Since I have free time right now I decided to do some vehicle maintenance on my 95 Lexus ES300. I bought this car this Summer from my brother and have really enjoyed it. It gets great gas mileage and I installed a pioneer avic700BT with nav. But the car has some aging issues, the power steering started going out as soon as I got it, the starter is on the fritz and all 4 struts are worn out.
So I decided to tackle the power steering today and thought I would make note of a few tips to help other lost souls who run into this design nightmare, courtesy of Toyota. The first thing you notice about the power steering in these cars ( and Camrys) is that the power steering pump is located under the Engine near the firewall on the passenger side. So removing it from above is impossible which leaves underneath. The framing under the car is quite extensive, which is good for safety but bad for maintenance. Log story short you have to remove the passenger front tire as well as the well skirting inside to gain access to the power steering. This is where the nightmare begins.
One would think that once the skirting is removed there would be plenty of room to remove the pump. One would be wrong. Once you remove everything you have a space about the size of a large coffee can to work with. In this space is the pump which is barely visible since it sits up about 4″ out of your view. The first thing to do is loosen the lower 12mm bolt and remove the belt. This loosens up the pump so it can be moved around. There are then 2 low pressure supply hoses that come from the reservoir that are clamped on. These need to be unclamped and moved up out of the way after they have drained. There is also an electrical sensor that has to be unplugged. The challenge then begins. The pump has 2 exiting pressurized lines laving the pump and they are located on the top of the pump and almost impossible to get at. The large one is 22mm and you will need a short extension and a long extension to get at it from above. My short ext has a flexible socket head on it which allowed the socket to angle in towards the bolt. Not to difficult if you don’t have to make 2 trips to the auto store just to get a 22mm socket. The last remaining pressurized line is a 17mm nut that can only be loosened from the bottom with an open faced wrench. And no ordinary wrench will do, you will need a short wrench to fit in the space to loosen this bolt up. This was trip #3 to the auto store for me. The real challenge though is getting the wrench in place in this small space and getting enough force to loosen the hose. It only took me 1/2 hour to get it done.
Once this is off, the unit dropped right down and came right out. Total time for me to go through all of this mess was about 4 hours. Reinstalling it only took 1 hour. Learning curve, priceless.
There is a 12mm bolt on the bottom and one on the top holding the pump in place.
You can get the pump on Amazon here: Power Steering Pump for Lexus ES300