On my 08 Impreza 2.5i non-turbo hatchback, auto-transmission with 194,800 miles, I'm having an issue with the PS pump whining and some occasional stiff steering... but after digging around I am hoping this fix might involve just a few minor parts and just a little labor instead of an entire rack & pinion replacement. I believe the o-ring on the pinion input needs to be replaced and possibly one of the hydraulic lines on the rack (if possible).

Here are my thoughts from a post at NASIOC, plus the thread describing what I think needs to be fixed.

Any thoughts? Anyone in town up for doing this fix? Thanks!!

Entire thread: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2797741

On my 2008 Impreza 2.5i non-turbo hatch, automatic with 194k miles, it looks like I have this same issue. I've been digging-around on this and other forums and sites and one power-steering site seems to describe my PS system as having 'morning sickness' meaning at a cold start it's a little stiff, but once the engine is warm the PS works nicely.

Anyhow a little history... when I first got the car 1 year ago there was a PS fluid leak at the PS Pump so a friend replaced one of the PS Pump hoses (not the high-pressure line) and put in some new fluid + a stop-leak additive, and the leak has never returned. A month or so ago during an oil change the shop said my PS Pump is bad and said the rack & pinion needs to be replaced, citing the visible fluid on the rack's hydraulic lines. So I took this info and got under the car and saw what appears to be a fluid leak from the o-ring location and from one of the rack's hydraulic lines..

Apart from the leaks the PS Pump now whines pretty loud when on a cold start and then gets a bit quiter once I've been driving for 15-20mins... sometimes the steering feels like it 'snags' / pops / clicks at the 12-o'clock position both at a standstill and while moving, other times this symptom is completely absent. Sometimes the steering is slightly stiff and the PS pump whines while turning... whatever the symptoms, after driving for 15-20mins all symptoms 'disappear' until I'm at a speed under 30mph or so, so during slower speeds.

I am hoping to avoid having the entire rack & pinion replaced... dealership quoted me $750 not including labor. Anyone who has had these issues before can you look over the photos? Are there any 'tell-tale' signs that the entire rack needs to be replaced? I appreciate it, thanks!


Where the leak appears to be coming from. Viewing the bottom of the pinion housing.


Driver's side of the car. Notice the fluid on (from?) the boot. Passenger's side is dry which is why I'm thinking maybe the leak isn't from the boot?