Power Steering Fluid Leak - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Power Steering Fluid Leak

My 06 Commander 4.7 is leaking power steering fluid. Every morning theres a trail on the floor in garage. Ive checked the level and its fine. Cant tell where the leak is coming from. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 10:42 PM
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You're leaking power steering fluid, but the fluid level is NOT going down?

That is NOT possible, or at least, extraordinarily improbable. Have you checked all fluid levels? If you have a leak, the fluid level will go down, if what you suspect is the leak does NOT have the fluid level going down, its likely you're suspecting the wrong system and its another system that is leaking fluid.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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ive checked all the fluids and its definitely the power steering fluid. I did replace the power steering fluid last month and filled it all the way up. could this be the excess leaking? the power steering fluid container is dry. the fluid seems to be leaking from drivers side. ill post pix soon
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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ive done more investigating and found its not the power steering fluid. its radiator fluid. every morning theres a trail of fluid on the ground. I can see it dripping. it doesn't drip while the vehicle is hot. Bad water pump?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 08:24 AM
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Would be my guess.. but I would check the hose connections first especially the lower one.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 08:50 AM
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To check the coolant level properly, you have to open the pressure cap and check the coolant level comes within 1" of the bottom of the cap. ONLY OPEN THE PRESSURE CAP WHEN THE ENGINE IS COLD, scalding coolant will burst out if you open the pressure cap while hot, people have had to go to hospital with serious burns from doing this while the engine is hot. The overflow tank relies on vacuum from the contracting coolant as it cools to suck the coolant in the tank back in through a valve. If you have leak big enough, the system will suck air back in through the leak instead of the coolant in the overflow tank, and thus, you're overflow tank level will stay at the same level but the actual level inside the cooling system will be dropping.

It may be a case of the leak being so slow, that when the engine gets hot it boils it off as it leaks and thus only drips when its cold.

Water pump is a possibility, but many things are possible.

Most leaks, it helps to clean the engine thoroughly and make sure its dry. Then keep checking it until you find evidence of a leak.

Find the point the coolant is dripping off the engine, follow any wet path up to the source. If the engine is too wet or dirty to figure it out, then clean it and wait till its dry and then keep checking every time you drive it.

Water pumps have a weep hole, that drains out any coolant that makes it past the seal. The coolant will then run down the engine to the lowest point and drip off. The weep hole might be obscured by the pulley wheel mounted on the pump. If you can see coolant dripping from the weep hole, then you definitely need a new water pump. If you can't see the weep hole, but can see the inside/backside of the pulley wheel is covered in coolant and slinging it off, that is a good sign coolant is dripping from the weep hole in the water pump.

If the bearing of the water pump wears too much, it will get off center and wobble, which hurts the sealing of the seals on the shaft to the pump and coolant leaks past it. If it was the seal that went first, then the coolant washed away the bearing grease and it will fail with the seal. The seal and bearing will go bad together, regardless which one starts failing first. That is why coolant leaking from the weep hole on the front of the water is the sign you need a new pump.

But the leak could be from somewhere else. Check all the hoses and connections, all the seals on the engine, etc. I've seen threads on leaks from the connections to the heater core at the firewall, of the fittings that branch off coolant to the rear heater core. The plastic tank radiators (all vehicle have them today), while cheap and efficient develop leaks at the seal between the core and plastic tank and will leak.


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Last edited by Mongo; 12-16-2015 at 08:56 AM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashover95 View Post
ive checked all the fluids and its definitely the power steering fluid. I did replace the power steering fluid last month and filled it all the way up. could this be the excess leaking? the power steering fluid container is dry. the fluid seems to be leaking from drivers side. ill post pix soon
Wow, you need to be a bit more specific in your descriptions, some of the things you are saying are total opposites and I have to guess at what you mean because to take it literally makes no sense.

Quote:
the power steering fluid container is dry
Do you mean the exterior of the power steering reservoir is dry? Thus there is NO evidence of leaking from the Power Steering Reservoir? If the inside of the PS Reservoir is dry, clearly there is a leak and you're damaging your PS system and Hydraulic Fan (If you have one, I think only the Hemi has it). The PS fluid also lubes the system and the pump is spinning at high speeds needing lubrication.

Quote:
I did replace the power steering fluid last month and filled it all the way up.
Did you fill all the way to the top of the Reservoir or did you Properly Service it? i.e. fill it to the proper level according to the dip stick on the cap? If you filled it to the very top of the reservoir, you overfilled, a.k.a. over serviced it.

Quote:
could this be the excess leaking?
The PS system creates a lot of pressure and fluid gets very hot. A kink in a hose can cause pressure surges or back-ups in the system that can get forced out past the cap in the reservoir (that is for proper levels). That is why the proper level is below the top of the reservoir and set by the dipstick for hot and cold, and if you overfill it, even pressure surges from a proper working system will force the excess out the top past the cap. If that happened the exterior of the reservoir would be wet.

Quote:
ive checked all the fluids and its definitely the power steering fluid
Did you thoroughly check everything and through a process of elimination, determine it was the PS system or did you jump to conclusions based off the fluid color? What you told us contradicted each point. NOT beating you up, just a lesson learned, but some of the other things you said, concern me a bit.

The only reason I bring it up, that creates a new concern. Did you use the proper fluid to refill your PS system or did you use any old PS fluid off the shelf of your local auto store?

Why I ask, the proper PS fluid for the Commander, only available from the Dealer as far as I'm aware, is clear and NOT the same color of any anti-freeze, either the OEM anti-freeze (Orange/Pink) or the aftermarket equivalent Zerex G-05 (Amber). Only some of the "All Makes, All Models, Mixes with any Color" anti-freezes being hocked at big departments stores and auto stores is dyed so faintly amber they would appear "Clear" and those anti-freezes or OAT, even worse, GM Dexcool, that should never be used in a Commander.

See what I'm getting at, I'm NOT really beating you up about being a less than an expert mechanic, that is why the forum is here to help each other, its more that what I'm getting from some of the things you've told us, the impression you've got the wrong fluids in your Commander. If so, you want to correct that.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2015, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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I thought it was power steering fluid because it was the same color and thickness as the power steering fluid. Im guessing as the coolant ran on parts of the engine, it picked up some oil or whatever. I took a vid of it dripping. ill post it soon
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