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Power Steering Leak, Smoke from Engine Bay ['04 TL]

Old 01-11-2019, 08:47 PM
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Question Power Steering Leak, Smoke from Engine Bay ['04 TL]

Hello, I have a power steering fluid leak as judged from the low level of fluid in my reservoir and whining power steering pump. I have purchased the replacement o-rings as I understand this to be a common problem. Today I started the car to make sure the battery still functioned (very cold in New England right now, hadn't been driven for a few days) before I went in to replace the o-rings. I noticed that there was a mild white smoke coming off of the engine, however. Specifically, the smoke appears to be from atop the catalytic converter attached directly to the engine block (near the O2 sensor). There is a dirty black substance covering this area. I would like to think this is a result of the power steering fluid leak, as opposed to a separate oil leak as my dipstick does not read a low oil level. I am having trouble figuring out how it could be the power steering fluid, however, as it seems like an odd area for it to end up. Could this be power steering fluid? I am planning on using degreaser tomorrow on it and replacing the o-rings, then investigating if the fluid re-immerges in the area. My only guesses are that the movement of the vehicle could have spread the fluid, or it traveled alongside the side of the engine / under the upper assembly of the block. Thank you for any help!

After degreaser/wire brushing. Substance around bolt at top of the picture like what was on cat.







Basic Car Information: 2004 Acura TL, approx. 192,000 miles, Base AT w/ Nav.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:23 PM
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I have a 04 TL as well with similar milage but in 6-speed manual. My power steering pump was leaking also. I changed the O-rings and the upper reservoir hose but there still appears to be slight leak. I am planning on changing the PSP altogether. It just came in the mail. Just waiting for this bitter cold to pass. I also noticed there's some oil leak coming from the valve cover gaskets. So I am planning changing out as well. Being that our cars are 15 years old and lots of miles, parts will have reached their limits. Start replacing all the gaskets/O-rings little by little.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MareckD View Post
I am having trouble figuring out how it could be the power steering fluid, however, as it seems like an odd area for it to end up. Could this be power steering fluid?
Hi,

It might be a power steering leak, but not from a typical o-ring leak. There are some power steering tubes that run under the front of the car. These metal tubes connect with rubber tubes. Leaks are common at these connection points. However, I'm having trouble imagining how the spray gets up to the coil packs. Here is a link to a non-related discussion with a picture of these leak points. https://acurazine.com/forums/3g-tl-p.../#post16330808

Another possibility is a coolant leak. There is a hose (forward and toward the driver side of that area) that connects the reservoir to the radiator. A leak in that hose might spray the area you highlighted. But that would be unlikely as well. Though more likely than a power steering leak.

edit: While looking at the picture of the leak points, it occurred to me that a tiny prick in the metal tube might direct the spray high enough to reach your coil packs. Reaching the catalytic converter would be easy. Disregard my comment on the coolant as that hose is on the wrong side to reach the catalytic converter.

Last edited by redbeard1; 01-11-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:22 PM
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I see the PS pump leak and its all over the place the 2 o-rings won't fix your leak, you will need to replace or rebuilt the PS pump. Front leaks actually from the valve cover itself.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by truonghthe View Post
I see the PS pump leak and its all over the place the 2 o-rings won't fix your leak, you will need to replace or rebuilt the PS pump. Front leaks actually from the valve cover itself.
Yup! You are in the same boat as me, buddy. Replace or rebuild the pump and do the valve cover gaskets eventually as truonghthe mentioned. While you are at it, you might as well replace the intake manifold and throttle body gaskets as well..they come as a kit.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:20 PM
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OP, has the PS safety recall been done on your TL?

If you don't know, call any Acura service dept and give them your VIN. They can tell you.
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