the first place, then something was wrong to begin with.

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