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fr3shm3at 01-11-2014 04:10 PM

Power Steering leak at input shaft
I drive a 2009 WRX (no mods) and noticed that I was leaking power steering fluid recently. A little troubleshooting and I discovered the source, the leak is originating from the input shaft coming into the rack and pinion gearbox.

The Subaru service manual that I found online states for this type of leak to 'Replace the valve assembly with a new part'. However when I inquired at the dealership they told me they don't sell that part, they only sell the entire rack and pinion for $750.

Looking at the gear box it is obvious that it is replaceable, but I cannot find a part number. I really do not want to replace my entire rack and pinion for what is most likely a worn bearing in the gearbox. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

fr3shm3at 01-11-2014 04:52 PM

I may have found the correct part, it is called the Pinion Valve and it runs around $270. Any confirmation would be appreciated.

[URL=""]Pinion Valve[/URL]

boo-key 01-11-2014 07:32 PM

549 Attachment(s)
We have a vendor on here that is usually somewhat active. Their name is You may want to message them about it. They might be able to get you a better deal or free shipping. Here's a link to their profile on here. Best of luck. Car seems too new to have problems like that. If your stealership is anything like mine, they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Mine told me There is no fuel filter on my car :rolleyes:


LW_Black4 01-11-2014 08:36 PM

I had this same issue with my '09 STi, and Subaru wanted $1,400 for a new steering rack, although they'd give me $450 or so for the old rack. It was past the warranty.

I couldn't afford that repair path, so a mechanic friend of mine and and pulled the steering rack off the car and took it to a steering rack rebuilder. They rebuilt it for $300 and we put it back in the STi. It needs an alignment afterwards, but $400 is far less than $1,400.

It's an advanced repair to put it back in, because the steering needs to be centred, but taking it out is actually rather straightforward.

fr3shm3at 01-13-2014 11:14 AM

A quick look shows they do stock the part. I will IM them and see what I can do. Thanks for the response.

fr3shm3at 01-13-2014 11:25 AM

Yes - I am to the point that if it isn't a warranty issue then I am not going to have the dealership do the work. Only my kids get to treat me as a walking ATM ;)

fr3shm3at 01-13-2014 12:31 PM

I visited their website, they carry the part - but their website is broken. When I add the item to the cart and try to checkout I get a message saying that there are no items in my cart. Hopefully I will hear back from someone soon or else I will have to use a different option so I can have the part here by this weekend.

fr3shm3at 01-13-2014 02:41 PM

Apparently in order to add an item to your cart on you have to have an account and be logged in. Once I got past that hurdle I was able to proceed with the order, their ground rates were very reasonable.

LW_Black4 01-14-2014 08:43 AM

2 Attachment(s)
[B]Please give us an update on this repair[/B], and perhaps even post some pictures when you get the chance.

My power steering leak repair wasn't covered by warranty at 120,000 km (steering rack pinion shaft leak), but according to my research it was a rare failure for a Subaru. However given your experience with it, I was not the only one with the issue.

fr3shm3at 01-14-2014 04:37 PM

I will report back on my results, will see if iPhone pictures turn out or not ;)

Brockton 01-25-2014 03:08 PM

My car developed this same problem over the past couple weeks. I have to top off the fluid every 1 hour of driving or it gets too low and sucks air in the lines. I plan on replacing the valve assembly myself, it doesn't look too terribly hard.

fr3shm3at 01-27-2014 01:00 PM

I replaced the valve over the weekend and the leak has been fixed. I have a couple of issues that I need to resolve still though.

Problem #1: When I re-attached the steering column to the pinion valve I did not get it perfectly aligned. The steering wheel is out of alignment by about 5-10 degrees to the right. This is causing the traction control and hill assist systems to be disabled (dummy lights are on). This should be a fairly easy fix.

Problem #2: None of my steering wheel controls are working, and the airbag light is on. Not sure what would have caused this since we did not remove the steering wheel. My friend did spin the steering wheel to the right a couple of times when it was disconnected, I am wondering if this caused some wires to get disconnected. I can hear a small scraping noise coming from the steering wheel now when I turn it to the right.

fr3shm3at 01-27-2014 07:57 PM

Sounds like part of what I am experiencing may be coming from the clock spring in the steering wheel. Best case scenario is we un-wound it when we spun the steering wheel. Worst case is we snapped something and I would need to order a new clock spring (looks like about a $60 lesson).

Brockton 02-05-2014 05:51 PM

[quote=fr3shm3at;428914]Sounds like part of what I am experiencing may be coming from the clock spring in the steering wheel. Best case scenario is we un-wound it when we spun the steering wheel. Worst case is we snapped something and I would need to order a new clock spring (looks like about a $60 lesson).[/quote]

I'm about to tackle this. Did you torque the adjustment screw back to spec? (2.9 ft-lbs, which sucks because I do not have a torque wrench that goes that low)

Also, how did you spin the steering wheel during this?

fr3shm3at 02-05-2014 06:17 PM

My clockspring arrives on Thursday so I will be installing over the weekend. It is my buddy that has all of the tools, so I will ask him tonight if his torque wrench goes down this low. Can you point me to where you found this specification?

As for the second question - my friend who was helping me grabbed and spun the universal joint while the rack and pinion was removed.

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