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Discussion Starter #1
I'm finding my steering a little harder than usual. I'd added some power steering fluid using a baster and I may have added too much. The power steering fluid level is fine when I measure it, but the steering is harder to turn especially on the left. The steering seems to be fine otherwise, but are there any checks I could do to make sure it's working properly?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
2001 -- The left tire is inflated to the max capacity could this also be a reason for the hard steering?
 

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It is a good idea to have both tires at about the same pressure, around 35 or so. However if one was at 40 and the other at 30 I don’t think it would make a noticeable difference. Is one tire vastly under inflated? Say around 10 lbs? That could cause hard steering.

Another possibility if the steering rack isn’t leaking is inner or outer tie rods.

Has something dropped down on the steering rack from inside the engine bay? Maybe somebody left a tool the last time the vehicle was worked on?

Floor mat bunching up around the steering column next to the floor?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The right front tire is underinflated by about 7psi (33 psi left front, 26 psi right front) so that shouldn't be 10lbs, but I will check again to make sure.

I will have a look at the steering rack to see if there anything there, and will look at the floor mats as well, these are good suggestions.
 

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Try squeezing the inner tie rod boots with your hand. Sometimes if the steering rack is leaking it pools in that inner boot and squeezing it forces the fluid out so you can confirm if it’s leaking or not.

There is not supposed to be any fluid in the boot it’s just a dust cover to keep the end clean and dry.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Try squeezing the inner tie rod boots with your hand. Sometimes if the steering rack is leaking it pools in that inner boot and squeezing it forces the fluid out so you can confirm if it’s leaking or not.

There is not supposed to be any fluid in the boot it’s just a dust cover to keep the end clean and dry.
This is good advice. I squeezed the inner tie rod boot on the left side : Nothing came out, but I saw a streak of oil on the boot itself, wiped it with a cloth and tried again : No fluid came out, so that was good.

I had a closer look and could see some oil (fluid?) sticky like substance which may be in the rack (I'm not sure since I didn't have it jacked up) but it looked old and dry, not liquid fluid.

Has something dropped down on the steering rack from inside the engine bay? Maybe somebody left a tool the last time the vehicle was worked on?

Floor mat bunching up around the steering column next to the floor?
I looked at the steering column, just to make sure, and there it was, a floor mat rolled up! So I removed that, and the steering was a lot easier to turn! There is some stiffness, but much easier to turn than before!

I also checked the power steering fluid on the warm engine: It is sitting about a millimeter, very small, above the MAX mark.

I added some fluid about two weeks ago, and I think I added too much using a baster: 2 inches from the tip the first time (around 5 mL?) I wanted to add a little more, but it ended up being 2.5 inches from the tip of the baster again. I was going to take some fluid out since I thought I had added too much but didn't because I was in a hurry. (I could remove some fluid using the baster but I'm not sure.)
 

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Don’t worry about removing a millimeter of fluid just monitor it for a couple of weeks and make sure it isn’t going down.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took it for a drive, the steering is somewhat hard when turning the steering wheel left, and sometimes right.

When driving, the power steering isn't that hard: When moving the vehicle from park and reverse, or travelling a short distance at a low speed, the steering is hard.

I should have mentioned the high pressure power steering line is leaking, but I don't see much fluid on the ground (sometimes a drop or two, but not a puddle or a splotch, just dots) After the drive, I checked the fluid again, on the warm engine, the fluid level is a tiny sliver above the MAX mark. Should I be concerned in terms of safety for the hard steering?
 

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If you have a leak even a small one I would replace the part that’s leaking. My high pressure line leaked after I swapped the engine on my car when my timing belt gave up.

Actually it wasn’t really a leak more of a spray, right out through the drivers wheel well.

There isn’t a lot to the power steering system a pump, a rack and 2 lines, fairly simple. If you need to replace a line I would use that as an opportunity to flush the entire system replacing the old fluid completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I thought I would follow up with this picture of the inner tie rod boot:

steering_tie rod boot.jpg



If you notice the center of the image, next to the tie rod boot, past the hose, there is some oil there, its dark, looks sticky it was dry when I checked it, but I'm not sure if this is the steering rack. I was concerned since I want to be sure there aren't any problems with the steering rack. Any help is appreciated, since I wanted to be sure the steering system is okay.
 

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I don’t think that is your steering rack leaking. When the rack leaks the fluid gets out on the axle as it’s spinning and gets thrown in an arc on everything within that arc.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for looking at the picture. I was concerned because I thought I added too much power steering fluid, because the steering felt harder after adding the fluid about a week later. On a cold engine, the fluid is just on the min mark (There was a .pdf on the forum from the Bentley manual which showed it had to be between the min and max mark) I wasn't sure if I should add more power steering fluid.
 
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