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Power steering failure

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i have just joined and have an issue with my 03 mk1.5 1.8 petrol focus with air con.

up until recently it was running fine, however on the way home from work about a month age a noisy whirring occurred and the power steering failed and became very heavy.

managed o get the car home, opened the bonnet and the reservoir is empty. Haven't moved it since.

i have done some research and have come up with 2 possibilities. 

Fistly, total failure of the pump causing instant loss of fluid.

secondly, the pipes have perished somewhere causing loss of fluid.

i have looked into replacement parts and can obtain a remanufactured pump fairly reasonably, however the pipes are £150. There is also a mention of a modified pipe so the part that perishes most frequently can be replaced.

i am handy with the spammers so will be doing the work myself. Does anyone have any suggestions/advice on what to buy and where from, as well as on the likely culprits etc.

grateful of any assistance that you can give.

kind regards


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I would check it all before buying any parts.  If it turns out to just be a pipe no need to waste money on a pump.  It could also be the rack seals though which would be far more expensive. 

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I don't know if there are any common points on your model of Focus.  But you'll see the fluid leaking from somewhere, should be easy as it's lost so much.  It a simple system, just pipes between the reservoir, pump and ram.  If it's the pump it'll probably come out of the seal around the pulley shaft.  If there are any solid metal pipes they'll be prone to corrosion.  Rubber pipes usually last well unless they're rubbing/chafing on something.

Someone else may know of a common issue on these though.

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Fill the reservoir with a little fluid and turn the steering lock to lock a few times. Check for any leaks but I'd put money on it being from the high pressure pipe 'O' ring at the pump.

You can buy a new pipe but i used a 2nd hand one on mine from a breakers which worked and only cost me £10.

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filled the reservoir, ran the engine whilst turning the steering. After a few second, noise completely disappeared so it would appear that the pump is fine.

had a good look in the engine back and fluid is coming from the screw in sensor on the pump which is located front right of the pump as you look at it (black clip on connector). Removed the connector and the fluid is definitely coming out of the middle of the sensor.

has anyone else experienced this? If so is it just a case of the sensor need img replacing?



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