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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

1993 Olds Achieva Power Steering leak -variable or not?

I have an Olds Achieva, 1993 with the 3.3L V6 in it. The power steering has leaked since I got it, along with the oil. Come to find out the company who worked on it in Jackson didn't do the work correctly but now it's my problem. The oil filter wasn't tight, and they didn't put the power steering pump back together correctly. You could see where they wrenched on it quite a bit, but it was leaking by the sensor. I got a GM drawing, it shows 3 gaskets or seals in there, most likely O rings, but it only had 1. We replaced the 1 it originally had (before I seen the drawing) and it still leaked. We can see where 2 of them could go, but not 3.

My questions are, how do you tell if you have variable steering or not? I read during some research if it does have it, there would be a sensor, without no sensor. If this is true, mine has it. There's a sensor and a hose connected to the same area, which is where the leak is.

I also would like to know, if this sensor should spin freely? It has since we got it, and Autozone claimed there should be a clip to hold it in place. The GM drawing shows no clip, and the guy there said he didn't know if it should spin. The knob (for lack of a better word) at the end, is all tore up where you can see they took pliers to it, but it does not loosen or tighten.
My last question is, does anyone know where I can get this assembly? I called a couple junk yards, they all say it comes with the pump only, no reservoir or connections, and they won't sell me them. I am almost afraid to ask what GM wants for this thing! They wanted 50 bucks for the O rings! Any help is appreciated!

1) There are 2 types of ways for the sensor to be mounted. 1 is that it screws into the connection. The other is held in by a retaining collar. With the retaining collar the sensor itself will have o-rings to stop any fluid from escaping and will rotate with resistance when NOT running. What's the name of the shop so others avoid having these problems.
2) That would explain, or could explain, why the GM drawing shows 3 O rings and we can only see where 2 might go. It is leaking at the sensor area, so that O ring may be missing, but we've not been able to get it off of there either, and didn't want to force it. You could see where it was chewed up from pliers, so we don't know if it's broken or not, and I'm sure it'll be expensive from GM. Since they want 45 bucks for the O rings themselves and you can buy them for 3 bucks at the parts store!
I'm hoping to find another unit like it at a junk yard, and just swap it. Since I'm unsure how to fix it, what to order, how it goes together etc. I can't afford to take it to a shop, we replaced the power steering, alternator and water pump ourselves, what a chore that was!
(The Water Pump)

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