I have a 1999 grand voyager that is leaking power steering fluid. When I put power steering fluid in it runs fine for about 15 minutes, then it squeals and the power steering goes out. One person said I needed new hoses and a o ring the mechanic says i need a new power steering pump. How do i know i actually need a new pump?

I have gone this route with a 20 year old Ford Bronco I was restoring. First you must clean up the area with a degreaser to see exactly WHERE the leak is coming from. Spray on an engine degreaser, hose it off (The directions are on the can) and have someone work the steering wheel while you watch. You probably have fluid all over the place and the mechanic wants to cover everything. There are “O” rings at the end of the hoses that most likely failed. In my case I only had to replace one PS hose. I seriously doubt your pump is bad, but rather the hoses and “O” rings. BUT if you have a family and want peace of mind.. and you don’t want to perform the cleaning and visual test, If you want to be 100% safe, replace BOTH the power steering pump and the hoses.

Leaking is not necessarily a sign of needing a new PS pump, but if it is the pump itself leaking, then yes you may/probably need a new one. You need to determine the actual source of leakage first.

The next advice is for you to decide on yourself. My first course of action is to add Lucas Power Steering pump treatment, or any of a number of good automatic transmission and power steering leak-stop products such as Trans-X. I have saved many hundreds of $$ doing this on many vehicles. Also, I have some vehicles that are running good quality motor oils in the steering system instead of PS fluid. PS and AT fluid is nothing but 5 weight motor oil with red dye in it. My method of treatment is to go up in oil weight until I find an oil that stays in there pretty good. The downside is stiffness when cold, which disappears after the system warms up. One of my daughters is driving a Honda with 20W50 motor oil in the PS system for several years now, saving a repair bill of about $1000.

Caution about any swapping of oils in any car or truck: NEVER NEVER NEVER use brake fluid in the power steering system and NEVER NEVER NEVER put motor oil in the brake system. I have seen both done with disastrous results.

I do the same thing. I keep up our forklifts at work because no one else will. One of them leaks power steering fluid badly. I use whatever oil I have, so long as it’s clean. It works fine. It was broken before I came along and it hasn’t gotten any worse. You should just avoid automotive oils with additives. The additives can act on seals and have other unpredictable results. I have access to machine oils that are free of additives, they are the oils that will be safer to use for power steering. But you have to look at the definitions in the literature for the particular oil to know what it’s properties are. I looked up the oils we use and feel they are safe to use. Haven’t had any bad effect yet and I’ve been doing it for a few years. Maybe some day I’ll fix it, but I haven’t run out of oil yet.