Power Steering Overflows When Shut Off: 3 Reasons

A common question on our message boards is what to do if power steering overflows when shut off? What causes this issue, and what is the solution? Read on to know more.

Picture this! You have owned a Bronco SUV for the past few years. It has never given any issue. However, you observe that the power steering gets a little whiny, and then it spits out fluid even though you have switched off the engine! 

So, when the car is running, it is all fine, but when you switch off your engine, the power steering starts overflowing! Well, it cannot be very pleasant. 

Also, this overflowing of fluid can cause many problems, and eventually, your engine will not have enough fluid to provide any kind of assistance. 

In this article, I will talk about this problem in more detail.


Power Steering Overflows When Shut Off

What are the causes of Power Steering Overflows?

Here are some of the common causes of power steering overflows when the engine shuts off:

Overfilling of power steering fluid

Since you are unable to see into the tank, you can easily indulge in overfilling. This overfilling can cause the fluid to spill out from the top of the tank, resulting in damage to major components of the car, including the power steering system.

High Tank Pressure

High pressure in the tank can also result in power steering overflow. A malfunctioning power steering pump can result in this increased tank pressure. 

A belt and a pulley connected to the engine power the pump, which has small fins inside it. The spinning of the fins causes fluid to be pulled into the power steering system. 

However, if this system is faulty, it can easily result in high tank pressure causing overflowing of steering fluid.


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Air Trapped into the power steering system 

Another cause of the fluid overflows can be the air trapped in the power steering system. The trapped air forms bubbles in the fluid. These bubbles then push against the power fluid, causing it to overflow.

Why does power steering fluid shoot out of the cap?

This issue is again a common occurrence among cars and can become problematic if not resolved. Well, this happens if you turn your car’s steering wheel quickly while switching off your engine. 

If the steering belt is malfunctioning and is not turning the car, it will push the power fluid through the car’s reservoir. Now, when the fluid is getting pushed into the reservoir, but the pump cannot make the fluid flow through the remaining parts of the system, the fluid will be left with no choice but to shoot out of the cap just like a volcano. 

How do I fix my power steering overflow?

Here are some effective ways to fix the power steering overflows:

Make a habit of checking the power steering fluid. 

You should check your car’s various fluids at regular intervals. These fluids include the car’s power steering fluids, brake fluids, and coolant. If there is any discrepancy in the power steering fluid, get it checked immediately. 

Consult a Professional

If the need arises, consult a professional immediately. This step would prevent you from the hassles of any kind of permanent damage to your pump. 


Power Steering Overflows When Shut Off

How do you bleed air out of power steering?

You need to follow certain steps to remove air from the power steering:

Step 1: Ensure that the car’s engine is switched off and is cool. Now, remove the power steering cap and then check the fluid’s level.

Step 2: Make sure to fill the fluid in the system. Next, replace the cap.

Step 3: Now, you need to find the bleeding valve on the power steering box and then put a hose on the bleeding valve. 

Step 4: Now, place a drain pan on the floor in the car’s front and then place the hose’s end into it.

Step 5: Turn on your car’s engine and then loosen the valve slowly. 

Step 6: Now, you need to turn your power wheel in both directions frequently. 

Step 7: Switch off your engine and then close the bleeding valve.

Step 8: To check for any remaining air, pour the power steering fluid into the reservoir until it is full. Now, check the power fluid entering the drain pan. If you still see some air bubbles, repeat the steps mentioned above.


How long will it take to remove the air from power steering?

The time taken to remove air from a power steering depends upon what part you are replacing, whether the pump or the steering gear. On average, it can take about 50 cycles from lock to lock to get the air out of a new power steering system.


Power Steering Overflows When Shut Off

Is it possible to drive with a power steering leak?

Yes, it is possible to drive with a power steering leak. However, you will not be able to do so for long as it will pose difficulties in steering and will become more dangerous.

How much does it cost to repair a power steering leak?

On average, it costs between $500 and $600 to repair a power steering leak. Usually, the cost of repair depends upon the particular part you want to change. 

It is always advisable to consult a professional to know the exact cost of the power steering leak repair. 


Power Steering Overflows Can Cause Accidents

Power steering fluid is an essential element for safe driving as oil is essential for engine prowess. In the absence of this fluid, the power steering system will simply fail. 

If there is a power steering overflow, the force you apply to turn the car will not translate fully into turning motion. This can lead to dangerous driving situations and may even lead to crashes. 

Thus, it is important not to overlook any kind of power steering fluid leak or overflow. Many professionals can lend you a helping hand in preventing this situation or repairing the overflow. Take the help of these professionals and rectify the issue as soon as possible.

Happy driving!


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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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