If your 6 cylinder has or has had a messy battery, you should check the condition of the hose leading from the power steering fluid reservoir to the pump. This cotton-braided hose is highly susceptible to deterioration.
If you’re in need of a replacement, obtain about 18″ of Gates 10 LOR (or equivalent) 5/8″ ID Hose from any industrial hose supply house, a couple of new worm gear clamps, and a quart of the appropriate automatic transmission fluid as called out in your owner’s or factory shop manual. (There are too many approved brands to list here.)
The tricky part is retrieving the old fluid from the reservoir and the hose without spilling it all over the place. I used a turkey baster to remove most of it from the reservoir, then I attached a couple of feet of small diameter plastic hose to the baster with a short piece of vacuum hose used as a “coupler.” The plastic hose was small enough in diameter to pass through one of the holes in the baffle plate at the bottom of the reservoir that was just above the hose to be replaced. After about 15 minutes of “reverse” basting, you should be able to remove all of the ATF down to the pump fitting. Then, when you remove the hose, it will be a relatively dry job.
Measure and cut the new hose using the old one as a guide, put the new clamps on the new hose, install and tighten the clamps, then refill the reservoir. Check the level with the engine running.
Author: Stan Simm