Begin looking for a power steering rack leak by checking the power steering reservoir. If it is low, chances are there is a leak. Look for a leak around the power steering rack, and if one is present, it is likely that the seals are faulty.
When the seals around the power steering rack leak, power steering fluid appears around the rack and on the ground. Eventually, as the power steering fluid levels get low, the steering wheel starts to whine when the driver turns the wheel.
If the rack is leaking, the most effective way to repair the problem is to replace the rack. Although it is possible to replace only the seals, the process requires removing the whole rack and using special tools to take out the old seals, which can be a costly and time-consuming procedure. Simply replace the entire rack to avoid spending more money than is necessary.
If there is no leak at the rack, check the power steering line or the pump seal. Again, if a leak is found in one of these locations, replace the steering rack instead of trying to replace the seals.
Power steering is usually clear to light amber in color when new. Older power steering fluid becomes dark brown and resembles engine oil. Look for this liquid color when determining where a leak comes from.