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Chevrolet Repair/power steering fluid

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Question
This is sort of a general question... I have a '96 Geo Tracker (it only has 85k on it). I took it in for routine maintenance and was told the power steering fluid was low and a flush/refill was recommended (it's never been done, which I'll do at some point). I instead had them just add some, which has also never been done. But I read online that this fluid doesn't go down from being 'used up' and a leak is usually the cause of this. So I don't see how a flush/refill would have helped. Seems they should have instead tried to find a leak? Or in your experience, is it normal for the power steering fluid to go down after 16 years? Thanks

Answer
GOOD MORNING LEE,LET ME GUESS THIS WAS FROM A QUICK OIL CHANGE PLACE ??? TO FLUSH THIS SYSTEM IS JUST A MONEY MAKER.. HERE IS THE DEAL, I WOULD NOT EVER FLUSH THE POWER STEERING SYSTEM UNLESS THE CAR WAS DRIVEN IN VERY DIRTY CONDITIONS SUCH AS THE DESERT. THE OIL IN THE SYSTEM WILL NEVER GET LOW AS LONG AS THERE ARE NO LEAKS..SO YOUR GEO HAS A VERY SLOW LEAK SOME WHERE. WOULD CK ALL THE LINES GOING TO THE PUMP AND RACK AND PINION STEERING..ALSO LOOK ON THE TOP SECTION OF THE RACK WHERE THE STEERING SHAFT GOES INTO THE RACK,THERE IS A SEAL THERE THAT SOMETIME LEAKS VERY SLOWLY.IF THIS IS WHERE IT IS FROM,, JUST KEEP A EYE ON IT AND ADD FLUID WHEN NECESSARY. NOW IF YOU DO NOT SEE ANY LEAKS EXTERNALLY THEN WHAT IS GOING ON IS ON THE INSIDE OF THE INNER TIE ROD ENDS YOU WILL SEE A RUBBER BOOT THAT MOVES WITH THE TIE ROD ENDS AND THE OTHER  SIDE IS CONNECTED TO THE RACK,WELL INSIDE THIS BOOT BY THE RACK THERE IS A INNER SEAL THAT WILL LEAK ISIDE THE BOOT AND YOU WILL NOT SEE THE LEAK UNTILL THE LEAK GETS REALLY BAD..IF THIS IS WHERE IT IS FROM A NEW RACK AND PINION WILL BE NEEDED..IF YOU WANT TO CK THIS JUST REMOVE THE CLAMP AROUND THE BOOT WHERE IT IS CONNECTED TO THE RACK,PULL THE BOOT OFF AND IF YOU SEE ANY OIL THERE, THAT SEAL IS LEAKING. YOU WILL FIND THE BOOTS ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT SIDE OF THE RACK.THE ABOVE IS [ONLY] IF YOU HAVE A RACK AND PINION STEERING.IF NOT THEN THERE ARE ONLY A FEW AREAS TO CK WIH THE OTHER STYLE SYSTEM,THE PUMP,LINES AND THE STEERING BOX. THESE LEAKS WILL ALL BE EXTERNAL TO CK.THIS SYSTEM HAS A STEERING GEAR BOX MOUNTED TO THE DRIVERS SIDE OF THE FRAME IN PLACE OF THE RACK AND PINION STEERING THAT GOES ACROSSED THE LEFT AND RIGHT FRONT OF THE WHEELS....I HOPE THIS HELPS AND GOOD LUCK,,,TOM..

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. IF THIS CHEVY SECTION IS MAXED OUT.YOU CAN REACH ME IN THE OLDS/BUICK SECTION. Will answer questions from 6:00am to 10:00pm all days [EST][[[ NO DIESEL OR PAINT QUESTIONS]]] will answer all 1965 to present QUESTIONS ON ALL GM'S on mechanics of these cars. Keep in mind i am not there in person i am going on what you are telling me !! PLEASE IF ASKING A QUESTION GIVE ME AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER. SUCH AS YEAR,MAKE,MODEL,ENGINE SIZE. THIS WILL HELP ME HELP YOU. I will not be able to answer all questions because of some situations that i would really need to be there and see things for myself,such as electrical issues. In many cases i would need wiring diagrams. I can also give you an estimate on what the cost would be at our repair shop as an idea to help you. Keep in mind that my answer is ONLY MY ADVICE,ck with your mechanic as well.. >> THANK YOU, TOM..

Experience

I have been a ASE certified master mechanic for over 30 years and certified IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES,[engine repair,engine performance,auto trans,manual trans,clutches,steering and suspension,brakes,electrical systems,heating and air/cond. I am also a state CERTIFIED inspector for over 30 years. I do computer work [pcm]fault codes,pcm flashing,state inspection monitor readiness,repairs on exhaust,fuel service,[injection and carburetor,] charging system problems, running issues,alignments,frame problems,tire balance,struts and of course standard and anti-lock brakes.

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nys state auto repair industry and ase group.

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N/A

Education/Credentials
high school,4 years of tech school,and many many hours of auto training with many gm classes and aftermarket training classes..

Awards and Honors
ASE MASTER TECH CERTIFIED IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES.NYS INSP LICENSE AND A/C CERTIFIED

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MANY CUSTOMERS IN OUR BUSY SHOP.

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