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Discussion Starter #1
After killing 4 ps pumps, I've decided it's time to swap out the rack. But is the rack same as on, for example a 1.9 TDI or 1.6?

(Mine is a 1999.11 B5 APR Manual Passat)
 

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I'm doubtful that the steering rack is causing the issue of "killing" your PS pumps.
Any history to add to this problem?

Using the wrong fluid will for sure kill a Passat PS pump.

But for what it's worth...

From what I can tell, that steering rack fits on Audi A4/S4/Avant FWD & Quattro, VW Passat, Variant and Skoda Superb. All from 1997 - 2005.
So there's a better than good chance it's the same.
 

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The problem began when it spewed out steering fluid a few months back during a normal easy city cruise. Ever since then the ps pumps last 30 minutes to 2 months, but eventually they just die and ps won't work under 1.2k rpm.
 

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Did you replace the pump inlet hose (to the right of the pump)? Are there bubbles in the fluid?
 

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To the OP, you should try and give us a history of the problem. Responding with short uninformative answers won't help us help you.
 

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Are you thinking that there is something restricting the restrictor ?
No, the inlet hose to the pump does not have the restrictor, that's in the return line to the reservoir. The inlet hose tends to allow air to be sucked into the pump if it's not replaced. The hose hardens and does not seal properly when re-used. It also tends to crack, but since the pump is a high point and pulling fluid in, fluid does not leak out, but air leaks in.
 

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To the OP, you should try and give us a history of the problem. Responding with short uninformative answers won't help us help you.
Few months back it spit out all of the ps fluid it had in it, I quickly got to the gas station and put in some more. Few weeks later the ps stopped working. I replaced the ps pump and it worked for a week and a half and power steering died again. I repeated the same thing twice as the power steering died again and again, each time it took a different amount of time to die. The pump before the current one lasted me 2 months, the current pump lasted me 30 minutes.
I've just about had enough of replacing ps pumps, as the issue must be something else, so I'm replacing the rack.
And yes, I've bled the system multiple times and replace the oil (green) multiple times.
 

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Ok.
Green oil. Yes the proper oil color is green, but is the oil of the proper spec? Meaning, does it specifically say Audi/VW spec?
Pentosin CHF-11S or CHF-202 are examples of what is acceptable as Audi/VW spec'd oil.

PZ's mentioning of air getting in the system is a very valid point. I've seen that problem before on neglected cars. The supply hose to the PS pump is notorious for getting rock hard on V6's. The slightest disturbance can cause that hose to draw in air which will cause the PS pump to cavitate and not show any signs of air bubbles in the reservoir.

Bleeding the system properly requires turning the steering wheel lock to lock at least 2 times to fully purge all of the air out of the system, during which time the oil should not drop below low level line.
The power steering pump is higher than the reservoir so keeping proper level is critical.

Check your PS lines at the oil cooler tube also located at front lower radiator area. Make sure the ends are not dry rotted and splitting. Another notorious issue on Passat's.

Have you completely flushed the system of old oil? If the previous failed pumps left any metallic debris in the system that will ruin a new PS pump in short order.

Just out of curiosity, how are you priming the PS pumps?
 
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