on the V6 passat we have a segment of power steering tubing that runs along the passenger side of the engine between the valve cover and the fuel rail. this component is tied down by one small 10mm bolt directly to the valve cover as well. on our high mileage passats we can often notice a bit of fluid leaking past it's sleeve covering. i had no other leakage elsewhere, so i only replaced this one component.
for the purpose of this writeup i will be explaining this all in two parts. this first part will be more of a pictorial tour through the power steering system of the v6 ATQ passat. some things need to be explained before you fully decide what the length of your repair effort will be.
here's what the troublemaker looks like, folks!
the original OEM piece has what can best be related to a heat-shrink tubing section running down it's length to cover the areas where the rubber hydraulic hose is compressed into the fittings.
this one looks like the hose is bulging because i had mine taken to a local parts store to see if i could have it crimped a tad tighter to work temporarily.
the answer to that? not a chance. don't bother, it will only ruin the piece completely. what you see is the end of the compression digging into the rubber hose and quite possibly causing way too much excessive damage to the hose's structure within.
now, for this job i had planned to replace the entire high pressure line but as i found out, that's not so easily done without the removal of the power steering rack. i did end up unconnecting these hoses from the steering rack.
know that the area i was working in was a complete pain in the butt, even with my incredibly tiny hands. i had come to the conclusion that these connectors should NOT be unconnected unless you are removing the rack as a whole. by that method you can unbolt the power steering rack, undo whatever ties the ps lines in place (specifically the high pressure line) and just slide the rack out far enough to get your hands on these banjo fittings nice and proper with a whole lot less blood loss than what i went through.
now then, onto the walkthrough of fixing the initial problem of the pressure tube leak!
there are a few parts you will most definitely want to obtain before we get started and tear everything apart. the passat can in most cases be your only vehicle, so get things NOW, not later like i made the mistake of doing on a Saturday late in the day
-two power steering crush washers for the banjo fitting on the pump. 16mm Inner diameter, if you don't get them from the dealer. dealer sells them so cheap, you're really stupid not to get the exact right part from them. normally stocked.
-new pressure tube. finding this may be a little more difficult, i was able to go to carquest and find that they could special order one and they sold it to me for $90 after tax. exact fit. VW wants $235 list for this part.
-CHF 11S synthetic mineral oil based lubricating fluid (power steering fluid)
napa sells these for $20 in 1qt cans. only buy pentosin. they make the vw stuff as well. the vw bottled ps fluid is only a dollar more, so if you're at the dealer, save the hassle and get it there.
for the purpose of this walkthrough i have taken the opportunity to jack the ETKA diagram of the power steering hose system from 1stvwparts. it shows a lot of detail that's a pain to explain. i will refer to this for what part i am talking about, by the part's number in the image.
as pictured above in the very first picture, you will find that the pressure tube is in a bit of a rather confined area. by this i mean that the top of the power steering pump is covered by the ignition coil module ( you do NOT want to break this) and the spark wires can be hard to remove or maneuver around, making the issue that much more painful.
the first course of action is to remove the top portion of the engine's airbox. along with this, remove the accordion hose looking thing that runs towards the back of the engine.
you do NOT need to remove the plastic piece of tubing that connects to the throttle body! this can be left alone, and the job can be done perfectly with it in place! i removed mine for the sake of the walkthrough to make things more visible.
at this time, beating some debris out of your air filter, replacing it, or cleaning your K&N if you have such a thing would be a great idea. you're going to have some time
this is where the fun really starts, folks. the first thing we have to do to work on our power steering system is to gain ACCESS to our power steering system. don't worry, the rags are not needed JUST yet, but they will be soon.
what we now need to do is to unbolt and unconnect a couple of things from the coil unit. do not undo the 6 spark wires. there is absolutely no need to, as you can work around the with ease. merely undo all 4 bolts that hold it down, undo the weatherlock multi pin connector, and flip it upside down and it will sit rather nicely on top of the intake manifold with no damage to anything.
now comes the part where we remove the constraints that keep the power steering pressure line bound.
towards the front of the engine, there is a tab that hangs off the power steering line (pressure tube, and number 6 in image above) and mounts it to the valve cover. it is a 10mm bolt, i believe.
a but further back on hose #7 (from image above) there is a nut that holds the line down. visual access was gained by removing the big bulk that is the top of the air cleaner box.
blurry, but good display of where abouts i'm talking.
and we zoom in to see just it well.
this should be a 13mm bolt. may be different, was very close to that size though. you will have to use some ratchet extensions to easily get to it. i stacked a 3" and a 6" extensions together to reach this with ease.
now comes the messy parts. the bolt that holds the banjo fitting of the pressure tube #6 to the power steering pump is a 22mm head. when you pull this be sure to have a rag handy as you will be leaking out a bit of power steering fluid. no pressure will shoot out, so don't be afraid of pulling it. when you shut the car off, pressure equalizes very quickly.
be sure to catch both of these crush washers. best not to have things fall near the front of the engine, if you know what i mean...
now, to the rear removal of this pressure tube where it splices to hose #7. yes, this may seem rather difficuly, however now that you have removed the nut that held down hose #7, and loosened everything that holds down hose#6 you can shimmy hose#7 off of the stud it sits on, and pull it towards the firewall to get much better access to the fitting, than under the fuel lines. then get an adjustable wrench to undo the fitting, and a 17mm wrench to hold the fitting on the $6 side of the connection. normal threads.
you may leak a little bit more fluid, rags ready.
and that's it! hose#6 has been successfully removed with ease!
now, just for the heck of it since you're going through this job in such a great length, you may as well do a power steering flush. it's stupidly simple. pull hose#11 from the power steering cooler part #12, and catch all the oil in a pan. this empties the rack, the reservoir, and the little insignificant cooler loop. this is located within half a foot from the back of the fog light on the drivers side. belly pan will need to be pulled down somewhat for this part. not a big deal. when drained, use a hose clamp and slide the hose back onto loop #12.
now, for the reassembly. it is LITERALLY just the reverse of what you have done.
attach new pressure tube to hose #7, tighten firmly.
reposition hose # 7 back onto it's stud. if hose #6 has a hold down bracket, reposition the small bolt to hold it down. if it does not have the hold-down equipped, you can simply cut the rivet, and bend the old one off, and reuse it like i did.
now, on the power steering pump, be sure to use NEW CRUSH WASHERS! this will make absolutely positive that there will be no leaks. no leaks are good. no leaks are what we want, and why we underwent this whole ordeal in the first place
tighten the banjo fitting pretty snug. i put some force into it, and have no issues. tighten this about as tight as you would an oil drain plug. same concept.
also at this time you can reposition the ignition coil unit back in it's place and connect it up properly as it originally was. the entire car can basically be put back together now, whatever you removed, put back. next step is to start the car.
time to refil the power steering reservoir. fill it up to about an inch from the top.
now, before you start your car, i'm going to warn you that your car will make a few noises you may not like. this is completely normal. the power steering pump is dry and for a second or so it will make some noise until you start moving the steering wheel so it can pump back in some fluid.
do not be alarmed! the noise is normal!
now, go start the car. turn the wheel right, or left to the lock, and hold for just a second each time. come back to the center after going to both sides, and top off the reservoir.
now, with the car still on, go from lock to lock (steering limitation of turn) and hold it at each lock for a second or so continually until the power steering system no longer makes any noise. this may take about 7 or 8 cycles of staying on the lock. regardless, the noise will go away after a good bit of steering the car around.
clean up your mess you made working on the car, feel satisfied that you replaced such an expensive part for so ridiculously cheap, finish your beer, and go take a shower! our work here is done!
done quickly and properly with all parts on hand, this may take you no longer than a couple hours at most. that's also if you have friends over to watch and help hold the chairs down
please leave your thoughts below!