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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:16   #1
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Default Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Our Safari has crossed 1 lakh kms and has decided to celebrate the new year by giving a major headache. Power steering oil leak.
I have been told, this is a major expense issue.

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If it was a hose leak(I still secretly hope its this minor thing) it would not be so much of a problem.
But from the pictures, it does look like the steering itself is leaking. RCBTs are expensive and very hard to repair.
A friend who runs a workshop has told me repair cost is close to 8K, and chance of success is 50% only.
So options are
1. Get it repaired - 8K-9K expense, may start leaking again within a month
2. Get a new steering - 30K+ I think? Any idea
3. Get one from the accidental spares market. 9-12K. Could work forever, or may be a jugaad and may not work at all

What are your thoughts. Anybody faced this problem before. Remember, the car is over 100,000kms and 5 years old, so no warranty sharranty!
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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:22   #2
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

If you plan to keep at and use it for long trips, just get a new one. This is an important component and if it fails at an odd location will be a pain to use the vehicle. Can become outright dangerous also.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:36   #3
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

The repair costs seem to be on the higher side to consider a hit. If it were lesser, you could have given it a try but after spending so much if it fails again, the money will go down the drain. Hence I too suggest replacing the whole assembly.

Have you tried finding out the root cause? Is it just a leaking oil seal or something more than that?

Last edited by GTO : 3rd January 2014 at 13:06. Reason: Typo
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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:36   #4
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

What if the workshop sends it to the steering vendor for overhaul? That should be a reasonably okay fix?
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:01   #5
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Do you know the make ? It has to be either ZF Or Rane and they cost close to 15K. Add to this labour cost and you're looking at a figure that's ~ 17K.

Even if you get it overhauled (TASC sends these units to the OE manufacturer.At least that's the practice out here in Pune), I don't think the warranty for such repairs would be more than 6 months.

HTH.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:17   #6
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

I was told that for my indica, Even factory recon units don't last for much more than 1 or 2 years before acting up again. (I'm in chennai, this was told by ignite, and I'm guessing they're talking about Rane who are also here )

Last edited by greenhorn : 3rd January 2014 at 12:18.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:25   #7
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
The repair costs seem to be on the higher side to consider a hit. If it were pesser, you could have given it a try but after spending so much if it fails again, the money will go down the drain. Hence I too suggest replacing the whole assembly.

Have you tried finding out the root cause? Is it just a leaking oil seal or something more than that?
The new assembly will be close to 50K I suppose
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb2399 View Post
Do you know the make ? It has to be either ZF Or Rane and they cost close to 15K. Add to this labour cost and you're looking at a figure that's ~ 17K.

Even if you get it overhauled (TASC sends these units to the OE manufacturer.At least that's the practice out here in Pune), I don't think the warranty for such repairs would be more than 6 months.

HTH.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I was told that for my indica, Even factory recon units don't last for much more than 1 or 2 years before acting up again. (I'm in chennai, this was told by ignite, and I'm guessing they're talking about Rane who are also here )
Its ZF make. I was told by my old service advisor that these units are sent to ZF in Delhi, where they do an overhaul. Cost including labor is around 8K.

So three options
1. Overhaul 8K- How successful it is?
2. Scrap market new piece - If its undamanged it could last 2-3 years without issue
3. Brand new - Even for small cars steering can cost 35K. But they have Rack and Pinion. I am unable to get an answer about what is the cost of brand new. If its less than 20K I will go in for brand new as I hope to keep her for another 2-3 years.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:32   #8
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Can you let me know which part is being replaced? You really don't need to change the whole assembly, only the damaged part which in this case is just the steering box. So rack etc will be retained.

Only whole assembly would cost so much, is what i know.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:35   #9
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

I had similar problem in TCIC Safari, the mechanic told me that the oil seal of the power steering box was leaking. If so then you can get it replaced. I don't think that there is any other thing than gasket/oil seal due to which the leak might occur unless you have a cracked power steering box which is very unlikely. Let me talk to my mechanic and revert back.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 12:41   #10
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Default re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Can you let me know which part is being replaced? You really don't need to change the whole assembly, only the damaged part which in this case is just the steering box. So rack etc will be retained.

Only whole assembly would cost so much, is what i know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercedised View Post
I had similar problem in TCIC Safari, the mechanic told me that the oil seal of the power steering box was leaking. If so then you can get it replaced. I don't think that there is any other thing than gasket/oil seal due to which the leak might occur unless you have a cracked power steering box which is very unlikely. Let me talk to my mechanic and revert back.
Safari has RCBT. So no steering rack. I was told, replacing seal means taking it apart and setting it on a press which is never 100% perfect.
But most techs know about rack and pinion. The knowledge about RCBT is limited.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 14:11   #11
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Default Re: Safari power steering oil leak, what are my options

My suggestions in order of preference

1. Buy a new one from open market if this is a daily runner and primary highway tool. Highly recommended if it is below 20-25k. Kashmiri gate?

2. Buy secondhand from junk market if you can get it under 1/3rd the cost of new and can ensure it is a sealed unit, not repaired. Mayapuri? Meerut?

3. Get it repaired if your mechanic is reliable and cost is under 1/4th the cost of new.

You should also keep in mind that most tata vehicles will be troublesome after a lakh km mark. You might want to take the route of minimum investment and take it off active duty and retire after a few years.

If you have confidence that you will still be able to clock 20K kms/year on your ride without reliability issue, take first option without a thought.

cheers
Vishwas
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Old 3rd January 2014, 14:55   #12
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Default Re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Safari has RCBT. So no steering rack. I was told, replacing seal means taking it apart and setting it on a press which is never 100% perfect.
But most techs know about rack and pinion. The knowledge about RCBT is limited.
Yup i got that, what i meant was the steering column (not rack as in rack pinion), see the steering box is what is leaking and hydrolic one new should be around 20k, the 50k you mentioned seems to be for the whole steering assembly system. Right from steering to the tie end.

EDIT:

Quote:
Power Steering Gear Box – RHD: 19,000 (ZF) or 17,000 (Rane)

Power Steering Pump 80 Bar: 11,300 (ZF) or 8600 (Rane)
Source (TATA Safari TCIC Maintenance Cost)

Last edited by Jaggu : 3rd January 2014 at 15:00.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 16:59   #13
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Default Re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

From the pictures, where does the leak appear to be? Gearbox or Pump. I think its the gearbox!
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Old 3rd January 2014, 17:27   #14
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Default Re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Tanveer:

Oil Seal kits are avilable for RCBT Steering. I have changed for a number of Bolero power steering boxes made by Rane. No big deal. If it is Rane steering, they have authorized service center in many places. A good mechanic can also do it.

It is a normal wear and tear item.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 17:49   #15
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Default Re: Power steering Oil leak - Options?

Thanks 4x4addict.
I am taking the vehicle to TASS tomorrow. They will inspect. Spoke to their GM and he also says that most probably its the seal, and should not be a big issue.
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