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Discussion Starter #1
My steering rack developed a bad leak. The Hanes manual indicates that it can be overhauled by the VW dealer, but my VW dealer's only solution was a new rack (expensive!!). I found a company that overhauls steering racks using kits made for specific cars.

Anyone have experience with overhauling a steering rack? Any tips on what specific pitfalls to look out for? How best to ensure a good job?

Thanks.
 

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Mine was leaking but dealer replaced it under the extended warranty to the tune of about $900 including labor. Dont know about rebuilding but you could try a slightly used one from a junk yard (try this - http://www.sgrgerman.com/ ). The reason these rack leak is because over the course of time - someone filled the resevoir with non-VW power steering fluid. VW calls for 'hydralic mineral fluid'. Dont use anything but.
 

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I had a huge leak in the rack of my old 944. In the US I could not get anyone to rebuild it, presumably because of liability. My only choice was to replace the rack which as you said, gets expensive.

I took the old rack apart and can say that with a kit it would be very easy to rebuild. There are two dangers:
1) the rebuild may not fix your leak if the metal surfaces have been scarred. This is unlikely but possible.
2) it is also possible to install the kit wrong and have a worse leak or even leak from both sides.

Best of luck - Scott

P.S. My replacement rack began to leak 6 months after installation. I found it cheaper to by ATF by the case and just let it leak. Ecoterrorism at its best.
 

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how do u tell if the reack is leaking? sometimes i feel as tho the rack shifts when im steering, not real sure of the cause. i guess if its leaking, a momentary loss of pressure could cause this
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Scott.

Pospassat - Only VW brand mineral haudraulic oil ever used. I am the original owner and am very careful with this car. Also have had to change both power steering hoses last year!! Repairs done by dealer and I confirme the correct fluid used. Before then, never had to add fluid.

IdriveB5 - If power steering fluid level falls and no sign of leaking anywhere, then likely cause is leak inside the rack (seals). The fluid leaks into the rubber boots at the ends of the rack - usually the drivers side first. Eventually, if you keep adding fluid, the rubber boot bursts then you see all the leaking fuid gushing out all at once! Very alarming!!!

None of my Jap cars have ever gien power steering problems (or any of the other problems I've had with my Passat). I love the car but truth is.... the reliability is poor by modern standards!!!
 

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I was installing vent in my intercooler last week.I had the wheel liner out and ai notice a small leak in the PS tank. I checked the level and it was in min. In 2 weeks i have appt with dealer....I ll keep u guys posted!
(1998,1.8T 51K miles)
 

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Just a thought -

With Audis, holding the steering wheel against the 'stops' (all the way right or left) when maneuvering is very hard on the rack, and can lead to seal failure. Maybe it's the with VWs? On my B5, if I've got the steering wheel all the way over, I back it off a bit.
 

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Holding the steering wheel against the stops is bad WITH ALL power steering systems. That causes the p/s pump to crank out maximum pressure. Hence the whining it makes at the same time.
 
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