Safe to drive with no power steering?
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  1. #1
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    Safe to drive with no power steering?

    Well it turns out the creaky noise I was getting in my 2001 b5.5 was the steering rack because it went out..power steering fluid flowed from the passanger side wheel well like a leaky faucet. I purchased a replacement rack online from a car with similar miles.

    My question until it comes in or when I need to have it fixed is if it is safe to drive with no power steering especially with no steering fluid. I have heard cases where the steering gear would cease up causing the steering to lock. On top of that would my power steering accessory get too hot while on the assembly belt with no fluid in it? If this is the case I'll have to have it towed to a mechanic when the piece comes in.

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  3. #2
    Super (Charged) Moderator, Grinding Gears...gone fishing! ScottPassat2.8's Avatar
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    you will burn out the PS pump if you haven't already.
    Quick Link MASTER at your service.Forum Moderator.

  4. #3
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    No, it's not safe to drive - for you, or for your car's components. Besides, if you have an accident, you don't want to explain to the police or insurance companies why you were driving like that.

  5. #4
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    Is there a way to tell if I have already burnt out my ps pump?

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottpassat2.8 View Post
    you will burn out the ps pump if you haven't already.
    x2

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Italianxmna89 View Post
    Is there a way to tell if I have already burnt out my ps pump?
    It will sound like it has no p/s fluid in it even when it does and may not provide any power assistance even when full.

  8. #7
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    Wait until the rack comes and fill everything up with fluid and see if the pump makes noise.
    You can't really check it now because you will have air pockets so if you put fluid it now it's going to make noise regardless. Did you drive very long with the pump growling?

  9. #8
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    Hell I drove a lot of cars with no power steering. They used to come from the factory that way LOL.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanLegend View Post
    Hell I drove a lot of cars with no power steering. They used to come from the factory that way LOL.
    As have I, and while that's nice, it doesn't really have relevance here. The steering geometry and hardware of those cars were designed for non-powered use; the Passat's were not. "Unpowered" power steering is much heavier than regular manual steering. Driving that way is not something I'd do except in an extreme emergency.

  11. #10
    murdered out Jetta, er, B5 Passat mrgreek2002's Avatar
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    Do not drive it with no power steering! It's gonna be real hard to do on a Passat!

  12. #11
    Super Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    After reassembly, use the proper VW spec power steering fluid. Nothing else.

    After refilling, the pump will growl until all the air is purged from the system. It may take many cycles of turning the steering full left to full right and back again before all the air is worked out.

  13. #12
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    I've driven it less than a half mile since the rack leaked out all the fluid...

  14. #13
    Super Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    You should be fine with that. I've gone much further when my PS line leaked out while on the highway.

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