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I used the wrong powersteering fluid in my 97 Honda Accord. Now the seal on the rack& pinion is so bad the fluid leaks completely out. Is there any way to correct this without having to get a new rack and pinion?

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Not really. Putting the wrong power steering fluid would chemically react with the existing fluid and destroy the seals and contaminate the hoses. The repair is the equivalent of getting a new power steering pump, hydraulic hoses, a rack and pinion unit etc. In order to repair the rack and pinion itself is basically complete disassembly of the unit, replacing the seals after cleaning all the parts. The reassembly of the unit and then reinstalling everything on the vehicle. All of which takes a good amount of time and money.

Going for new parts would be the only way to go cost wise. A lot cheaper. Getting the right fluid helps too.

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There are a couple of alternative to new parts;

You could look for refurbished parts. These tend to be sold on an exchange basis and include a surcharge which is refunded when you return your old parts.

You could look for second hard parts from a breakers yard or one of the many online shopping websites.

You could buy an accident damaged or stolen recovered insurance write-off vehicle the same model as yours from a motor salvage auction and cannibalise it for parts. Be sure to look for something which doesn't have front or side impact damage which may have damaged the steering assembly.

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