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So I went off-roading with my Jk on Saturday, went through a small pond on some family's property and got the bad boy all nice and dirty like it should be!! Nothing crazy but got pretty deep in some mud and water. So I was out cleaning it today and noticed that since it has been parked and not driven since sat I went and started it to pull it out of the barn and noticed that my power steering wasn't working and the power steering fluid was completely empty. I didn't have time to inspect the problem but curious if anyone would be able to lead me in the right direction on how to trouble shoot it. Thanks for any help!!!
Plus I'm a newbie to owning a jeep and this thread, located in dfw. Looking forward to getting to know some of you guys.
 

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There should be obvious signs of a leak. Trace your PS lines and you should be able to find it. Look around the steering sector and pump for leakage. If you lost all your fluid in one afternoon, there should be evidence of it someplace.
 

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So I put fluid in the reservoir, and then I started the engine and all the sudden ps fluid was getting on the belt somehow and spraying all over everything. So then I turn off the engine and look for a leak somewhere and can't find anything dripping from any of the lines. So I let it sit for a week to try and dry up and see if I can figure out where the leak might be coming from. As of yesterday once I started it again to move it under the lean too to work on it and the PS worked?!?! And now today once I started it again the PS seemed a little sluggish and it wouldn't hardly turn without the vehicle being in motion. So I'm a little confused on what the problem might be. No sign of leak anywhere and PS fluid is still in the reservoir. Any ideas from anyone???
 

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Put some Fluid in reservoir. Get a bright light. You'll need someone to help you. Wait a couple hours. Check reservoir level. Did it drop. START ENGINE. Don't turn steering wheel! Is there any leakage. SLOWLY Crank Steering One direction Only! Do you see fluid spraying.
 

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first of all when you say power steering fluid I hope you mean atf+4 transmission fluid and not actual power steering fluid for old cars....

second, to bleed the system of air once its empty like after a repair, you fill it with fluid then start the engine for a few seconds and shut it off and check the fluid level and add as needed, sometimes if its really empty you will need to add fluid twice, once its staying full steer the steering wheel all the way right till and then all the way left 2 times and recheck the fluid level, it may be full of bubbles and need to sit a little while to settle, at that point you should have power steering again and you can check for leaks.

if the engine is off and you crank the wheel left to right the fluid may get pumped out of the top of the reservoir and leak.

if you have it working and its full of the right kind of fluid the power steering pump or rack would have to be bad they are the only things in the system other than lines and reservoir, sometimes when the rack and pinion gear goes bad it binds internally and kills the pump, none of that explains the random fluid loss by the belt previously or explains where it went the first time either....
 

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You more than likely tore the hose off of the low pressure [return ]to the pump wipe or wash everything down and a leak of that magnitude should be easy to spot .Note don't try to drive it without oil you will burn up the pump
 

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first of all when you say power steering fluid I hope you mean atf+4 transmission fluid and not actual power steering fluid for old cars....

I'm glad you pointed that out. I thought my reservoir was low and was at the auto parts checking out the different type of fluid. And they actually have different types for Honda, Subaru, etc...
 

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first of all when you say power steering fluid I hope you mean atf+4 transmission fluid and not actual power steering fluid for old cars....

I'm glad you pointed that out. I thought my reservoir was low and was at the auto parts checking out the different type of fluid. And they actually have different types for Honda, Subaru, etc...
Yea if your fluid is empty most people just get power stealing fluid and dump it in and assume it's good, if it just needs a little fluid sometimes the more observant people will realize it before they dump it in... I have actually seen were people fill it with the wrong stuff and it works good for a while, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to mix a little but long term use of mixed/wrong fluid might kill the pump or the rack..... The op's problem of sluggish steering reminded me of one that was filled with the wrong fluid once, i think the vehicle I was working on was a grand Cherokee tho
 

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this use of the correct power steering fluid is some times overrated. I am not recommending it but I drove a good number of years for a very large co. [Des Moines Iowa] that runs a fleet of several thousand trucks of many brands and all they ever used in power steering was 15w40 synthetic engine oil with no problems. I generally use the same oil we use in the hydraulic system on farm tractors. Never had a problem.
 

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first of all when you say power steering fluid I hope you mean atf+4 transmission fluid and not actual power steering fluid for old cars....

second, to bleed the system of air once its empty like after a repair, you fill it with fluid then start the engine for a few seconds and shut it off and check the fluid level and add as needed, sometimes if its really empty you will need to add fluid twice, once its staying full steer the steering wheel all the way right till and then all the way left 2 times and recheck the fluid level, it may be full of bubbles and need to sit a little while to settle, at that point you should have power steering again and you can check for leaks.

if the engine is off and you crank the wheel left to right the fluid may get pumped out of the top of the reservoir and leak.

if you have it working and its full of the right kind of fluid the power steering pump or rack would have to be bad they are the only things in the system other than lines and reservoir, sometimes when the rack and pinion gear goes bad it binds internally and kills the pump, none of that explains the random fluid loss by the belt previously or explains where it went the first time either....
Yea if your fluid is empty most people just get power stealing fluid and dump it in and assume it's good, if it just needs a little fluid sometimes the more observant people will realize it before they dump it in... I have actually seen were people fill it with the wrong stuff and it works good for a while, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to mix a little but long term use of mixed/wrong fluid might kill the pump or the rack..... The op's problem of sluggish steering reminded me of one that was filled with the wrong fluid once, i think the vehicle I was working on was a grand Cherokee tho
I don't want to be THAT guy, but I do feel the need to point out that JKs do not have a rack and pinion steering setup. Though correct on the requirement of ATF+4 in the PS system, I'm not sure how the "wrong fluid" could cause a complete system failure as suggested. ATF is ATF, for the most part. Some have extra detergents, some are synthetic (ATF+4). ATF is hydraulic fluid, which is what the PS system requires.
 
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