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Possible steering leak

Nigel curry

CCCUK Member
Hi all
I have noticed a patch of red liquid on the drive just behind the bumper on the left front as you look at car on my 79 coupe (not a lot! About a cap full every two to three weeks depending on use).I am thinking power steering fluid but as I can’t get that far under the car easily (old bloke)can anyone tell me if I am on the right track,and is there a coman fault/leak area,and how urgent is this job
Thanks for any thoughts


CCCUK Chairman
Red fluid sounds like power steering - auto fluid would be more of a brownish colour? - my experience with power steering is that leadks seems to occur more when vehicle is used irregularly - seals in steering mechanism harden-up with age/and/or cold weather. Sometimes an irritating leak will stop with regular usage?

curious bystander

CCCUK Member
More Information for LARES 10058
Most likely coming from the seal where the thinner rod comes out of the main body of the power "ram"
I rebuilt mine and it still leaks a bit, probably when it's on full lock.
Check the fluid level in the power steering pump on the front of the engine.
Problem shouldn't be urgent but can't be ignored


CCCUK Member
Alas, the power steering system on the C3 is prone to leaks in a number of places, so it'll be worth having a good look underneath. I've had a number of leaks on our '78 over the years, which I may be tempting fate by saying that I have now fully cured.

I'd say try and get the car on ramps and clean the entire system so that you can see what's what.

Starting at the "top", check teh pump itself, although I don't think these leak as often as the other parts of the system. The hoses from pump to control valve and ram can leak at the joints, or the actual hoses (rubber) may be leaking. Check that the valve to ram hoses are not rubbing on each other or on other parts of the steering and have become damaged.

The control valve is often the culprit, the seals inside wear and fluid appears to be leaking from the grease zerk. Then, as Bill says, the ram itself can leak from the rod seal.

Hoses are easy to replace, but sometimes a pig to seal. There will be cries of horror when I say this, but years ago someone advised me to use PTFE tape on the joints. It turns out to be a foolproof way of sealing them! The ram end seal is also pretty easy to change, you could almost do it in situ, but I wouldn't advise it.

I now know that the control valve can be rebuilt without the dramas that a lot of the US owners seem to encounter! I found some excellent instructions and working methodically, it is pretty straightforward. Or, you can buy a new, or rebuilt unit.

For a quick look underneath, rember that all the P/S system "stuf"' can actually be easily veiwed from just behind the laft front wheel, especially if it is turned on full right lock.


Well-known user
Being it only seems to leak after car is driven it sounds like seals are leaking
You might want to try a cheap fix first as they sell power steering fluid that has makeup to cause seals to swell and
stop the leak.
Suck out fluid in steering pump reserve and replace with this and then at least at idle turn steering wheel back/forth several times
and of course more car is driven allows that fluid to circulate through power steering system.
Keep an eye out then each time car is driven if leak has stopped.

When you can see by the power steering pump if fluid is up higher (front left of engine) shows signs of leaking.
Else check the steering rack up front for fluid signs


CCCUK Member
Sorry I meant COMMON leak areas (told you old bloke!!)
On mine I found it was leaking on the hose clamp to the inter cooler where the flexi hose fits onto the rigid pipe going into the inter cooler(transmission lines ) . Just fitted new hose clamp , that’s on the front left .That only leaked after a drive .
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Nigel curry

CCCUK Member
Yes I tried to sneak a look whilst car was on the drive and it looks to be coming from that very hose clamp connection! Will check all these things out thanks once more guys


CCCUK Member
That's why I asked how far "back" the leak appeared to be. So presumably the leak is on the RIGHT hand side of the car? :)

Yes, been there too! I added an extra clamp, (opening it up to fit it) as the existing item didn't want to tighten and I certainly didn't need to disturb the pipe!:oops:

PS - Just re-read the post and see that my question re "how far back" got deleted from my post - talk about old blokes, I must have knocked it out during an edit!:rolleyes:

Mr. Cricket

CCCUK Member
I replaced my PS hoses x 4 over Winter and one was chaffed (sp?) quite bad and almost through. I managed to source shorter hoses to prevent it rubbing again