My 1996 Impreza has a power steering pump leak that I have been nursing along by adding fluid maybe twice a month. Got car back from shop yesterday and drove today just 12 miles or so and pump was whining and moaning. Checked fluid and it is a different color, a lighter orange than the reddish fluid I put in. After doing some searching this could mean air is leaking into the system.

I just had the front ball joints done to pass inspection. Could work on the suspension adversely affect the power steering system , maybe a hose got lose or something?

Thank you.

  • Has the leak been fixed? The power steering pump will whine and moan if there is air in the system.
    – WeakMech
    Feb 10, 2017 at 0:04

1 Answer 1


There's no reason to touch the steering rack to replace the ball joints on the Impreza.

Do you know where it's leaking from? Candidates are usually the ends of the power steering rack, and the connections where the lines go down from the pump to the rack. If in doubt, drop some UV dye into the PS fluid, and see where it comes out first (you'll need the dye, some yellow goggles, and a UV light)

Subaru steering racks are usually very reliable, but the seals can wear out eventually. Try some Lucas Power Steering Stop-Leak - that swells the seals, and can give good results (comes with a money-back guarantee)

  • It was the power steering rack. Seals. Twenty years old. My mechanic got a good deal on a rack, system flushed. All' s good. Thanks for your response. This Impreza is still going at 230k,
    – Retts
    Feb 16, 2017 at 20:59
  • 230K? Barely run in, for a Subaru! My forester has 270K. Glad you got it sorted. Subaru's last forever if looked after well.
    – PeteCon
    Feb 16, 2017 at 21:25

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