Good day everyone,
It's about my 2004 Passat 2.8L 30V wagon.
Here's my question: how many miles can I drive the car "without" any power steering fluid in it and without "really" damaging the power steering pump? Read other posts, but I am looking at some numbers in terms of miles I can safely drive without damaging the pump.
Any feedback from your experiences will help me take the right decision. No one will be held accountable or liable in any manner if I act upon your advice and kill the pump
I recently did a major work on my car, and while at that, I found that the hose connecting the steering fluid reservoir to the aluminum cooler tube under the radiator to be all oily near the cooler tube end, and losing fluid at fairly small rate. Although the hose had the factory clamp intact on it preventing it to totally come off of the cooler tube, it was still sliding over it. It wasn't sitting real tight. I managed to remove the clamp and replaced it with the screw clamp, and I thought I had tightened it tight enough, but apparently I had not. I refilled the reservoir and there was no leak. But, after putting back the car together, I started the car and saw the fluid leaking pretty bad. It drained totally overnight. In the morning, I took the car to a nearby service shop, Mr. Tire. They weren't able to fix it and said I may have to replace the entire thing with a new power steering kit which might cost over $1000. Without a word, I took the car key back, and set up an appointment with the dealer for tomorrow.
So here's the math:
Without the steering fluid -
1) drove 3 miles to Mr. Tire
2) returned home. +3 miles. Total 6 miles
3) have to take the car to the dealer tomorrow. +15 miles. Total 21 miles
Would I kill the pump if I drive 21-25 miles without fluid in it? Yes, the steering is real hard though. It makes me feel as if I am driving those non-power-steering dump trucks, no offense to you if you own one.
Reason I don't want to try fixing it again is: time and patience. I work full time, and therefore it took me about 4-5 weeks already to work on my car. Also, after putting every thing back together, I see that the radiator rack (holding the head-lights, the fans and the radiator) did not sit back into its original position, as a result of which, there is considerable gap between the headlights and the fenders, and because of this, the hood does not lock into position. So, want to give it to the dealer to fix all of this.