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Last year, I bought a 2005 Volvo S60 for my wife to drive to her job.

The car had 103,000 miles on the clock, so a few weeks ago, I installed a new timing belt, tensioner, idle pulley, and water pump. In order to complete the installation, it was necessary to pull the power steering fluid reservoir off to the side to gain the clearance to remove the timing belt. The timing belt installation was completed without any serious incidents.

I was also advised by a mechanic that the car needs to have new lower control arms on the front, as well as new joints. He said that the joints are "slinging grease". I don't even know exactly what he meant by that.

I inspected the hoses on the power steering fluid reservoir as best I could, but I can't see that it's leaking; I really have not idea how the car is losing its power steering fluid.

I have refilled the car's power steering fluid twice in the last week. What is the best course of action to take to find the problem and get it fixed?

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It is a little unclear from your question whether power steering system started to leak just in the past week, or “few weeks ago” after the maintenance you had done. Also, what joints is your mechanic talking about? Drive axle CV joints, or suspension ball joints? –  theUg May 25 '12 at 21:20
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2 Answers 2

Odds are high that the power steering rack itself is leaking. Start looking around there. Doesn't take a big leak, may not be any obvious spots left under the car.

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That is a possibility. I have same issue on my Jetta — it leaks from the steering rack rubber boot, thus requiring replacement of the whole thing, as they are not serviceable (according to manual, anyway). Leaking steering fluid destroyed all my rubber bushings on that side of the car eventually, and might cause CV joint boot damage, which is why asker’s joints might sling grease. However, it is yet unclear whether it happened just now, or when they did maintenance, or if it was happening for awhile, and just revealed itself. –  theUg May 25 '12 at 21:28
    
my 98 V70, the seals broke, and it was leaking out of the left and right sides of the rack itself. This would be harder to trace as that area typically gets road washed, and is already grimey from road debris. –  Chris Mar 28 at 13:39
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Did he say why you needed new lower control arms? Usually the bushings just need to be replaced not the entire control arm.

If he was talking about the CV joints needing to be replaced, they have seals and rubber boots that cover them. If the rubber boots or seals have cracked due to being old, it could let the grease escape from the CV joint. Then as the CV joint is spinning when you are driving down the road the centrifugal force will force all the grease out of the CV joint and spray it all around the surrounding area.

The easiest way to find the leak would probably be to use one of those leak kits they sell in the auto stores. You pour a UV dye into the reservoir and drive the car for a little while, then you use a UV light to see exactly where the fluid is leaking from. It works very well and makes it very easy to see exactly where the leak is coming from. For a power steering system, it could be your hoses, seals on the steering rack, or seals on the power steering pump.

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By the way, to point out to the original asker. If CV joint boots were compromised, it is not necessary to replace the joints. Unless there was significant damage (it was bone dry with bunch of sand and water inside), it is fairly simple (if a bit time consuming) task to pop drive axle out, clean it out real well, pack it back in with grease, and replace with a new boot. –  theUg May 25 '12 at 21:37
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