Power steering broken after reservoir swap

Power steering broken after reservoir swap

Postby chrissommer1995 [OP] » October 20th 2020, 7:23pm

I swapped out the p/s fluid reservoir on my 2004 astro cargo awd. It went smoothly. I clamped the lines to try and avoid air bubbles getting in the system and I topped the new reservoir off with fresh fluid after the change out. I then took it for a drive and after a couple of minutes the power steering stopped working. Well, it works when accelerating just fine, but when not hitting the gas, it stops working. The brakes also seem to be not as good (I am guessing because of the hydro boost). I figured it could be air bubbles, so i jacked up the front of the car and flushed the brake fluid with new fluid (the old stuff was dirrrrrrty, I doubt it's been changed in the vans 180,000 miles). The old fluid was still coming out dirty after 2 liters of new fluid flushing. I then connected everything again and set the fluid to the appropriate level. While it was jacked up, I turned the wheel back and forth and hit the brakes for like 10 minutes straight in order to try and circulate the new fluid. I then took it for a drive and still no power steering when not accelerating...

Any thoughts? I understand it could be the pump, but why would simply swapping out the reservoir brake the pump? I'd like to try all of my options before replacing the pump....
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Re: Power steering broken after reservoir swap

Postby MechBob » October 21st 2020, 2:48am

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Re: Power steering broken after reservoir swap

Postby chrissommer1995 [OP] » October 21st 2020, 6:49pm

I can imagine that this is indeed my issue. When I swapped out the reservoir I noticed some small paint chips or rubber or something like that enter the fluid line from the old reservoir when I removed the outlet hose from the reservoir. I tried to grab as much of this debris as possible, but I imagine some of it got into this valve and clogged it up... Can these procedures be do on a chevy astro p/s pump without removing the pump? Anyone have experience with this specifically for astros?
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Re: Power steering broken after reservoir swap

Postby Mmusicman » October 21st 2020, 7:03pm

Pull the valve! (NO NEED TO PULL THE PUMP)
The high-pressure hose it connected to it (pull this hose first).
Yes, a STICKING valve can shut you down.
It happened to me.

Make sure it's not stuck in the bore either.. it should spring out easily.
Clean it, put it back in.

In photo below.. valve is STILL inside the bore...

Image

Here's the back of the pump.
(you can do this without removing pump from vehicle)
* Remove high-pressure hose
* Remove large adapter nut (attached to pump case see arrow)

20170924_140940.jpg

Here is large adapter nut being removed from back of PS pump...

20161126_124452.jpg

Looking into pump (pressure valve is visible inside)

20161126_124504.jpg

Valve should spring out easily.
Mine was sticking in the bore (had to pull it out with needle nose pliers)

20161126_124543.jpg

Ideally, if you have debris in the pump... you may need to pull the pump and clean it out, as well as thoroughly flush the system. They make inline filters that can be attached to the low-pressure side.. but I have my doubts to their ability to capture smaller debris.
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