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Discussion Starter #1
I have had oil-like leaks from near driver's wheelwell for months now (anytime it rains), and I've yet to determine whether it is PS fluid, oil (from VCG leakage), or other. Did some fluid checks today, and need some input.

1. What would be the consequences of the power steering fluid being above the MAX line? I don't know how it happened, but it is well above it. By the way, it is regular power steering fluid and not the recommended VW stuff (another long story). I plan to flush as soon as I can come up for air.

2. Is it OK if the oil stick is reading just above MIN? Should it really be towards halfway between MIN and MAX? Could this indicate a fast leak?
 

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I have had oil-like leaks from near driver's wheelwell for months now (anytime it rains), and I've yet to determine whether it is PS fluid, oil (from VCG leakage), or other. Did some fluid checks today, and need some input.

1. What would be the consequences of the power steering fluid being above the MAX line? I don't know how it happened, but it is well above it. By the way, it is regular power steering fluid and not the recommended VW stuff (another long story). I plan to flush as soon as I can come up for air.

2. Is it OK if the oil stick is reading just above MIN? Should it really be towards halfway between MIN and MAX? Could this indicate a fast leak?
you will get diferent readings on the p/s dipstick depending on operating temps ,dosnt matter sounds like its on the way out or will be soon especially if you used non-oem p/s fluid instead of reccomended pentosin p/s fluid too,and the oil level should be between the hash marks on the diptick,never over filled ,readings also differ depending on operating temps again,what you need to ask yourself and to find out when you come up for air ......is why these items are like that and why proper preventive maint is not being done
 

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The motor mount has a purplish color fluid and can leak. It too is near the left wheel well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Should I consider siphoning off some of the PS fluid to bring it down to the max line? It is about an inch above MAX. Does excess PS fluid cause pressure build-up or something? I know the clamps on some of the PS hoses are known to crap out, and I will have those inspected next time it is on the lift.

Should I be checking the oil on a daily basis if it is sitting at the MIN mark? Maybe I should get an oil change and monitor for the next 1-2 months to determine the leak rate?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I plan on flushing as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I have not had the time. The non-OEM has been in there for years now, so I'm guessing the damage has been done :-( ... in the meantime, I'm just wondering if I should bring the level down to the max line?
 

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I would say bring the level down it will only cost you the price of a turkey baster. Search for my name I had the same problem about a month ago with the overfill situation.
 

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I have had oil-like leaks from near driver's wheelwell for months now (anytime it rains), and I've yet to determine whether it is PS fluid, oil (from VCG leakage), or other. Did some fluid checks today, and need some input.

1. What would be the consequences of the power steering fluid being above the MAX line? I don't know how it happened, but it is well above it. By the way, it is regular power steering fluid and not the recommended VW stuff (another long story). I plan to flush as soon as I can come up for air.

2. Is it OK if the oil stick is reading just above MIN? Should it really be towards halfway between MIN and MAX? Could this indicate a fast leak?
more often than not, an oily buildup in a wheelwell is cause for concern - are you sure it's oily and not greasy? grease would indicate a torn CV boot, and our cars are notorious for the OEM boots tearing on the outer CV joints.

IIRC, power steering fluid levels should be checked when the engine is running and warm, so your check on the PS fluid level when it was cold isn't valid, but your oil level when cold was the right thing to do. as for your check of the oil level, just above minimum on a 1.8t isn't (in my book) a good thing since those motors don't carry much oil anyway.

using any power steering fluid other than the mineral oil based pentosin is a recipe for certain failure of the poweer steering pump and especially the power steering rack. the rack is not a cheap item to replace and is labor intensive as well. expect to pay roughly $1500 for the rack and the labor (unless you can do it yourself, and then it's only ~$800). flush it NOW. do not wait, unless you have a rich uncle who'll pay for it.
 
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2X and he has a V6, which I always run my oil right on the min line. Hate that oil smell and don't want to blow the gaskets out...and at 6 qt..I think there is enough.

30 to flush the PS is easy, heck even get the turkey baster and pull all the fluid out and refill with OEM. Do that a few days and there is a flush, not the best but far better then what you have in there now.
 

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I'd know what motor he has if he'd bother to update his profile... :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, I have V6. Sorry, I'm pulling my hair out w/ respect to my car. Everything was running fine until about 6 months ago. And now everything seems to be falling apart. I'm pretty stressed about it, especially since $$ is tight right now. The thought of paying $1500 for a new rack is making me nauseous.

I just had my axles replaces two months ago. There might have been residual grease from the old boots in my wheel well, but I doubt that could account for recurrent leaks reaching the ground everytime it rains. I wish it were that simple.

I will be checking oil very regularly ... I'm assuming that the CEL would come on long before critically low oil was in the engine? Or is this a bad assumption? The dealer wanted $800 for my VCG.

My car has had a VERY slow PS leak for 5-6 years now (sometimes takes 1-2 years to go below MIN). Never enough to show on the ground. As I mentioned in another post, it was the VW dealer who sold me the crap PS fluid, and ever since then I assumed it was OK to refill with it. I will pick up a turkey baster and take it down to the max line after running the car. I will do my best to flush it very soon, even if I have to turkey baste it a batch at a time.
 

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Vcg? valve cover gasket?
 
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Yeah thats the major issue with VW, if you don't know what needs to be changed all the time....one day it will just fail. If you find it early you save tons of money.

As for the oil level, check it weekly DO NOT WAIT FOR THE CEL!

Also 800 for VCG is crazy and that sounds like a dealer quote there. I would say DIY, but the CCT is leaking at this point and doing the work twice is just a waste. Right now the oil will not hurt anything so letting it run is fine. Take care of the PS first for the leaks could in fact be the fluid blowing out the seals from your rack. That would be all over the wheel well leaking from the inner TR boot. Change it out and see if there is a different in fluid level
 

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Take care of the PS first for the leaks could in fact be the fluid blowing out the seals from your rack. That would be all over the wheel well leaking from the inner TR boot. Change it out and see if there is a different in fluid level
x2. pretty easy to check, and you don't have to put the car on ramps or jackstands to do it. just turn the wheels all the way to one side, and use a flashlight. also don't be afraid to monkey a bit with the inner tierod boots.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I will go do it right now. What am I looking for, besides fluid? Will I really be able to see anything with such limited access? Can I tell the difference between oil and PS if on my finger?
 

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if it is coming out of the inner tierod boot, it will be apparent - oil won't/can't get in there. that's why I suggested monkeying with the boots - push them back a bit, but make sure they go back to the original position.
 
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