In order to disconnect the hoses from the power steering cooler, you might need a pair of pliers. The pliers can be specifically hose clamp pliers, small channel locks or even needle nose pliers, but I have found that a small pair of channel locks will often work best (and most people already own them). Some hoses might be attached using what we call a worm gear clamp. This type of clamp can be loosened one of two ways: either by using a Phillips or flat head screw driver and loosening the screw until the clamp slides away, or by finding out what size the hex on the screw is and using a socket wrench. Most of the time they are anywhere from 8-10MM sockets. Again, you will want to loosen the clamp enough to slide it out of the way. Some power steering coolers will have hoses attached that are crimped to a fitting that is bolted to either the steering gear or rack and pinion. If that is the case, you will also need the correct size wrench for the fitting, and those sizes will vary greatly.
In addition to the drain pan and tools to remove the hoses, you will also need tools to remove the physical cooler from its mounting points. Typically, the cooler will be mounted using a few bolts. You will need to find out what size the hex heads are and get the corresponding size sockets. Sometimes socket extensions or swivel joints will be necessary in order to get the socket to the bolt. It is best to review bolt placement thoroughly prior to gathering all of your tools in order to make the job as smooth as possible.
That is generally all you will need in order to remove and replace your power steering cooler. It is possible some other tools like pry bars or impact drivers might be necessary, so look closely at the placement of the cooler to determine if anything is going to be in the way of removing it. There is also the possibility that other components may need to be removed in order to gain access to the power steering cooler. If that is the case, in addition to the tools we specified here, you will need whatever is necessary to remove those components.
If you have any other power steering cooler questions, please connect with our technicians in our Ask the Experts forum.
How to Install a Power Steering Cooler
Most power steering coolers will require very few tools to replace. Most will need a drain pan to catch the fluid leaking out when the hoses are disconnected, along with some rags to clean up any fluid that gets spilled outside of the drain pan. It’s important when disconnecting the hoses that the vehicle engine is off, otherwise the power steering pump will push all of the fluid out at a rapid pace and you will make quite the mess.