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Power steering fluid leaking from drivers side gaiter. Blown seal ?

unitzero Mar 30, 2014

  1. unitzero

    unitzero Bagged B7 170 TDI Avant Audi A4 Black Edition

    Yesterday whilst out shopping I noticed my steering beginning to squeal/grind and it got progressively worse over a short amount of time.

    Checked my fluid level and it was just touching the end of the dip stick, so I added some generic power steering fluid, tuned from lock to lock a number of times and all was well and managed to get home with no issues.

    Started the car later that afternoon and turned the wheel and the squealing was back and I also noticed brown fluid on the drive, I opened the fluid reservoir and was greeted by a brown foamy mess.

    Upon on further inspection (after cleaning the mess behind the drivers wheel and all down the side of my car !!) I have power steering fluid leaking from the end of the tie rod gaiter.

    I have bought 2 bottles of fluid so I can get the car somewhere for repair but I have a feeling it will be an expensive one !!! :(

    Does this indicate a blown seal ? Is there any way of getting this fixed without replacing the entire rack ?

    Any help would be much appreciated as I'm sure I can't fill the reservoir before every journey !

    Thanks in advance
  2. Paul B7

    Paul B7 Active Member


    Sounds like a blown rack ?
    Racks can be refurbished but the repair is usually short lived in my experience.
    A new rack including fitting will be of the order of £800- 1000, may be more , YIKES !
  3. unitzero

    unitzero Bagged B7 170 TDI Avant Audi A4 Black Edition


    I have seen reconditioned racks on eBay for like £150/£200 with 2 years warranty but if they don't last and presumably don't cover labour charges to remove and replace under warranty then it could be a non- starter.

    I've been told to look behind the gaiter and to inspect the input shaft and servo's but I honestly don't have the time or space to do this.

    I have a number for a local power steering specialist so will call them tomorrow and see what they suggest.
  4. unitzero

    unitzero Bagged B7 170 TDI Avant Audi A4 Black Edition

    I did take some pics after cleaning all the mess today ...


    The boot is full of fluid, I can squeeze it and it leaks out by the clip. I got the wife to turn the wheel and got squirted in the face !

    It seems that the only way fluid can get into this boot is via a blown seal where the shaft enters the rack.

  5. Joe_Murphy21187

    Joe_Murphy21187 S-Tronic

    Sorry for the thread resurrection!

    Did you ever find a solution to this and get it repaired? I've recently developed a similar leak and have yet to determine the cause. Will hopefully take it to a garage and have them inspect it this weekend.

    Did you try any power steering leak stop fluid? Lucas or similar?
  6. SDHA4SLine

    SDHA4SLine Well-Known Member Team Silver Audi Avant Owner Group S-line owners group

    Black or brown fluid is likely to be contamination from rubber seals breaking down.

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