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Thread: power steering leak/fluid type question

  1. #1
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    Default power steering leak/fluid type question

    O.k. So the 2002 V70 XC I just purchased 3 weeks ago with 106k miles just lost all of it's power steering fluid last night in a full on jettisoned mass exodus. From the less than quarter mile drive from the grocery store to my duplex, it all came dripping out and splashing on the engine causing some fairly righteous smoke and stench from the hood. I have since learned on this forum that these models have power steering problems. What I'm wondering is, at this point, does it matter what type of fluid I put in now that I probably don't have any, save for trace elements, in the line?

    Cary

  2. #2
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    IF you don't discover where it is leaking from then pouring in more and running car is only going to make a mess and maybe a fire.
    I don't see power steering leaks more on volvos than on other 8 year old and older cars I work on.
    Have you been able to discover where the oil leak originates? forward of engine, on passenger side end of engine, or behind engine?

  3. #3
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    Well, I'm no mechanic. But my friend is and he's going to look at it tomorrow. What should he be looking for specifically on my model?

  4. #4
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    I did notice that most of the mess was on the underside of the passenger side, whether it is in front of the engine or not, I don't know. I'm at work today so tomorrow is the only time I can have it looked at.

  5. #5
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    Bottom of PS reservoir is connected to a hose that goes to the PS pump. This is a common leak source. Do a search and you should come up with lots of info.

    PS fluid is CHF-11S (hard to find). Don't follow Volvo's manual and put ATF in. The manual is wrong.
    SOLD 2001 V70XC @123k 20mpg. No more Volvos due to shift to better gas mileage
    SOLD 2001 V70 T5 @132k 22mpg.
    2013 Tesla Model S 85kWHr 14k miles 90 eMPG. Best car ever
    2011 Toyota Prius Model2 45k 60mpg
    2001 VW Golf GLS 1.8T Auto 143k Fahrvergnügen but only 23mpg
    http://freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks. I have in fact discovered this searching the forum. It seemed to me though that most people reporting leaks had slow drips rather than an all out dump. I think I had a small PS fluid explosion. Do you think it could be something else, given the fact that I had such a fast rate of leakage? I'll definitely have my friend check the clamp first. I'm just wondring what other possible sources of this problem are? Resovoir cap?

  7. #7
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    You should probably trace the PS fluid lines. If the engine smoked, it is probably up high. You should be able to visually inspect it.

    1. Start at the PS reservoir
    2. Trace the hose exiting the bottom and routes into the PS pump. Trace the metal tube exiting the PS pump and runs over the top of the intake manifold.
    3. Trace the hose entering the PS reservoir at the top, it will run near the exhaust manifold and down towards the PS rack.

    These would be hose #10, #5, and #3 in the following picture. If the link doesn't work, go to eeuroparts.com and plug in your car and pull up the steering parts. You can access the diagram there.

    http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/Diagr...8e7b1ff872.gif

    Since you said there is smoke coming from the engine bay, my bet would be #3.

    There are lines also running down around the fan and along the passenger side of the subframe as well as all around the PS rack. Leaks here probably wouldn't cause any smoke as they are below the engine.

    By the way, the PS pump will have high pressure fluid going through line 5. There is an o-ring (#6) and if that is overtightened, o-ring will get smashed and fluid will leak out of there. I've done it a few times, I think Volvo's service manual doesn't spec a torque value and it is at an odd angle for a torque wrench anyways. You have to tighten it by feel and with experience. If anyone took that pressure line off recently (any of the following service requires dis/reconnecting this line: alternator, AC, starter, PCV), you might search near this area
    Last edited by howardc64; 06-12-2011 at 09:16 PM.
    SOLD 2001 V70XC @123k 20mpg. No more Volvos due to shift to better gas mileage
    SOLD 2001 V70 T5 @132k 22mpg.
    2013 Tesla Model S 85kWHr 14k miles 90 eMPG. Best car ever
    2011 Toyota Prius Model2 45k 60mpg
    2001 VW Golf GLS 1.8T Auto 143k Fahrvergnügen but only 23mpg
    http://freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/

  8. #8
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    WOW! You are awesome Howard! Thanks so much for the info. I actually had it fixed by a friend Sunday afternoon and it was indeed the o-ring in the connection point to the power steering pump. Now, whether or not he over tightened it remains to be seen, but he did use an off the cuff o-ring he had on hand, telling me that he's not sure if there's a specific kind of o-ring I would need but this would get me by temporarily. His was black but the one we removed was green. Different material designed to withstand the pressure? I don't know.

    I do know that I swiped O'Reilly's last bottle of CHF-11S, so for anyone reading this, they had it in stock. Maybe other O'Reilly's carry it too. We've got three or four in town now (and we're certainly no metropolis!)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
    he did use an off the cuff o-ring he had on hand, telling me that he's not sure if there's a specific kind of o-ring I would need but this would get me by temporarily. His was black but the one we removed was green.
    I would guess any o-ring is fine as long as the fit is good. Being near the engine, the material should withstand some level of heat.

    You can pick up that o-ring at any Volvo dealer. Should be just a few bucks at the most. You won't leak too much PS fluid when pulling the pressure hose out to install the o-ring because the PS pump isn't pumping any fluid forward. Just put a thick rag under the connection when you pull it out.
    SOLD 2001 V70XC @123k 20mpg. No more Volvos due to shift to better gas mileage
    SOLD 2001 V70 T5 @132k 22mpg.
    2013 Tesla Model S 85kWHr 14k miles 90 eMPG. Best car ever
    2011 Toyota Prius Model2 45k 60mpg
    2001 VW Golf GLS 1.8T Auto 143k Fahrvergnügen but only 23mpg
    http://freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/

  10. #10
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    Colorado
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    Default Chf-202?

    Quote Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
    I do know that I swiped O'Reilly's last bottle of CHF-11S, so for anyone reading this, they had it in stock. Maybe other O'Reilly's carry it too. We've got three or four in town now (and we're certainly no metropolis!)
    The O'Reilly website indicates that they have Pentosin and Beck/Arnley CHF-202 on hand as an approved fluid for the XC with no mention of 'CHF-11S'.
    Does anyone know what the difference is between these fluids?
    Are they compatible?

    2002 V70XC ~100K Miles

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