Is burning power steering fluid toxic?

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  #1  
Old 10-04-10, 06:10 PM
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Is burning power steering fluid toxic?

Have this old Lexus (would never recommend this brand but that's another story). The engineering whiz that designed this ran the power steering fluid hose together with the cooling fan. Without going into detail (can't even remember how the mechanix explained it to me) when the power steering fluid gets low as a result of being burned off, the fan doesn't work and the engine overheats (separate problem). So rather than a complex (read expensive) repair job on an old pos, the solution has been to fill up the power steering fluid each time I gas up. Each tankful required about a fifth of a quart of power steering fluid to top it off.

The above is just background info. The real issue is this. During the summer (I don't believe in a/c) all windows were down and while I'd get a whiff of the burning fluid, it wasn't enough to bother anyone.

Lately it's been getting colder and with the windows up. Initially the smoke had come through the vents so I closed the vent. I can't help but think the burning fluid is still getting into the cabin somehow.

We've been coughing a lot and getting colds and today the kid vomited after a 30 minute drive. I read the label on the bottle and it said harmful if swallowed and harmful if coming into contact with skin for a prolonged period of time but nothing about inhaling the fumes.

Related to the burning power steering fluid or coincidence?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-05-10, 09:13 AM
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I would say the fumes would be toxic to some degree; whether they are the source of any illness would be hard to say. I would say time to fix it or dump it.
 
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Old 10-05-10, 09:55 AM
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I rented a 26' GMC U-haul last year when the hydraulic oil reservoir went below the fill line. Steering and brake boost shared this same reservoir. Had a full load in the back. No real steering and no real brakes. They were lucky they got their truck back and the shoulder was wide enough to get it pulled over when the traffic stopped in front of me. I guess the same whiz kid designed that cost saving idea too. Why use two when you can get a way with one? The U-haul service guy poured 1/2 a quart of hydraulic oil into the reservoir and said 'good luck' to me. You can't buy that much fun.
 
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Old 10-05-10, 12:04 PM
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Had an old Honda Prelude with an exhaust leak that got into the cabin if I was stopped and had the climate control system set to bring in outside air

Timing belt broke and solved that problem for me but I was ok as long as I kept the windows up and the air set to recirculate - I could have the sunroof open, though
 
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Old 10-05-10, 12:30 PM
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Have to ask/say....P/S fluid doesn't get "burned off" unless there is a leak of some sort. Why not fix it and be done? Prob just a hose I would think.
 
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Old 10-05-10, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Have to ask/say....P/S fluid doesn't get "burned off" unless there is a leak of some sort. Why not fix it and be done? Prob just a hose I would think.
Exactly.......... Find and fix the leak...... Not only are the fumes TOXIC, but P/S fluid is FLAMMABLE......The next fumes you smell could be leather seats..... THINK ABOUT IT......
 
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Old 10-06-10, 03:41 AM
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Keep in mind, too, (in some vehicles) one of the PS lines is pressurized and the other is only return and not under pressure. BUT, in some vehicles it is routed around the lower frame to cool the liquid before returning to the reservoir. A leak would be innocuous since it is not under pressure, and that is a possible leaking point. A drip here and there will soon MT the reservoir. Just another thought.
 
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Old 11-10-10, 08:15 AM
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the fix was more than just a hose, too expensive so i said good riddance to that chronic pos. i don't expect a high end brand to be in the shop 3-4 times a year. my 944 only goes through it's yearly service and it needs nothing until the next year, not even an oil change and it's an early 80's model.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 10:43 AM
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Do you track your 944? I have the 944turbo and just love the little beast. It has 180K on it and runs like the proverbial bat from below. It has over 100 DE's on it, mostly at Road Atlanta. Those engines were really well made. Mine is well modified.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 11:02 AM
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i don't track it. this is an 83 base 944 (i think one of the first few years it was out). no turbo, no s/s2, just a whopping 150 hp. simple engine and thought about upping the hp but figured if i want to drive fast I'd just use my 911. besides, my 944 drives like there is some friction that it's fighting. for example in no gear on a downhill the 911 just glides as far as you want it to, the 944 feels as though brakes are being everysogently applied. it's almost as if it needs wd-40
 
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Old 11-11-10, 11:12 AM
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Mine is an '86. It rolls nicely. The turbos don't have much compression and mine is well worn. I never owned a 911 but really like the sound of them. They, also, make excellent track cars as well as every day cars. Enjoy....
 
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Old 11-11-10, 11:21 AM
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after my x got the house and the minivan, i got the 911 as a present to myself. my only regret is not buying one 20 years ago, I could go on
 
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Old 11-11-10, 11:29 AM
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We'd already sold the house before we split up but my soon-to-be-ex wife is getting the minivan

A 911

Hmm....
 
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