PS Issue - Lucas Stop Leak

Noticed PS was groaning a little a few days ago, and checked the system. It was low. so I added fluid (I usually use gen. trans. fluid). Typically I have to top the system up about once every 2-3 months or so. Yesterday it was groaning and low again, so this time I decided would be a good time to put in some stop leak stuff. I checked out the selection available, and was impressed by Lucas PS Stop Leak, and their guarantee “your $$ back if the leak is not stopped (w 1-2 bottles)”. :open_mouth: They also seem to imply “instant results”, on their bottle, vs. having to wait several days for such a product to usually work in the form of an additive to PS fluid.

The stuff is like “Motor Honey”, but tinted red, btw. Very thick – u practically have to squirt it out of the bottle tip (it has a tapered - “cut to suit” - tip for such a purpose) like grease or toothpaste. Instructions said to add it just like you would when topping up with regular PS fluid, so I did. It took practically the whole bottle.

At first, the stuff seemed to work great … no more groaning or “bad feel” through the steering wheel when turning the wheel. A couple of times though - after Superblue had sat for awhile - when I went to start her up there was no power assist at all. :open_mouth: I had to back her out (or move forward) and steer as best I could, and then after having driven several yards the assist pressure returned. :relieved: I had attritbuted this to the very viscous nature of the product + our temps close to freezing here of late. :thinking: However, when I started her up this a.m. the temp was right @ 50 F. and same result. :angry: So, possibly this was the result of the car just sitting that long and the product settling “at the bottom” of the system as a result. ?

Anyway, your thoughts on this, please, and let me know your experience with the product, if you have had any. :confused: In the meantime, I’m going to get a turkey baster and try to remove the product from the reservoir as best I can and replace it with the usual (i.e. reg. trans. fluid), to see if that restores her to normalcy. :pray:

btw, IIRC, someone did post on here some time back that if you put in a PS stop leak product that it should be removed from the system as soon as it has apparently does its job, rather than just leave it in there. If so, then that advice seems to be in accord with the above.

Don’t remember if I ever used that product but they are more or less ‘seal-sweller’ type products most of the time.

Should work for a while if ‘hardened seals’ are your problem.

When the rack starts POURING FLUID, nothing but a rebuild will work.

I’ve used it before, if you drive a good 20-30 minutes afterwards to get fluid warm, it should mix up fine. Never had it cause an issue.

If you’re leaking from a hose connection or something, this stuff won’t help.

If you let your p/s fluid get too low, you will have air in system. That is usually the groaning noise, or even sluggish power. You then need to bleed the system.

At idle, turn steering wheel full right, hold about 3 seconds, turn wheel full left, hold 3 seconds, repeat 2 more times. That should get air out.

Thanks, will try that, Gregmatic (and Motordude) :smile_cat:

Update time …

Turns out that my system is (no longer?) leaking anything … I check my fluid level and it is exactly spot on when cold. It does look like possibly my filler hose (from reservoir to pump) has a small leak in it, b/c it is hardened from age/heat, etc. An easy fix, if so. :+1:

However, I’m still having the issue that when I first start the car up after having sat for several hours that there is NO assist at all. It’s only after I have moved the car a few yards and pulled hard on the wheel that suddenly it will kick in and function as normal. :open_mouth: I can also tell there is air in the system, most of the time, due to the feel in the wheel and sounds … One tip I received elsewhere is that when doing the bleed procedure after topping up, make sure the reservoir cap is OFF …

Some folks here have opined that maybe air is getting into the system from a loose/cracked “o” ring in the system (e.g. PS fluid cooler?) … btw, how does the PS system actually bleed air out of it? Is there a 1-way valve somewhere in the system that handles that? If so, maybe it is blocked up and needs cleaning out … ? :confused:

As far as the lack of assist when cold, you have what is referred to as “morning Sickness”. There are 4 nylon rings in the head of the rack. They shrink with age and loose their ability to seal off the right and left assist chambers. A bit of warmth and they start sealing. Will get worse as time goes on. Jaguar came out with the solution in the late 80" with a special nylon ring with a steel expander behind it. This does require the rack to be taken partially apart to repair. Here is a link about rebuild a V12 E-Type rack that shows the seals and how to install them. These seals will fit all of the Adwest power racks from the Series 2 XKE to the last of the Adwest racks before Jaguar switched to ZF racks. V12 Rack Rebuild

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Why? I’ve always successfully done it with cap on. All its doing is purging air, which will rise to top of p/s filler neck.

Also worth checking your p/s belt, may need tightening. I had some sluggish p/s at idle, turned out to be a tiny bit loose.

Also, a place worth checking for leaks…your return line to p/s pump. Mine was leaking from there, it’s a simple hose clamp that can go bad.

And thanks, I rechecked my p/s belt because I was getting sluggish steering at low idle. It was not tight enough. Thankfully Jaguar made it easy to adjust.

I guess Jag changed the setup on that for the XJS on the facelifts … we have direct drive for our PS pumps, not belt, apparently … ? :confused:

The last few cold starts I did NOT have the stiff steering issue, so hopefully it has resolved itself (somehow, as Jags sometimes do :roll_eyes: ) … :crossed_fingers: Now just to find out the source of the air in the system, as I can sense it when turning the wheel. :thinking:

Hopefully, as suggested, Jag overcame that problem by the time the (facelift) XJSes came along … :grimacing:

Well, as of yesterday a.m., the stiff steering at first start up is back … apparently … :sob: And still a sense there is more often than not some air in the system … I have yet to try removing the current fluid (w. the Lucas Stop Leak added) and replacing w. just the regular stuff … Problem is finding a damn turkey baster to do it with :angry: … I have been watching 3 different WMs, Winco Foods, Kroger and other stores for one, but would you believe I have not yet come across ANY … ??? And at this time of year, yet … :open_mouth: Maybe someone needs to launch an investigation about this topic … :confused: :laughing:

Have you looked on Amazon yet?

Or most automatically stores have siphon hoses with hand bulb you squeeze to transfer fluids

If you simply siphon off the fluid in the reservoir, you will only be getting a minor percentage of fluid out of the entire system. The Lucas Stop leak has been mixed in with all the fluid. Not sure what you’re trying to achieve. You need to get to the root of your leak - be it as simple as a bad hose, to as complex as the steering rack seals.

a friend of mine had a taxi company in southern California… he would put a shot glass of brake fluid in their automatic transmissions after changing fluids… I wonder if that would work on steering system… he claimed it helped transmissions from leaking,… could be… anyone else on that subject

That is hilarious/ridiculous/sad. Amazing the folly people swear by when it comes to machines.

That sounds like a terrible idea. Brake fluid naturally absorbs water, the last thing you’d want in your transmission.

I would rather change out the fluid, then take a shot glass of my favorite whiskey and drink it. I think my method has more benefits.

There are some strange ideas “out there”.

I did, once upon a time and advice of a trusted source, run a couple gallons of diesel in place of oil in a Chevy straight 6 engine for a few minutes. The engine had cracked and had the white sludge due to oil and water ( sea water) mixing. Drained the sludge and ran the diesel in it to flush the oil system before taking the motor (and the boat it was in) to the mechanic to have a new used installed.

That’s probably what I’ll use, JimD. :thinking:

Oh boy … this is not sounding good …

I did not have the “stiff steering in the a.m.” issue the past two a.m.s - the good news. The bad news is I noticed particularly today that the PS system felt and sounded like it had a bit of air in it the whole time (e.g. some faint “moaning” heard whenever the wheel was turned). :slightly_frowning_face:

Well, tonight after getting to the office and having FINALLY found a turkey baster at the store earlier in the day :triumph: , I decided I was going to attempt the “fluid transplant” mentioned earlier. However, when I opened the cap I was stunned to see there was very little fluid in the reservoir :open_mouth:
This development would seem to in indicate that in fact I have a substantial leak (now?) in the system. I searched around under the reservoir and even under either arm of the rack (e.g. the rubber belows), but saw no signs of a leak onto the other parts of the car or onto the pavement. I got out my regular fluid (well, I decided to start with generic transmission fluid - Dexron V or some such, in case I lose it) and topped it up. I started her up and let her idle for a bit, revving the engine up a bit from time to time. I then tried moving her steering wheel from side to side while in park, which resulted in major groaning noises and a disturbing feel to the wheel. :angry: I shut her off, then checked the same spots again for signs of a leak (none, again), but this time when I went to open the cap I was totally taken aback by the “pink milkshake” in front of me. The fluid looked like someone had put it in a blender and whipped the it into a foamy froth. :open_mouth: The level also appeared to be a little higher than before, but I attribute this to the fact that it had been frothed up. :thinking:

What in the world is going on with my PS system? How is air apparently being pumped (sucked?) into it like that???

You need to run the engine AND turn the wheel at the same time to circulate the fluid around the system. The pink is caused, as you surmised, by air in the system. You will probably find all the fluid is sitting inside the bellows.