Power steering fluid leak

I have 95 Toyota camrey.I have to refill the power steering fluid frequently. I got it examined from a auto-repair shop.There is a leak in rack and pinion
and return hose and both needs a replacement.The work is around $600.Is there any method by which I can trace the leak myself just to confirm ?
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sonali wrote:

If you are replacing fluid frequently I think you have your confirmation. But, if seeing is believing, when you park your car for the night put some largish pieces of cardboard underneath the rack and lines. Pizza boxes work nice. Look for fluid stains the next morning. Also get underneath it you'll probably see a lot of "wet" in and around the rack and lines. Rack leaks are bad, probably need a new one unless the mechanic can replace the seals.
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sonali wrote:

Whoops! Hey, that's not a Ford! <g> No matter, my advice is the same. Try posting to a Toyota newsgroup as folks there would have more specific info for your make/model, could be a known/common issue or somesuch thing.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Hi, Thanks a lot for your reply.But please let me know if I can use jacks to get under the car.If not what do I need to do? I am totally new to auto repair.I hope you will help me..Thanks in advance.
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sonali wrote:

Yes, you need a good floor jack and 2 quality jack stands, don't cut corners, your life depends on them. Jack the vehicle up at the jack points shown in the owners manual and place the stands under the lower control arms close to the wheels. NEVER get under a car supported only by a jack. You can also use drive on ramps, but make sure they are quality ones. Be sure to set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels either way. Above all, be careful. If it looks like it could maybe fall or roll, it probably can.
If you doubt the diagnosis and know nothing about cars, then maybe take it somewhere else for a second opinion. It usually takes a slightly trained eye to pinpoint the source of fluid leaks. Fluids like to travel to the lowest point and blow around under the car making it look like it's leaking all over. If you have the jack and stands available, find a friend or neighbor who is familiar with cars to help you find the leak and explain what you are looking at. Good luck and be safe.
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Hi Tom, Thank you very much for your concern about safety.I do have a jack but I need to purchase the jack stands.I will buy them now.This is definitely going to be costly affair.You have any idea why do leaks happen in rack and pinion assembly and the hoses of power steering assembly?
Tom Adkins wrote:

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sonali via CarKB.com wrote:

Hoses can develop leaks at the crimped connections or anywhere there is rubber. The rack and pinion can leak just about anywhere there is fluid pressure sealed from the outside, usually at the end seals (inside the inner tie rod boots or bellows) or the input seal where the shaft from the steering wheel comes down. Trace the hoses back to the pump on the motor. the leak could be there also. That covers the basic rack and pinion steering system for most cars. My Lincoln has Hydro-Boost that provides power assist to the brakes from the power steering system . Your car probably doesn't have it, but I wanted to mention it just in case.
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Tom Adkins wrote: (snipped)

When did they come out with that feature? Is it supposed to be better than a vacuum booster for the brakes?
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Fordfan wrote:

I'm not sure when it was first used by Lincoln, but my car is a 1984 Mark VII. The 83, 84 and maybe 85 Conti and Mark VII had Hydroboost and I've seen reference to 70s cars with it. It went away on the Mark series when they got ABS around 1986. Some newer F-series trucks have it too, maybe just the Diesels. I've also seen it on big early 80s Oldsmobiles with the 5.7L diesel. I don't know if it is supposed to be better than a vacuum booster. The Mark has some pretty serious binders, but i don't know if that's due to the Hydro-boost or the 4 wheel disc setup. Here's a link to an article on installing HB in a hot rod. That looks like the same unit as on the Lincolns: http://www.automedia.com/Brake/Boost/ccr20060901bb/1
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Because the rubber wears out over time.
Jeff
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Hi Tom, I searched for a floor jack in autocentres.I Saw a floor jack having maximum lifting capacity of 13" and another of 14".Will 13" give sufficient space to get under the car?There is considerable difference in the prices of both, hence I wanted to have your opinion before buying anything.(I have 95 toyoya Camry).CAn you give me the specifications(weight / height lifting capacity )? Thanks in advance.
Tom Adkins wrote:

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sonali wrote:

Get some degreaser and spray down the rack and the hose area and wash off until clean. Drive for a day and recheck what's now damp. Or when clean and dry, have someone rock the steering wheel left and right and look closely at the hoses for fluid weeping out (car running in park).
My taurus had the HP hose that would weep only under load. If you can change the hoses yourself, change it and see what happens.
Bob
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Hi Bob,Thanks a lot for giving me some guideline.I see two hoses attached to power steering fluid reservoir.How can I find which one is the "return hose".? I may need to replace that.
Thanks in advance.
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sonali via CarKB.com wrote:

Don't know how Toyota designs their ps lines but on Fords the high pressure line has crimped metal ends on both sides and the hose is much thicker. The return line is simply a rubber hose that meets certain ambient heat criteria, SA-J129 or something like that, so not just any old rubber hose, but thinner than the pressure line. Also, the return line terminates at the ps fluid resevior. The pressure line originates at the ps pump.
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Hi sleepdog, I hope its the same with Camry.I will gather some more info on the guidelines which you gave.It was really helpful.Thanks a bunch.
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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sonali wrote:

I would fix the return hose first, then see how it goes....It could be that the rack is just wet from the hose leaking on it.
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I agree with you.Is is easy to replace the return hose?Do I need to remove both the front tyres and get under the car?Thanks in advance.
ShoeSalesman wrote:

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Do I have to get under the car to replace the return hose?Can anyone give me some steps to be followed to relace the rerurn hose?Thanks in advance.
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sonali via CarKB.com wrote:

don't know off hand exactly how to replace the hose.just follow it down from the pump. Yes you most likely will have to get underthe car.
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