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Old 08-14-2019, 03:54 PM #1
Pale Rider Pale Rider is offline
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Will I damage my 4Runner by driving without power steering?

Yesterday I experienced a failure of my power steering system. 2006 V6 SR5

See the last post of this thread: Power steering failure

At this point I don't know if I have a bad power steering pump or a blown hose or something else, but I need to get my 4R to my mechanic who is about 4 miles away, right down the highway.

Assuming I can safely drive to my mechanic's shop, am I at risk of damaging anything by driving without power steering fluid? The mechanic suggested I pour some fluid in the reservoir to see if that will help get me to his shop. I'm concerned that I'll fill up the reservoir and it will all come leaking out in 30 seconds leaving a big mess in my driveway and possibly on the road.

I'm just not sure if I'm at risk of driving it for 10-15 minutes "dry"

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:58 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pale Rider View Post
Yesterday I experienced a failure of my power steering system.

See the last post of this thread: Power steering failure

At this point I don't know if I have a bad power steering pump or a blown hose or something else, but I need to get my 4R to my mechanic who is about 4 miles away, right down the highway.

Assuming I can safely drive to my mechanic's shop, am I at risk of damaging anything by driving without power steering fluid? The mechanic suggested I pour some fluid in the reservoir to see if that will help get me to his shop. I'm concerned that I'll fill up the reservoir and it will all come leaking out in 30 seconds leaving a big mess in my driveway and possibly on the road.

I'm just not sure if I'm at risk of driving it for 10-15 minutes "dry"

Any advice is appreciated.
I drove around 1 hour in the blazing Moab heat at a snail's pace without any fluid whatsoever so 4 miles at onroad speed I'd say you're completely fine.

Not to say I didn't damage mine but it shows no symptoms after fixing it all.
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:05 PM #3
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it might make noise, but that short of a drive, it should be okay
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:39 PM #4
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Cool, thanks guys.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:55 AM #5
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you've probably already gotten this taken care of, but i accidentally ran off into a ditch/culvert and had a deep puncture in the side of my tire. put the spare on and took off but my power steering was out. took it to a couple different mechanics that said i'd need to change the power steering pump. ended up driving it about 600 miles around town before i could have it looked at properly - ended up replacing the power steering pump and steering rack. it was a pain to drive around without power steering, but nothing else was messed up... other than the $1000 worth of damage :')
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:54 AM #6
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Running the power steering pump without fluid for any length of time will generally destroy it, and it may lock up taking out the serpentine belt, in which case you've got other problems. You might get lucky, but I wouldn't go far, and keep an ear out for a squealing belt when you do drive it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:17 PM #7
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Cairn, sounds like you did some real damage there, ouch.

RonJR - I guess I did get lucky. I ended up driving the truck to my mechanic without any issues, other than it being a bear to make a handful of sharp turns.

Thankfully, the issue with my power steering was a rusted/rotted out PS return line. There's a section of line that is metal tubing down near the bottom of the radiator. Before driving the truck to my mechanic, I poured a bit of ATF into the reservoir and started the engine. Sure enough, I could see fluid being pumped out of a small rusted hole that had formed in the metal tubing.

I believe the OEM parts for the PS system can be expensive. You also have to order them. My mechanic said he had some similar metal tubing in his shop, so he just shaped it as close to the original part as he could and clamped it into the rubber tubing, and it worked out just fine. Total repair bill only cost me $125 and she's good as new. Thankfully no issue at all with the pump.
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