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2009 Forester Premium Automatic
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Discussion Starter #1
My Power Steering fluid reservoir was low and the car was making a noise while turning so I brought it to my local Subaru mechanic. I could see oil around the power steering lines below towards the drivers side. Well the mechanic told me I need a whole new power steering rack and lines I think. Anyways, he said it's slightly over $1000 to fix it. Then he said I'll also need an alignment which I guess is true. Is this price reasonable?
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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Not when you could get other estimates from independent shops to clean up the leakage area, maybe replace the lines ,add fresh fluid ,,flush a few times and try some stop leak.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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I had a leak in a similar location. There are several locations that could be a cause for leaking. 2 common ones: #1: Where either side where the steering-shafts go in and out, #2: where the steering wheel connects to the rack.
My 2009 XT had a leak, and after some investigating, I discovered that it was leaking from the steering input shaft (where the steering wheel attaches to the rack.

I ordered a repair kit from Subaru, which contains all the new seals for the steering rack. After disassembly, I discovered that the shaft was pitted (from corrosion). Things like this are always a gamble to repair.

You "could" replace the rack yourself BUT!!! There are several complexities with this repair.
#1 : You need to make sure you lock the steering wheel in the straight position and make try your very best to put the shaft back on the rack in the straight position. DO NOT turn the steering wheel more than 1/2 turn to correct in either direction. (getting the steering wheel and rack out of synch could put your in a position where you damage the clock spring)
#2 : You will have to get the alignment done regardless. It's highly unlikely you'll be able to eye-ball it to the point that it's even remotely close.
#3 : the tie-rod ends can be a serious pain to release from the rack. Especially if they have not been adjusted in the last few years
#4: the power steering fluid lines on the rack (passenger side) are a serious pain in the neck to get to.

My opinion: $1000 is not a bad price, if it is a genuine rack and includes the alignment.

(You can order a rack for less than $400 shipped, if you feel confident you are okay with the 4 points above, you could save yourself $500 by doing it yourself)

But I agree. getting the area cleaned up first to determine where exactly the leak is coming from is a good idea. It's not very likely that the lines (from pump and reservoir to/from rack) are bad AND the rack is leaking. It's probably one or the other (the lines coming from pump and reservoir connect to the rack on the passenger side). There are several lines connected to the rack in the area you're referring to. (in my case, the fluid was leaking down from the shaft onto the lines. Making it appear as if the lines were leaking)

My experience: I've never had a lot of luck with stop-leak in power steering. But it doesn't hurt to give it a shot!
 

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2009 Forester Premium Automatic
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Discussion Starter #4
This place that I go here in Portland Maine is accredited by the BB bureau and have always fixed everything right on all my past Subarus I will say. So I think I'll just go with it. I've got it scheduled for this upcoming Monday. I'm sure that they'll fix it correctly and they do seem to honor all the work they do.
 
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