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Old 06-14-2009, 10:24 PM
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Will Soldering Block Fluids from Passing Thru a Wire?

Hi everyone,

I was shocked last week to find out that the power steering pressure switch on my 2000 Durango had failed and actually started to pump fluid into my wiring harness! The fluid reached my upstream oxygen sensor and killed it. That switch shares a splice with those sensors.

Ok so I have to run all new wires and or get a new harness at this point, something I will have to figure out this week.

So I wanted to ask the electrical experts this. If I cut into the wires coming out of my power steering pressure switch and drop some hot solder, will that stop all liquid flow that is flowing in between the wire? Does soldering just one wire in this manner effect its electrical properties at all?

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Old 06-14-2009, 10:41 PM
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You mean fluid traveled inside the insulation until it came to a connector and then contaminated the surrounding wires and components?
Wow...never heard that one. Anything is possible though. Are you sure it didn't just spray up into the wire loom?

No solder will stop a fluid under the kind of pressure that a power steering system works at. It's about 1200 psi. I'm surprised it didn't blow out the insulation.
Install the new switch, put a connector in the wire close to the switch if you don't want to worry about it again. That way it'll dump fluid where it can't damage anything if it fails.
Later, mikey
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:59 PM
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Mikey, I have seen this happen!

I just used 2 cans of brake clean, and sprayed into the wiring harness, with the O'2 sensor disconnected. This will flush the wire loom out, but you have to remember to replace the power steering pressure sensor.

This may sound bizarre, but it actually does happen.

Last edited by carsavvycook; 06-14-2009 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:09 PM
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I never said I didn't believe it, 1200 psi of hot power steering fluid can do pretty much whatever it wants to. It sounded believeable, I'd just never heard of it.

Later, mikey
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:10 PM
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Hey guys thanks for the replies.

Yes, the power steering pressure switch literally started to pump fluid into the wiring harness. By the time I found out the brake fluid has made its way to my O2 sensor (shorting it out). The wiring harness still has fluid in it. I replaced both switches (o2 and ps) and drove for like 12 miles. Today when I checked it out both ends of the connectors had a bit of fluid. Hopefully I didn't damage my new sensors.

carsavvycook, you sprayed 2 full cans of brake clean into the harness? Only is that I doubt the spray would penetrate inside of the wire in my case. I actually pealed a bit of the protective outter part of the wire and there was nothing visible to my eye. So that means that the liquid is probably tightly compressed inside the copper strands, almost like a hose.

I am sure there was some psi being pushed but I would think it would be more along 100 psi, again im guessing here.

powerrodsmike, you mentioned a connector. Could you further detail that for me?

Intially I thought if i cut back some insulation for each wire and drop some solder onto the copper the solder would fill in the space between the braided strands and make an air tight seal.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerrodsmike
I never said I didn't believe it, 1200 psi of hot power steering fluid can do pretty much whatever it wants to. It sounded believeable, I'd just never heard of it.

Later, mikey

When I saw it, I was like what the f____k? I pulled apart the HO'2 Sensor, and power steering fluid dripped out of it. The complaint was the check engine light on.

My repair was 4+ years ago, and I will ask her husband, or son tomorrow if it cured it. That truck was the whitest lemon I have worked on in years. It is a Durango though.

At one point the power steering fluid would foam, making the pump make noise. This turned out to be 3800 PSI when turning right, and a bad power steering rack.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:41 PM
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Jesus thats insane 3800psi.

That would be great to find out if the fix worked permanently. I have just come across a mopar "jumper" harness part but still trying to get info on it and how the heck it works.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcastro
Hey guys thanks for the replies.

Yes, the power steering pressure switch literally started to pump fluid into the wiring harness. By the time I found out the brake fluid has made its way to my O2 sensor (shorting it out). The wiring harness still has fluid in it. I replaced both switches (o2 and ps) and drove for like 12 miles. Today when I checked it out both ends of the connectors had a bit of fluid. Hopefully I didn't damage my new sensors.

carsavvycook, you sprayed 2 full cans of brake clean into the harness? Only is that I doubt the spray would penetrate inside of the wire in my case. I actually pealed a bit of the protective outter part of the wire and there was nothing visible to my eye. So that means that the liquid is probably tightly compressed inside the copper strands, almost like a hose.

I am sure there was some psi being pushed but I would think it would be more along 100 psi, again im guessing here.

powerrodsmike, you mentioned a connector. Could you further detail that for me?

Intially I thought if i cut back some insulation for each wire and drop some solder onto the copper the solder would fill in the space between the braided strands and make an air tight seal.
This was into the wiring harness protector, and into the PS pressure switch connection. I gave it time to drip out of the HO'2 sensor connector.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:10 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience!

Ahhhh ok I see what you mean now. So you probably got the little straw and sprayed it right into the connection hole. The contaminated wire actually leads to a splice that is used for ground several other sensors.

I know this is going back some time but how long did it take for the liquid to get to the o2 sensor? 2 full cans right?

Also forgot to ask why brake cleaner spray instead of electrical cleaner? Sorry I know that sounds silly but I am trying to learn more about electrical
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcastro
Jesus thats insane 3800psi.

That would be great to find out if the fix worked permanently. I have just come across a mopar "jumper" harness part but still trying to get info on it and how the heck it works.
I have not seen this Durango, but I have their son's truck here now. It will be interesting for me also.

His dad was my Snap-on dealer, at a shop I used to work at. I have had them as regular customers since I quit.
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