Power steering systems are found on all modern cars, trucks, transit vehicles and most mobile construction equipment. These systems utilize combinations of flexible and rigid pressure and return lines. Fluid types may vary depending on the age and type of vehicle. Power steering hose assemblies must be compatible with the fluid being used.
Types of Power Steering Hose
- High pressure, wire reinforced rubber
- High pressure teflon with stainless braided outer jacket
- Low pressure fabric reinforced return lines
- Hose assemblies with internal springs are often used to prevent over-bending.
Types of Power Steering Hose End Connections
- Inverted flare
- SAE flare
- Swivel ends for ease of installation
- The metal tube portion of a power steering hose can often be saved and welded to a new length of hose.
How to check AC and Power Steering Hose Assemblies
AC and power steering hose assemblies are subjected to high temperatures and other extreme road conditions. A regular visual inspection will help you avoid the dangers associated with a damaged hose assembly. Visual keys are:
- Pinholes: Tiny holes that may allow flammable fluid to spray on hot engine surfaces.
- End connection leaks: Fluid leaks due to damaged or old end seals and threads.
- Softness: Indicates that the fluid conveyed has seeped through the tube and is eating away at the hose components.
- Cracks or rotting of hose cover: Indicates that the hose has been affected by heat and ozone and lost the ability to hold pressure.
- Discolored fluid: Dark fluid often indicates that a hose assembly’s tube is being eaten away and causing contamination.