Replacing your power steering cooler is a very simple job that can be done by most do it yourselfers. Always start by inspecting the full power steering system for leaks or any other issues. Before completing the power steering cooler install, you will want to drain the power steering system first. This helps to prevent fluid leaking everywhere when you remove the component.
Draining the power steering system before your power steering cooler install can be done by pulling the lower hose off the cooler and draining it into an oil catch. Discard the old power steering fluid. Do not reuse it. Once the system is drained properly, you can now disconnect the other power steering line from either the cooler. Or, if it is easier, disconnect the pump, steering gear, or rack and pinion directly. Usually there will be 2 or 3 bolts holding the cooler in place. Remove all bolts and set aside.
As you change the power steering cooler, first review the placement of the cooler – going back to what you know about your power steering cooler location. If unbolting it and removing the hoses allows you to simply remove it, do so. Some vehicles will have additional brackets or other components that will require removal in order to gain access and remove the power steering cooler. If further instruction is required, follow the OEM’s removal instructions.
Once the old power steering cooler is removed and you’re ready to change out the power steering cooler, simply install the new one in the reverse order. There are no torque specs for the bolts holding the power steering cooler in place, so make sure they are tight but do not over tighten them. Once all hoses are reattached, fill the power steering system with fluid. Do not start the vehicle. If possible, lift just the front wheels off the ground and move the steering wheel lock to lock a few times in order to push the new power steering fluid through the system. Review the fluid level in reservoir. If necessary, refill it. You will now want to start the vehicle and let it run for a minute. After the vehicle has run for a moment, shut it back off and check the level of the power steering fluid. If the fluid level is full and there is no noise from the system, you can inspect the system for leaks. If there are none, the job of changing out the power steering cooler is done. Certain manufacturers have specific power steering system bleeding procedures. It is best to check with your OEM for a specific bleeding procedure if you have persistent whining or aeriation in the power steering fluid.
How Do You Change a Power Steering Cooler
We get asked all of the time how to change a power steering cooler. First, you have to know the power steering cooler location. A power steering fluid cooler’s location is normally in front of the air conditioning condenser and radiator. This position makes the component very easy to find. Following the power steering lines from the rack and pinion or steering gear to the cooler’s location is another way of locating the cooler, if it is not obvious. It is often beneficial to perform power steering cooler line replacement while also replacing your power steering cooler, so make sure you inspect the lines or hoses running to your power steering cooler thoroughly. The lines should be free of damage, rust, and leaks.