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I recently had to have the engine replaced in my '05 Toyota 4Runner. I got it back about 4 weeks ago and about a week ago I discovered a leak at my Power steering pump. When the engine is running the fluid is slinging out around the pulley. I noticed that the fluid that is in the system is clear. I also know that the correct fluid that Toyota calls for is Dexron 2 or 3 ATF and the color of it is pink. I contacted the mechanic that installed the engine and he said that he went back with a clear fluid instead of the Dexron 2 or 3 ATF.

Now My questions:

  1. would the use of the incorrect fluid cause the leak?
  2. And if so by flushing and replacing the fluid with the correct Dexron 2 or 3 ATF, could that cause the seals to swell back up and re-seat or
  3. Do I need to replace the pump?

I don't want to run it too long and cause leaks in the rack and pinion unit.

Thanks for your help.

Mike Hammond

  • It's probably just a coincidence that the pump shaft seal started leaking. Universal fluids are used all the time and the Toyota power steering pump isn't anything special. Either way the pump has to be replaced/rebuilt. – Ben Apr 5 '16 at 22:58
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From Ben's comment,

It's probably just a coincidence that the pump shaft seal started leaking. Universal fluids are used all the time and the Toyota power steering pump isn't anything special. Either way the pump has to be replaced/rebuilt

You either need to replace the pump or rebuild it.

Also, if you flush the system, or have done prior to the leak (i.e. the leak occurred after the flush) you may have actually flushed away some muck/dirt that was clogging the leak thus you now have the leak.

  • Thanks for getting an answer together for the question from the comments. – DucatiKiller Apr 6 '16 at 8:13
  • Yes..thanks for your answer. it is just a confirmation of what i finally decided. I went ahead and replaced the PS pump. Flushed the fluid and went back with the dexron III. I found that a bead of the Serpentine belt had wrapped around the PS Pump shaft and had wedge itself between the pulley and the housing. I think that's probably what caused the leak to start. Thanks for answering. – Mike Hammond Apr 10 '16 at 4:45

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