Is there a way to tell if a leak is p/s fluid or engine oil? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 07-17-2005
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Is there a way to tell if a leak is p/s fluid or engine oil?

I have a leak at the front of my engine and I can't tell if it's oil or p/s fluid. It happened a few weeks ago when I bottomed out my suspension on my 4x2 in a ditch. I noticed some fluid on the power steering rack and the crossmember. I thought I had kissed the oil pan and had opened a small crack in it.

I changed the oil last week and wiped all the areas of leakage away to see if it was engine oil. This week I noticed the steering gear and cross member are covered in fluid but the oil pan is dry. It looks like it's coming from one of the fixed tubes on the gear thats right under the oil pan.

Is there a way to tell if it/s ps fluid or engine oil? Both the dipstick and the reservoir are not showing an apperciable drop.
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Old 07-17-2005
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smell... color...


steering fluid is almost like tranny fluid (reddish tint and smells similar)
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Old 07-17-2005
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A Ranger's power steering fluid is Mercon automatic transmission fluid.
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Old 07-17-2005
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well that explains it
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Old 07-17-2005
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taste it...
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  #6  
Old 07-17-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TReff
taste it...
Good idea.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2005
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thats what i do
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Old 07-17-2005
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lol
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2005
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Ok I'm not in the mood to poison myself today :) A trip to the hospital is not fun :) As for color the fluid is dark/black but it feels less viscous than 5W30.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2005
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it wont hurt you to taste it...
just taste some of the oil and the taste the other fluid...
its not like you have to take a drink of it..
put alittle on your finger and taste it...lol
I havent died yet.....
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Old 07-17-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TReff
it wont hurt you to taste it...
just taste some of the oil and the taste the other fluid...
its not like you have to take a drink of it..
put alittle on your finger and taste it...lol
I havent died yet.....
Lol. What if he doesnt know what it tastes like. Might not have anything to compare it to.
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Old 07-17-2005
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Down bellow it's pretty gross. I did actually taste the p/s fluid. Yuck! It's still on my tongue. I need a drink :)

I think it's p/s fluid from the viscosity. The problem is I have a 9 hour drive tomorrow and I'm concerned I'll burn up the p/s pump. I'm going to pack a 2 quarts of p/s fluid and a quart of engine oil and check it every 3 hours.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2005
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as long as you dont run the pump dry it will be ok..
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TReff
it wont hurt you to taste it...
just taste some of the oil and the taste the other fluid...
its not like you have to take a drink of it..
put alittle on your finger and taste it...lol
I havent died yet.....
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2005
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you cant tell the difference in smells between oil and steering fluid? youd smell oil pretty much as soon as you stuck your head up under your truck if that was what is leaking.
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Old 07-18-2005
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*Tries to breathe through an allergy stuffed nose.*

Not right now :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by loneFX4
you cant tell the difference in smells between oil and steering fluid? youd smell oil pretty much as soon as you stuck your head up under your truck if that was what is leaking.
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  #17  
Old 07-19-2005
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Well I'm back and no problems with the p/s at all. No level changes in it or the engine oil, but I did have a wheel bearing start to chirp on me. I can't get a break!! :)
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