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So, it looks like I have a leak in my power steering. I DO NOT think it is coming from the rack & pinion or anywhere around the steering. It appears to be leaking from either the high pressure line or maybe a bad oring that needs to be replaced since that side is where the fluid drips are appearing on my floor in the garage. I have cleaned the rubber part of the hose on the top and have noticed it gets pretty dirty again and have seen fluid slowly running down the hose.

My main question is, how difficult would replacing the high pressure hose be and how long would something like that take for a home mechanic? I watched a YT video already on replacing the hose just to get an idea of what is involved, appears to be a challenge routing the new line in along with limited room. I also have all the tools needed (flare/crow foot wrench) for the job already, if I decide to do it myself.. I am not really afraid of doing the work, but once in a while, my time is more valuable so if it is going to take 6+ hours,I may just have an indy shop do it depending on price. Anyone have had it done and know how much something like this might cost?
 

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Pretty darn difficult...
I had to replace my high pressure line in my TL-S and god it was one of the most difficult DIYs I have ever seen and that is with a low center of gravity car! The MDX? Jesus I can only imagine.
 

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Hey, the 02 Odyssey has a similar set up. Take a look.

Do a Youtube search for "Power Steering Hose Replacement 2002 Honda Odyssey"
 

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Top fitting and couple brackets are accessible. What makes it a huge pain is the flare nut to the steering gear housing points to the passenger side. From replacing the steering gear on my 08 TL, I had to go at it with a series of extensions and a crows foot from the passenger wheel well (with tire removed). Working on my 06 X today and just checked - looks like you might have to do the same unless taking the cross member off gives you access. Installing the new fitting is a pain because of the limited space. I worked on my TL because of the cost of replacing the entire steering gear (and I like working on cars). Good thing is you traced the leak and know exactly what the problem is so you should be able to get solid quotes.
 

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I had the same leak, in the middle of a 7500 mile road trip, and ended up changing the hose in a relative's driveway (buying the tools I needed that I wasn't carrying).

It IS a bit of a bear, but mainly because of access to the bolts that hold the line in place. I found the access to the fittings on the rack to be easier to get to than some would suggest, as long as you have an assortment of wobble extensions.

I ended up dropping the rear of the subframe down probably 1" or so by just unwinding the rear bolts, and loosening the front bolts a bit. I had actually ordered some threaded rod and some nuts and washers to build way to drop the subframe farther, but the rod didn't arrive in time so I just backed out the (long) rear bolts. Obviously, "don't go too far or it gets interesting". ;-) Dropping the rear of the subframe like that gives you the access you need to get to the bolts holding the high-pressure line down along that area. I'm guessing that some shops would just skip putting those supports / clamps back in (which would probably lead to a lot of odd noises). FYI - here's a thread on my repair, including some info on my unrealized subframe dropping tool - http://www.mdxers.org/forums/73-first-generation-mdx-2001-2006/138810-power-steering-pressure-line-failure-road.html

I'd say that if you have a good assortment of tools, know your way around a wrench, and have a comfortable place to do the job - go for it. IIRC, having a ratcheting flat wrench would make it a lot easier (getting those clamp bolts back in, which requires blind placement and tightening).
 

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The main O-ring that causes the infamous power steering whine is the one on the output of the reservoir. It's an easy 10 minute job, and the O-ring costs a few bucks tops. The power steering low pressure line is a cinch to change (though it never fails). It's the high-pressure line that's a bear.
 

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He was fixing an issue where when the car was stopped or slowly moving, it was hard to turn.
I thought that was the high pressure one?
 

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Forbin404, it could have been because a leak was causing the fluid to drop enough that the pump wasn't working well, or that the O-ring on the inlet to the pump (outlet from the reservoir) was sucking in enough air that the system was pumping foaming fluid, which also won't work right. The only thing a high pressure line will ever do wrong is leak - it's under ridiculous pressure, so give it enough years, heat, and vibration... and it's gonna finally give up the ghost.

Oh, and just for posterity's sake... here's what I tried to do to get the leak to slow down enough that I could drive about 3,000 miles more to get home to do the fix. It didn't work...:trustme:

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Forbin404, it could have been because a leak was causing the fluid to drop enough that the pump wasn't working well, or that the O-ring on the inlet to the pump (outlet from the reservoir) was sucking in enough air that the system was pumping foaming fluid, which also won't work right. The only thing a high pressure line will ever do wrong is leak - it's under ridiculous pressure, so give it enough years, heat, and vibration... and it's gonna finally give up the ghost.

Oh, and just for posterity's sake... here's what I tried to do to get the leak to slow down enough that I could drive about 3,000 miles more to get home to do the fix. It didn't work...:trustme:
That is the area where I think it is leaking from. I cleaned that tube up and then checked it later on in the week and saw that it had gotten dirty again. I ran my finger under the tube and there were some fluid that I had picked up. I am glad the leak isn't that bad but I know I will eventually have to get it fixed sooner than later. I had a quote done by a mobile mechanic and was told $275 for parts ($150) and labor ($110), which isn't too bad. I will check a couple of other places that came highly recommended and see what their quote is. I like the mobile mechanic since I won't have to worry about dropping the car off and picking it back up.
 

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FWIW, if I would have had the option of getting it fixed for $275, I would have done it (mainly since I was 3,000 miles from home and my "real tools"). Of course, that assumes the mobile mechanic will do it right - just make absolutely certain that the attachment points along the rear of the engine/transmission subframe are put back in when the job is done. It would save the tech a LOT of time to blow that off and just leave the line floating - or maybe zip-tied to the subframe. Otherwise, if the line is in place, routed and attached properly, it's a good fix...
 
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