Huge oil leak while truck was sitting? (Power Steering? Brake?) - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:57 AM
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Huge oil leak while truck was sitting? (Power Steering? Brake?)

Hoping someone can help me. 2006 6.0L.

Long story short, 3 months ago I parked the truck and it has sat for 3 months. When I parked it, everything was fine. After about 1.5 months, I noticed a big puddle of something one day by the front right drivers side, under the bumper. It was oil. But I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden 1.5 months into the storage it would suddenly start leaking oil. It had not been started or turned on at all, so I figured someone had spilled something there. Didn't bother to even look under the hood (probably was afraid of what I'd see).

Flash forward to today... 3 months later, and I decided to deal with it. Popped the hood and I saw a puddle of oil sitting on top of the "Steering Fluid" cap on the right hand front side. The whole cap had oil on it, and oil was leaking down the sides of it and had basically soaked through the floor and onto the bumper/ground. I took the cap off, and it was filled all the way to the top. This is very odd because I haven't overfilled it at all. The steering fluid hasn't been touched in a long time.

Got in the truck and took it for a spin. Steering works flawless, no pump whine, nothing. When the steering wheel is turned, no issues. But then I hit the brakes and it didn't feel right. You could tell the brakes needed to be pumped. After a few pumps they were fine. Then I'd stop for a minute, step on them again, and the same thing... like resistance or a jolt. So it had me wondering if maybe it's an issue with the brakes? The only thing I can think of is that when I parked the truck, I put the emergency brake on and may have pushed down pretty hard on it... to make sure my truck was secure. Maybe after 1.5 months the brake line somewhere spontaneously ruptured? But why would the steering fluid cap be full of fluid and leaking? And why would it appear overfilled?

Do the brake lines share fluid with the steering fluid on the truck?
Could air be getting into the steering fluid or something through a broken brake line?

Any hypotheses would be welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:10 AM
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Just doing my own research here. From what I am reading, the brakes/PS are tied into the same pressure. This would make sense. The big question I have is, there was quite a bit of fluid... like maybe 1 liter or so. But when I take the take off the PS steering fluid, as mentioned, it is full. I am also perplexed as to how power steering fluid puddled onto the top of the cap. There is no fluid on the inside of the hood, so it couldn't have exploded everywhere.

Honestly it seems like it may just be a problem with the power steering cap, but this doesn't answer the big question as to how could this happen while it was sitting idle? Really puzzled. I've never really owned a vehicle that has developed such an odd leak just sitting idle spontaneously. I walk by the truck every single day. One day, nothing. Next day, huge puddle. Then the puddle stopped, but there is still lots of fluid. So it's almost like it was a pressure problem, something to do with a hydro boost in the brakes. My hypotheses would be:

1) When I parked it, I put the emergency brake on really tight, which caused a lot of pressure somewhere
2) ???????
3) Power steering fluid leaking everywhere.....
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:40 AM
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Your power steering is assisted by the brake booster, not very familiar, check your brake fluid. You msu have a bad brake booster seal, and the fluids are mixing.

Sent from my phone that somebody didn't help me get.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:22 AM
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You can take your parking brake / e-brake out of the equation. It's mechanical and independent of the regular brakes.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake View Post
You can take your parking brake / e-brake out of the equation. It's mechanical and independent of the regular brakes.
Thanks. Any idea what remains pressurized when the truck is parked? Since this spill happened spontanously while the truck was parked, it must have been pressure somewhere. I am guessing the brake lines always stay pressurized? The hydro boost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by southend View Post
Your power steering is assisted by the brake booster, not very familiar, check your brake fluid. You msu have a bad brake booster seal, and the fluids are mixing.

Sent from my phone that somebody didn't help me get.
Thanks for the info. This sounds like the most likely thing. Just wondering how this happened while it was sitting. Could the brakes have somehow been under pressure, seal just gave out, and brake fluid slowly poured into the steering fluid, pressurzing it and pushing steering fluid out the top of the cap? How easy of a fix is this. Must the hydrboost unit be replaced?
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skuzzitude View Post
Thanks. Any idea what remains pressurized when the truck is parked? Since this spill happened spontanously while the truck was parked, it must have been pressure somewhere. I am guessing the brake lines always stay pressurized? The hydro boost?



Thanks for the info. This sounds like the most likely thing. Just wondering how this happened while it was sitting. Could the brakes have somehow been under pressure, seal just gave out, and brake fluid slowly poured into the steering fluid, pressurzing it and pushing steering fluid out the top of the cap? How easy of a fix is this. Must the hydrboost unit be replaced?
Those are all good questions, I dont think anything stays pressurized. I'm just not too familiar with how the hydroboost works. I haven't had to work on one yet. Lol. Someone else may chime in, it is a bit weird. sure someone wasnt joy rideing in your truck? Hehe

Sent from my phone that somebody didn't help me get.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:51 PM
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Update

- Went down and checked the brake fluid level - it is perfect. Not down at all. So brake fluid is not going anywhere.
- The power steering fluid level is now WAY down, so no more magical overfilled appearances and fluid appearing from no where. It leaked a bit more overnight from last night's start-up.

I got a flashlight out and looked very closely, and the leak appears to be going down the left side. There are two hoses coming out of the power steering fluid column. The left one (e.g., hose headed to the passenger side) is covered in fluid and appears to maybe be leaking. The other side is untouched. (Where do these two hoses go?) I am just confused as to how the top of the cap got filled with fluid and formed a puddle. Obviously this is an air problem.

New Hypothesis:

1) When I shut the truck off 3 months ago before parking it, I turned the steering wheel a bunch of times (to try and tuck the wheels to the right). This is a "no no" after the engine is shut off
2) This caused pressure in the steering fluid area which pushed fluid up through the vent hole in the cap and caused the puddle.
3) This also caused a leak to develop somewhere in one of the hoses.
4) The reason I didn't notice the puddle is because the leak was slow, and it dripped for days onto my bumper and then onto the ground. All the PS fluid above the hose had to leak out?

What this doesn't explain:

- Why was the PS reservoir seen to be "full" when I first observed it, only going down after starting the truck up. You'd think after sitting for months, with cold oil, it would have gone down. That was very odd.

Still not sure what this issue is. Hoping it is just a leak in the hose and I can replace that hose and be done with it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:30 AM
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Just wanted to update this thread so those in the future who are seeing the same mistake can hopefully learn from this. It took me so long to figure out this stupid little problem. There was nothing wrong with my truck. Here is what happened:

1) When I parked my truck, I must have either turned the steering wheel too much, or turned the steering wheel while the engine was off. This resulted in all the power steering fluid being pushed into the reservoir and spilling out through the cap.

2) A few months later when I went to get my truck, I saw all this fluid. I opened the hood up, saw it had ran down the power steering column, so I checked the PS fluid. It was FULL. This is what threw my for a loop. So why was it full? Was brake fluid leaking into it? Huh???!!

3) I started the truck up but I didn't check the fluid after starting it. Instead I drove it for a few minutes.

4) After driving it for a few minutes I checked the fluid level and it was WAY down. But I still didn't clue in (that the fluid was absorbed back into the hydroboost). I thought it was just still leaking. It made no sense.

5) Because I ran the truck with the pump running dry, it was obviously not good for it. There's some very small hint of metal flakes in my PS reservoir (seen with a flashlight) but nothing serious.

6) End result is I flushed the PS fluid, filled it back up and it's totally fine now. MORAL OF THE STORY: DO NOT TURN YOUR STEERING WHEEL WITH THE ENGINE OFF EVER.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:44 AM
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My guess would be the hydroboost up on the column drained back into the resivor on it and over time ran out of the cap, as long as you didn't run the pump dry your fine, you would have known if it went dry by sound and the power steering would have not been there.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:41 PM
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I have the exact same problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skuzzitude View Post
Just wanted to update this thread so those in the future who are seeing the same mistake can hopefully learn from this. It took me so long to figure out this stupid little problem. There was nothing wrong with my truck. Here is what happened:

1) When I parked my truck, I must have either turned the steering wheel too much, or turned the steering wheel while the engine was off. This resulted in all the power steering fluid being pushed into the reservoir and spilling out through the cap.

2) A few months later when I went to get my truck, I saw all this fluid. I opened the hood up, saw it had ran down the power steering column, so I checked the PS fluid. It was FULL. This is what threw my for a loop. So why was it full? Was brake fluid leaking into it? Huh???!!

3) I started the truck up but I didn't check the fluid after starting it. Instead I drove it for a few minutes.

4) After driving it for a few minutes I checked the fluid level and it was WAY down. But I still didn't clue in (that the fluid was absorbed back into the hydroboost). I thought it was just still leaking. It made no sense.

5) Because I ran the truck with the pump running dry, it was obviously not good for it. There's some very small hint of metal flakes in my PS reservoir (seen with a flashlight) but nothing serious.

6) End result is I flushed the PS fluid, filled it back up and it's totally fine now. MORAL OF THE STORY: DO NOT TURN YOUR STEERING WHEEL WITH THE ENGINE OFF EVER.
So I have the exact same problem!! I have power steering leaking just under my axle by the driver side.. The big hose from the resevoir is very wet, and I think is leaking.. Did you change that out?? And my fluid levels drop every time I see steering fluid on my driveway.. Tried dumping a bottle of Lucas power steering leak stop but did not do the trick. Any advice? Thanks!
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