1997 Jeep Cherokee here.

I drove 120 miles and when I arrived at my destination the power steering and coolant were empty. The wheel was very hard to turn. I refilled the coolant and power steering, and the steering functioned correctly.

I then drove another 120 miles back. The coolant and power steering were nearly gone again, but not empty. The wheel was again hard to turn, even though I still had some fluid left. I refilled the coolant and power steering yet again, but now the wheel is still hard to turn (even after the refill). The vehicle does not leak fluid while stationary.

Have I permanently damaged the steering?

Any insight into the real problem?

  • 1
    Is your question about the power steering or the cooling system? Does it leak while running, or while moving? Is there fluid evidence in the engine bay or under the vehicle? Is there smoke from the exhaust and is so, what color is it?
    – CharlieRB
    Dec 26, 2016 at 20:25
  • Welcome to site! You can take a tour here and check out how the site works. Happy Holidays and cheers! mechanics.stackexchange.com/tour Dec 26, 2016 at 20:52
  • 1
    You almost certainly have a pretty significant power steering (and coolant) leak. The fluid may only leak while you're turning. Try spreading some cardboard under the car especially below the power steering rack which runs between the front wheels towards the back (often along the firewall) and also under the pump. Then with the car running you can move the wheels back and forth to see if fluid drips onto the cardboard.
    – dlu
    Dec 26, 2016 at 23:04


You must log in to answer this question.