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1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding


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Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 15, 2014, 1:00 PM

Post #1 of 17 (2262 views)
1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

I just fixed a leaking power steering return hose on a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire. I can't get the system bleeded. I turned the wheel one side to the other, with the engine not running and the front wheels off the ground about 150-200 times (No joke!) but there are still bubbles coming up.... but strangely the fluid level is not going down. And of course the power steering does not operate properly. In fact no assistance under 2000 rpm. Except for the leak, the system was running fine before I fixed the hose. Any advice? I forgot to mention that the leak was under the passenger floor, where a metal pipe is running to cool down the fluid, which is the lowest point in the system...


(This post was edited by Scrapmetalman on Feb 15, 2014, 1:16 PM)


Discretesignals
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Feb 15, 2014, 1:26 PM

Post #2 of 17 (2251 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Which engine?

Which return hose did you replace. The one to the pump from the cooler or the one from the rack to the cooler? If you have any air leaks on the return side of the system, you will continue getting air into the system.

You did you use hose that is rated for the return side of power steering system?





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Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 15, 2014, 1:38 PM

Post #3 of 17 (2248 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

The engine is the 2.2l. In fact the part I fixed is the metal pipe section, under the passenger floor. I cutted the rotted portion and replaced with steel tube of the same size, with compression type fitting. I guess that air can't be sucked the system unless there is some vacuum in the line since it is the lowest point and if my fittings were leaking, it would allow fluid to run out when I leave it resting for a while... Am I wrong?


Discretesignals
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Feb 15, 2014, 1:56 PM

Post #4 of 17 (2245 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

If there is any place that air can be drawn into the low side of the system including a loose hose clamp, degraded hose, and/or poor compression fitting install, air will end up in the system. If there is a leak on the high side of the system, you'll see it spray out when the system is under pressure. Some leaks on the low side can acts as check valves allowing air to get pulled in, but not fluid leak out.

Another thing to consider is the line was rotting out, so it is possible pieces of corroded metal could have cycled through the system. I would have made a new cooler if the old one was corroded instead of trying to patch it. Have you flushed the system out? Doesn't take much metal to plug up the regulator valve.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 15, 2014, 2:03 PM

Post #5 of 17 (2238 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

 Only the portion were a rubber insulator was installed (to prevent the pipe to touch the floor) was rotted, only about 1 inch was bad and rest was still like new that's why I didn't replace the whole lenght. No I didn't flush the system. I've fixed many power seering hoses before and never get that much trouble! Thank you very much!


Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 15, 2014, 5:41 PM

Post #6 of 17 (2220 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Well.... I suspected the fittings so took it all off and replaced it with gaz rubber hose with clamps instead. I flushed the system in the process. Same result. Looks like air is entering the system from somewhere else, but I can't find where. Everything is tight and in good shape, and nothing was wrong before I cut the cooler pipe and I didn't touch anything else. What confuses me also is that bubbles come up when I turn the wheel with the engine off, but no bubble when it's running and the fluid stays clear... I'm considering getting some compressed air through the cap opening, to build some pressure in the return hose to see if fluid is leaking... What do you think? If can't find any leak I'll replace the whole return line from rack to pump!


(This post was edited by Scrapmetalman on Feb 15, 2014, 5:56 PM)


Hammer Time
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Feb 15, 2014, 7:23 PM

Post #7 of 17 (2212 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

If the engine is run with the fluid low it will immediately get aerated and that will not clear up until the engine is shut off for a few hours and the air rises to the top. Then top it off and start it again. Repeat this until it doesn't need any more fluid.



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Tom Greenleaf
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Feb 16, 2014, 1:22 AM

Post #8 of 17 (2200 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Just a note. Scrapmetalman - you said back when bleeding this up to 200 times with engine OFF? Did you need the exercise or what did you expect with it off? Let it allow air to rise as HT mentioned.


It should not be sucking air back in anywhere I can think of just existing air not purging out.


IDK but if PS fluid or if using ATF and staying any kind of foamy or aerated the fluid isn't helping, pump would just cavatate with little to no assist and may have wrecked it all depending on how long with what situation it's been exposed to, T



Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 16, 2014, 10:07 AM

Post #9 of 17 (2190 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

This morning I first checked under the car for leak, none was found. Then I checked the fluid level and it was ok. I started the engine and the power steering was working so I went for a test drive. It worked fine for about 200ft... I stopped and revved the engine to 2000 rpm, and power steering was working again so I turned the wheel side to side 2-3 times and release the gas pedal and it kept working. I drove another few hundreds feet and it when out again. The fluid stays clear (no foam) and the level is still ok.


Tom Greenleaf
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Feb 16, 2014, 10:23 AM

Post #10 of 17 (2186 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Hmmm? Belt soaked with oil or not tight enough? Not sure but getting ready to blame the pump as next guess,


T



Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 16, 2014, 10:41 AM

Post #11 of 17 (2182 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

The belt is clean and tight. I think you're right, there must be something wrong with the pump. The car is not mine so I don't know how long it ran with low fluid level, but the girl who owns it said she checked and topped it everyday, and that it was still working ok when she drove the car to my place to fix the leak. But as Discretesignals said, some debris may have ended up into the fluid...


Tom Greenleaf
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Feb 16, 2014, 1:10 PM

Post #12 of 17 (2174 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

This kinda stinks in that it can work but is/was a bitch bleeding out? Debris likely from a failing pump being low on fluid one too many times and you end up with it on its last breath probably?


Sheeeet, now what to do as if fluid is now controlled and free to flow the loop thru rack which or both are the fix. Fortunately not all the expensive as things go. Under $50 for just the pump even one with the tank. Whole redone rack about $150 YOUR costs plus fluid and time + core charges for exchange no surprise there.


???? I think I'd toss the pump as it works cold for you and helps with high RPM. History of filling it every day is damning and how did she know if my guess is hearing it or lack of assist knew to fill it again or both. Throw in a chance of a wrong fluid used and really scratch your headCrazy too.


Not sure about this at all and even if witnessed I'd still be unsure. When failing can you hear or feel it strain at full turn (don't wail on it too much it's trouble enough already) and feel pump trying?


About now I don't think you CAN be sure but would try the pump for the price. Pulley could be a pest to swap otherwise not so bad for most and those were one item I loved to get used and whole out of a known working wreck,


T



Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 16, 2014, 1:41 PM

Post #13 of 17 (2170 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

I think you're right Tom. There is no way I can know how long she waited before topping the fluid. I've known her for a long time and I think she knows enough about cars not to put motor oil in a power steering pump! But can't be totally sure...

Anyways it seems that the pump was faulty. I took the one from another Sunfire with a bad engine I have here, installed it and now it works fine.

Thanks everyone for your help, I've learned a few things this weekend! Proof that we still have things to learn even after playing with cars for more than 20 years...


Scrapmetalman


Tom Greenleaf
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Feb 16, 2014, 2:01 PM

Post #14 of 17 (2166 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Didn't re-read whole thread but will make a call and you can blame me if wrong. #1 is to be up front with this person that there's room for failure short of throwing everything in sight out and then even some reman stuff has a failure rate.


Again, pump showed cheap enough to try that. Dunno how hard to take the sucker out but was about the same with tank or without one so get the one with tank. Core was $7 bucks. Keep old one for a while.


Hey - the reason I liked used for just these especially was I could go see the dang wreck and what/why it was junked. Great if you are out in what is a playland for me of cars crap finding parts just replaced before an owner gave up on whole car but clearly there for some other reason than the part(s) you wanted.


You have already spent more time farting around with this than the freaking $50 bucks is worth so something to be said for that too. Gotta do something or just give this little headache to someone else,


T



Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 16, 2014, 2:20 PM

Post #15 of 17 (2161 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

I just asked her and she said she poured nothing but power steering fluid in it, wich I beleive to be true. The repeated low level must be responsible for the pump failure.

I took the whole thing out. Pump, tank and even didn't need to take off the pulley! It was tight but can be done! And put the whole thing from the other Sunfire I have here. I'll get another pump at a junkyard when I'm ready to replace the engine in it.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Feb 16, 2014, 2:48 PM

Post #16 of 17 (2156 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Let us and the world know how it works out. Good bet if bleeding out the next one goes fast and well you have it,


T



Scrapmetalman
User

Feb 16, 2014, 3:01 PM

Post #17 of 17 (2153 views)
Re: 1998 Pontiac Sunfire power steering bleeding Sign In

Bleeding with the other pump was done in no time. I went for a test drive and it works fine.






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