On a variety of Toyota and Lexus vehicles equipped with the 3.3 liter 3MZ-FE, including the Lexus RX330 and ES330 and the Toyota Camry, Sienna, Avalon, and Highlander, the high pressure power steering line that runs from the power steering pump to the power steering rack can develop a large leak. The leak usually starts where the flexible hose portions of the line are connected to the rigid fixed tubing that runs up behind the engine and intake manifold. Here’s the line in question:
On the left hand lower side of the photo is the fitting that threads into the power steering rack. From there the line heads up, transitioning into a soft line that allows for the engine to move relative to the power steering rack without damaging the line overall. Where the hard line is crimped to the flexible section, the line developed a leak dripping power steering fluid on the rack, transmission and subframe. On the right side of the photo where the line once again transitions between a hard and soft portion the line was also leaking on the power steering pump. The power steering pump bolts to the line at the lower right of the photo (the flexible line on the right making it possible for the power steering pump to move fore and aft when installing the power steering belt).
The above leaking power steering line has some slight differences depending on application, but all have 3-4 braces to the rack, cylinder head and other brackets that hold the line in places. This line runs up behind the intake manifold to connect at these points. Here’s the line highlighted with the intake manifold off, as seen from the top:
Eagle-eyed readers will note that the technician has moved the evaporative emissions VSVs onto the front valve cover while still connected and clamped off the coolant lines to the (removed in photo) throttle to both try and not break stuff (VSVs and lines can get brittle over time!) and save the guest money on incidental supplies (you don’t have to buy coolant if you prevent it from all draining out the open throttle lines). While taking off the intake manifold to replace the leaking power steering line seems unnecessary, the complete lack of clearance between the intake manifold, line, and securing brackets near the firewall make installing the new line without removing the manifold extremely challenging.
As Minneapolis, Minnesota’s premier independent Toyota and Lexus repair specialist, this line is a repair we make often and as such is something we can usually have repaired the same day. If you think you have a leaking power steering line like this, don’t hesitate to give us a ring to set up and appointment at (952)426-4798 today!