steering rack

Phil Rose pjrose at
Sat Feb 5 12:36:38 EST 2005

At 8:44 AM -0800 2/5/05, Bernie Benz wrote:
>At only 66K miles you should not have a high pressure rod seal leak problem.
>You need to verify the diagnosis.  Wash down the whole area dirt and oil
>free to find the source of the leak.

I agree with Bernie. You do indeed have good ($$) reason to doubt the 
dealer's diagnosis, IMO. For one thing--can you verify (a) that there 
is hydraulic fluid dripping from either of the steering rack's rubber 
boots, or (b) that there's been a noticeable drop in the Pentosin 
reservoir level? The Pentosin level change might be hard to see, but 
I'd think you ought to be able to reach in and feel fresh oil 
dripping from one of the rack's rubber boots.

Also, hydraulic fluid leaks from other (non-rack) areas of the system 
can work their way down to the exhaust and cause smells.

Another source of burning smell is caused by oil onto the catalytic 
converters from the tranny--i.e., leaking from the differential 
output shaft seal(s). That's not uncommon on these cars between 
50-100K miles. The seal on the passenger side is fairly easy to check 
to see if oil has been spinning off the flange (i.e., behind the 
inner CV joint) and causing a generally oily mess in that area (and 
onto the cat converter right below the heat shield). Same can happen 
on the driver side but more difficult to see.


>>  From: melvin guyer <melguy1 at>
>>  Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 13:18:29 -0800 (PST)
>>  To: Bernie Benz <b.benz at>, Ingo Rautenberg
>>  <i.rautenberg at>
>>  Cc: 200q20V mailing list <200q20v at>
>>  Subject: Re: steering rack
>>  Hi all,
>>  this is my first post with a question. I have a 1991
>>  Audi 200 20v with 66K miles, all original. My local
>>  dealer tells me that the burning smell I reported is
>>  from an oil leak from the power steering rack, onto
>>  the catalytic converter. They tell me that a
>>  replacement part will cost $1,030 and with labor (at
>>  $85/hr) total repair will come to $1,600. I have no
>>  reason to doubt their diagnosis of the problem, but
>>  wondered about the part price. The folks at VM
>>  Autohaus (a company whose name I learned from reading
>>  messages from the Audi 200 group) quotes a much lower
>>  part price. Any advice on what's the best course of
>>  action for repair?
>>  mel guyer
>>  =====
>>  mel guyer
>>  __________________________________________________
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Phil Rose
Rochester, NY
mailto:pjrose at

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