Difficulty turning the steering wheel is commonly the first sign of a failing power steering hose. This occurs because of leaks in the system which reduce the amount of fluid going between the pump and the rack.

Usually, the best repair is a replacement, but you may not need to call a mechanic to replace the hose, but you should fix it right away. Follow these steps to replace a power steering hose.

Prepare to Replace the Hose

To replace the hose, gather:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • shop cloths
  • shallow pan
  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • two flare-nut wrenches 
  • ratchet
  • degreaser
  • spray lubricant
  • fluorescent dye (optional)
  • power steering fluid
  • replacement hoses

Park the vehicle on a flat concrete surface, turn off the motor and allow it to cool. Raise the vehicle on a floor jack, then place the jack stand under the back wheels. Slide a shallow pan under the vehicle where it leaks, and prop the hood open. 

If you can't locate the leaks, add fluorescent dye kit to the power steering reservoir. These kits are available from auto shops, and they use a fluorescent dye to highlight leaks when you shine the flashlight light on them. 

A vehicle has two hoses connected to the power steering pump. To find the hoses, locate the steering box, which should be located to the left of the engine bay close to the fender. Hoses are commonly braided dark tubes with fittings on each end.

Remove the Old Hose

Before replacing these, check for loose hose clamps, and turn the bolts two or three times with a ratchet. If the repair doesn't stop the leak or the hose is cracked, replace it. 

Mist some lubricant on the hose connectors to help loosen them, and clean excess oil with a cloth.Remove the bottom hose first by rotating the nuts on the connecting bolts to the left using the wrench. 

If the vehicle has a gearbox, keep the nut from moving by holding a spare wrench on it. Slightly loosen the hose clamp, remove the hose, and shake fluid out in the pan. Avoid damaging the hose clamps, since you will need to reuse them. Remove the top hose in the same manner.

Install the New Hose

Clean the valve connections with a shop cloth. Attach one of the bottom hose to the valve, and tighten it with the wrench, but avoid making connections too tight. Connect the top hose in the same manner.

Refill the power steering reservoir with the suggested fluid until it get to the 'cold' reading, then turn the engine on, and rotate the wheel several times to bleed air. Watch for leaks, then remove the vehicle from the jack. If you need more help, schedule an auto servicing.